Monday, October 26, 2009

THE IMPORTANCE OF SPIRITUAL MENTORSHIP

Can I pray for you in any way? Send any prayer requests to faithhopegodlove@aol.com In Christ, Mark

The scriptures. May God bless the reading of His holy word.

In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother's name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. But Joash king of Judah took all the sacred objects dedicated by his fathers — Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, the kings of Judah—and the gifts he himself had dedicated and all the gold found in the treasuries of the temple of the Lord and of the royal palace, and he sent them to Hazael king of Aram, who then withdrew from Jerusalem.

As for the other events of the reign of Joash, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? His officials conspired against him and assassinated him at Beth Millo, on the road down to Silla. The officials who murdered him were Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer. He died and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. And Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.

2 Kings 12:1-3, 17-21

This ends this reading from God's holy word. Thanks be to God.

Do you have a spiritual mentor?

You know…someone you respect that you can go to for spiritual advice?

I have several and use them often. It’s always good to have a person you can talk to and discuss matters of faith and life…someone who can lend an ear and solid wisdom to help you in a time of need.

Well, we have seen in scripture where spiritual mentors abound. In our studies, the last one we studied in earnest was Elijah and Elisha. You’ll recall that Elisha was selected to succeed Elijah but that change didn’t happen immediately. No, Elisha followed Elijah and learned from him until that day when he was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind…and then carried on in his footsteps.

Well, in today’s scripture we see how very important spiritual mentorship is.

For as Joash, assumed the throne of Judah in Jerusalem, we read where he “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him”. Jehoiada you’ll recall was the priest who ensured Joash was protected from the murderous Athaliah as he assumed the throne at the age of seven. And as Joash grew, Jehoiada remained his counsel and spiritual advisor, helping the king stay faithful to the covenant he had made with God.

Then something inevitable happened.

Jehoiada died...and when he did, so too did Joash’s adherence to the Lord’s ways.

For as we look at the companion passage to this, 2 Chronicles, Chapter 24, we find that Joash began to listen to people who weren’t attached to God but rather false gods. And when these new advisors spoke, Joash listened to them.

The end result?

The temple of the Lord was abandoned in favor of the worshipping of Asherah poles and idols.

And so the Lord sent prophets to try and convince Joash he was erring but he refused to listen to them.

So the Lord sent the son of the deceased Jehoiada to ask why Joash had forsaken Him. And when Zechariah delivered the Lord’s message, Joash issued the order for him to be stoned to death in the temple courtyard.

Yes…Joash had his spiritual mentor’s son executed. Such was the depth of his falling.

Obviously, the Lord wasn’t going to stand for this.

Enter Hazael and the Aramean army.

It attacked Jerusalem and in the assault, Joash was severely wounded. But it wasn’t the battle injury that killed him. No…it was his own officials who did him in while he was in bed, angered by the judgment placed on Zechariah.

Of course, the sad part about all this was that it was completely avoidable.

All Joash had to do was have another spiritual mentor identified that he could trust and turn to if something would ever happen to Jehoiada. As it was, he didn’t and so he was vulnerable to anyone who might be able to step in and influence him…and those that did led him down the path of destruction.

This is what can happen when we don’t stay connected to leaders who are strong in the Lord. We can be led astray…sometimes to the point of destruction.

If you have a spiritual mentor, then thank the Lord for it. He…and He alone…arranged for that to be as He chose who He would speak through to impart wisdom and guidance.

If you don’t have a spiritual mentor, I would highly encourage you to find one and not delay in doing so.

For so much is at stake here…to include your very spiritual life…a life that Satan would like nothing better than to have for himself.

Just look at Joash and you’ll see how true that is. Don’t repeat his mistake.

Amen.

In Christ,

Mark

PS: Please share this with anyone you feel might be blessed by it.

Send any prayer requests to faithhopegodlove@aol.com

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