Monday, August 3, 2015

AUGUST 3 "COASTER FOR JESUS"

     Josiah was king for 8 years before he decided to seek God.  Did you catch that!  What in the world was Josiah doing for 8 years??? The answer: same thing you've been doing for the past few years...and that is....COASTING.  Coasting on our own abilities, making do with what comes naturally to us and probably finding the path of least resistance. Taking what life simply throws at you and never contending for anything more from God.  The delusion for coasters is that "I am doing alright".  You are deluded and God forbid you should die in that state if you would even make Heaven your home and if you did make Heaven your home (as Paul describes as "one barely escaping through the fires") then you would probably find out all that you did not accomplish, that you could have, had you sought God and not coasted. It is safe to say, isn't it, that Josiah accomplished much more for God once he began to seek him, or am I reading to much into this?! (Rhetorical question)
     We read that before Josiah begins to seek God he is reigning in Jerusalem and he is doing "alright" he's going with the Eben flow of life, but it is not until he begins to seek God that his direction and course of action, dramatically changes.  Being a Christian and not seeking God does not mean that you are going to be this evil villain or drastic sinner, it simply means you will not be stirred or used by God for any specific purpose and/or divine use, on the earth.  Shouldn't that be the desire of every Born Again believer, "Lord use me, use my life for your purposes".  It is as obvious as night and day, the difference in Josiah's life and his usefulness to God, the moment he begins to seek out God.  The moment Josiah begins to seek God something gets fired up in him.  The carnality of the people no longer sits well with him, their sinful indulgences begin to repulse him, mind you, all these idols, sins and carnality were around him since the beginning of his reign! Nothing in his environment changed to prompt this reaction, He changed, God changed his carnal apathetic heart, as he began to seek God.  
     Not much upsets a coaster for Jesus. Their approach to life is, "to each his own, let them be, they're not hurting anyone, who am i to judge, i have my own issues" and the list goes on, we've heard the mantra's all before from other people and we've heard some of those statements coming from our own mouths.  Sometimes this is why you have church splits.  You have a leader like Josiah that has been coasting for years and then all of a sudden he begins to seek God and as he seeks God, he gets stirred and he now sees the state of sin he has allowed his church to fall into and he begins to purge the church, take out the whip (so to speak) and cleanse the temple and all of a sudden, people who have now become accustomed to this quasi Christian life are not at all thrilled with the Pastor's new found zeal for righteousness and half leave the church and the other half, who have been praying for their leader to get stirred, stay and facilitate the new work that God is going to do.
     This is exactly what happens with Josiah. Many thought he was out of his mind and left but many were thrilled with his new found zeal for God and righteousness and stayed to support him. So we can learn then from our story that when you are coasting, you are not only hurting yourself, but you are hurting those in your sphere of influence.  Also we learn that the longer you live as a coaster the more work you will need to do when you get fired up.
     After years of coasting you have no guarantees who will follow you once you decide to get fired up. Those you are hoping will follow (such as your children) may become your worse opposition for your new found zeal and change.  Sometimes a spouse decides to stop coasting and is surprised to find that the other spouse doesn't automatically join them.  Never mind all the years they were zealous and the other spouse was coasting, but now the shoe is on the other foot, and all is supposed to be well....NOT SO!  A Pastor who has coasted for years now all of a sudden wants to get fired up and expects the church, all of a sudden to rally behind him, NOT SO!  A parent or parents that have coasted for years and all of a sudden want to get fired up and expect their children to just jump in line....NOT SO!
     So then is the answer NEVER to get fired up and just to remain a coaster, don't rock the boat?  No,  God clearly reveals to Josiah that had he not come out of that state of mind, had he not began to seek him, there would have been much, much more judgement and damage. The answer is then, never to coast as a Child of God and if you do catch yourself coasting, quickly, get back on track, quickly get back to seeking out God. It is clear in our text that it is better to realize you are coasting, rock the boat, deal with the repercussions and get back on track.There is way to much "cleaning house" for Josiah to do and if only he had not coasted for 8 years, it would not have been this difficult to clean things up.  Coasting may seem like the easy way to live for God