Friday, April 13, 2012
Who's Following Your Lead?
As I have been studying the kings of Judah in my personal quiet time, I have noted how the behavior and lifestyles of the Hebrew people followed it's leadership. When Judah had a sinful king who worshiped idols and lived in decadence, the people worshiped foreign idols and lived in decadence. When Judah had a king whose heart was devoted to God, so also did the people repent of their sin and seek after God. Many times, a sinful king would lead the land of Judah to the brink of disaster and a new king would be crowned, one who loved God and emptied the land of foreign idols and condemned sinful practices. When these kings made spiritual reforms, the people followed his lead and the nation would move into a place of God's blessing and protection. Often times, God's people fell into oppression and opposition because of collective sin, led by the nation's leader. As it's leaders go, so go a nation, but what about families?
Does this hold true in our homes? I constantly ask myself, what kind of leadership am I demonstrating in my home? Am I providing an environment for my kids to flourish and grow, to understand God and his love, or am modeling selfishness and materialism? If I am honest, I have to say that it depends on what day it is as to how I answer that question. I have gained a renewed commitment to holy living as I study the lives of the kings of Judah and as my desire for God grows, so does that of those in my home. To steal a line from the Newsboys, "It's a Spirit thing". I also find that no matter how far my heart strays from God, He is always ready to draw me back unto Himself when I humble myself and cry out to Him.
I guess the purpose for this post is to encourage parents and grandparents to commit yourselves and your homes to God. We complain about the culture and it's influence, yet we allow all kinds of anti-christian philosophy into our homes via TV, internet, music and books. Our kids are looking for direction from us whether we realize it or not and, as my kids remind me very often, they remember things we say and do far more than we do. I hope you take the time to study some often neglected parts of the Bible. The books of 1 and 2 Kings and the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles are filled with examples of how the behavior of those in charge affects the behavior of those under their care. Yes, the books of Chronicles are filled with many lists of names and genealogies, but it is also filled priceless accounts of how God views and deals with sin and rewards humility and honors our humility and repentance.
No matter where you are in your spiritual walk, you will find an example that will speak directly to you. One account that stands out to me very strongly is the life of King Manasseh, found in 2 Chronicles 33. Manasseh's father, King Hezekiah, was one of the most righteous kings in the Judah's history. Unfortunately, Manasseh was considered the most evil king in Judah's history. As Manasseh pursued his own sinful pleasures, so to did the people he led. So great was the sin of King Manasseh, that God disciplined Judah and Manasseh was captured and taken prisoner by an enemy nation. But, while in captivity, Manasseh repented and called out to God. God heard Manasseh and restored him to his kingdom and Manasseh then led the people in a nationwide spiritual cleansing! Once again, the people followed his lead, this time into righteousness.
My point in all this is that all of us have a sphere of influence, all of us, especially parents and grandparents are influencing those in our care one way or another. As we lead they will follow. Please take the time to read through these often neglected books of the Bible, please call on God to help you be a Godly example to those around you, especially those who look up to you. If you are a parent, check out your kid's Facebook page, look on their bookshelves, check out the history folder on their computes, it is not snooping, it is caring. The family is the basic unit of society, society will not change until families of faith take a stand for God and live by the words of Joshua "As for me and my house, we will serve YHWH(the LORD)." God Bless and let me know what you think.