How is your relationship with Jesus? Christianity is a movement, you are either moving toward Jesus Christ or away from him. Most Christians do not intentionally want to move away from Jesus but it happens so subtly we do not even realize how far we have drifted. We can take counsel from a great revival done by King Hezekiah in 2Chronicles 29-32. Prior to King Hezekiah, his father King Ahaz was a wicked ruler and did many things to promote Baal worship (false god) and eliminate the worship of the living and true God. Let’s start taking steps toward our own personal revival.
Step 1: Address the problem. This takes a great deal of humility and honesty. What is hindering your relationship with Jesus? Not praying enough, not studying your bible, not helping others, not forgiving, not spending enough time with God? 2Chron. 29:3-10 Hezekiah acknowledges the problems in Judah, the temple doors were shut in God’s house, the lamps were put out, no offerings in the Holy Place, in other words the priests were not doing their jobs to support and facilitate the worship of the living God.
Step 2: Give God your all. Once you address the problem(s), be 100% committed in the process of revival. 2Chronicles 29:11 Hezekiah charges the Levites (priests) to not be negligent. He is telling them to get to work! They know the problem now they need to do something about it which leads us to our next step.
Step 3: Remove the problem(s). The Levites got to work and started to cleanse the temple from all the garbage that was brought in. In the same way God wants to clean out the garbage in our lives, things that are hindering our relationship with Him. Matthew 5:29, 30 Jesus is giving counsel that if our eye offends us pluck it out and if our hand offends us cut it off. What Jesus is telling us is that if we are watching something that causes us to sin then stop watching it, pluck it out. If we are doing something that is causing us to sin stop doing it, cut it off. God will give us the victory if it is our desire to overcome, sin will not have dominion over us.
Step 4: Praise and worship the Lord for what he has done for you. 2Chronicles 29:28-30 Hezekiah reestablished the temple worship and after presenting the offerings they started to praise and worship God for the first time in a long time without the problem(s) in the way. Why is this so important? Being thankful changes our state of mind to appreciate God more for what He has done already for us in the past and it reminds us so we don’t forget. How much time do we spend in prayer asking for things and when we receive them do we spend equal amount of time in prayer thanking God?
Step 5: Remember what God has done for you. 2Chron. 30:5-11 Hezekiah brings back the Passover feast. This feast was supposed to be kept by the Israelites yearly as a reminder that it was God who delivered them from Egypt, God is their strength, provider and protector. They had not done this in a long time which led to the greater separation between God and His people, the people forgot about the God who was their strength and deliverer. We should constantly be thinking about all the wonderful things God did for us in the past so we do not forgot who He is, what he has done and what can He do for us in the future.
These are the first five steps toward revival that you can start taking to renew your spiritual life with Jesus. Be patient, be cooperative with the Holy Spirit and trust in God to help you along the way. We will continue next time with the next five steps to continue the process of revival.
Faith Perspectives is written by area religious leaders. This week’s column is by Anthony Ponterio Jr., pastor of Natural Bridge Seventh Day, 43735 State Route 3, Natural Bridge. Services are at 11 a.m. Sundays with Bible study for all ages at 9:45 a.m. and potluck lunch to follow service.