Nothing Just Happens

Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem. He appointed the priests to their offices and encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord. And he said to the Levites who taught all Israel and who were holy to the Lord, ‘Put the holy ark in the house that Solomon built… Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. Prepare yourselves according to your fathers’ houses by your divisions, as prescribed. And stand in the Holy Place according to the groupings of the fathers’ houses of your brothers, and according to the division of the Levites by fathers’ household. And slaughter the Passover lamb, and consecrate yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of the Lord’… 

“When the service had been prepared for, the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their divisions according to the king’s command. And they slaughtered the Passover lamb… And afterward they prepared for themselves and for the priests, because the priests were offering the burnt offerings; so the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. The singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their place; and the gatekeepers were at each gate. They did not need to depart from their service, for their brothers the Levites prepared for them. So all the service of the Lord was prepared that day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord. And the people of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time… None of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as was kept by Josiah, and the priests and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” 2 Chronicles 35:1-6,10-11,14-18

Josiah’s reinstitution of the Passover in Judah did not just happen. From an early age, he set his heart to seek God. This regular communion led him to purge Judah of idolatry, repair the temple, respond to the Book of the Law, inquire of the LORD, and determine to keep His word. Every step in pursuing God with humility was a step forward in earnest obedience, and none just occurred without thought and deliberation. His careful preparation helped all Israel to serve and exalt their God.

Cargo Ship 2, San Francisco Bay

And so it is with us. Worship does not just happen. Walking in the Spirit does not come naturally, or even easily. Following our Lord and bearing spiritual fruit are not the default behavior of sinful man. We might desire to live righteously and please the Savior we love, but unless we take care to prepare diligently for every day and occasion, it will not simply occur.

When am I taking time to worship my Lord, to proclaim and delight in His attributes? Where have I scheduled a block of time in my day to read God’s word, meditate on it, specifically and expectantly pray over its instruction and my response to its convictions and warnings? In what situations do I plan to apply its truths and guidance? How do I prepare for difficult conversations, building relationships, wise and effective work, meaningful service to others?

Father, please guide me in consistent, thoughtful preparation to bring holy resolutions to fruition, for Your glory.

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