Even men who don’t want to be like their fathers often turn out to be amazingly similar in their behaviors and personalities. Through the power of God and hard personal choices, however, it’s possible to break out of an ongoing spiral of sin and dysfunction.
Take Josiah, for example. Josiah was a young king who chose to stand against a virtual tidal wave of disobedience fostered by his grandfather Manasseh and his father, Amon. Breaking from this downward spiral was particularly difficult since Josiah had little knowledge to guide his actions. The Scriptures containing God’s laws had been lost for years. But when the high priest discovered the Book of the Law in the Temple, young Josiah immediately initiated spiritual renewal for himself and his people.
As a result, Josiah was able to break the cycle of sin that had captured Israel in its whirl. Josiah was not a perfect man but he was a true champion of spiritual renewal. He was committed to God and had the courage to pursue both personal and national renewal.
Josiah made the difficult choices necessary in order to ‘cut loose’ from the sins of the past and to build a new life for himself and the people of Judah. Are you like Josiah? Do you need to make a break from the past in order to build a new life for yourself? I hope you’ll seek the same powerful God who renewed Josiah.
We know more about the spiritual life of David than probably any other person in the Bible. The extensive record of his life and the Psalms he wrote show us that he studied and meditated upon God’s word, he fasted, and that his entire life was yielded to God’s service.
Two things he did stand out to me: he worshiped and he prayed. These spiritual exercises renewed David’s spirit over and over again.
For example, David’s first role in the king’s court was as a musician. His ministry of worship touched Saul’s heart, as it has untold millions of others since David lived. His worship is so powerful because it’s a natural, unforced mixture of David’s heart (when he was up and when he was down) with an unwavering faith in a gracious, almighty God.
His prayers often begin with an honest confession of anger, despair, or frustration. He didn’t hide his feelings from God and he didn’t pretend that he was ‘super-spiritual.’ Spiritual renewal flows from the freedom to be totally honest with God. Psalm 145 is a good example of what I’m talking about. Read Psalm 145 and you will see David’s progression from anxiety and distress to faith filled assurance and confidence.
When you consider the worship and prayer in David’s life, you soon recognize that being someone after God’s own heart doesn’t mean you never fall’it means when you fall, you look to God to restore your spirit, and you fall to your knees in worship and prayer.