Read 2 Chronicles 31
Restoration Requires Repentance
The inspired penman of 2 Chronicles records the restoration of temple worship in 2 Chronicles 29 and the renewal of the Passover feast in chapter 30. However, all was not right in the land. Remnants of apostasy and still existed; the objects associated with idol worship remained. Hezekiah and his subjects took action.
“Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke the sacred pillars in pieces, cut down the wooden images, and threw down the high places and the altars—from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh—until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned to their own cities, every man to his possession” (2 Chronicles 31:1-2).
Many times, when we start on the path of reconciliation with God, restoring our relationship to what He desires, we hold onto something that will hinder us from complete renewal. Consider the parable of the sower, and the Lord’s explanation of the thorns, in Luke 8:14, “Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.” They hear the truth, but because they are unwilling to make the necessary changes in their life and turn the cares of this life over to the Almighty, they are unable to fully accept His grace.
Paul identified an individual who fell into this trap. Demas was once a “fellow laborer” with the apostle (Philemon 24), one who sent greetings to the church at Colosse through Paul’s letter to them (Colossians 4:14). Yet, near the end of Paul’s life, he wrote that “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica” (2 Timothy 4:10).
Are you hanging on to something that is holding you back from full commitment to the Lord? Is there anything that is pulling you back to your former life and preventing you from living the abundant life Jesus promises? Take seriously Paul’s charge to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). Break down the sacred pillars of your former life and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” to the will of God (Romans 12:2)!