There he was, saddled with all the authority of the kingdom at a tender eight-years-old. And on top of that heavy burden lay another: His mandate. Before he was even born, he had been chosen and singled out as the king who would rid the city of every unclean thing. He had lost his reputation before he even got here. “Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on [the altar] he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on [the altar], and men’s bones shall by burned on [the altar]. (1 Kings 13:2)” Josiah’s circle of friends was destined to be a small one because of the mandate God had given him: to destroy the grip of Satan on the Promised Land.
Evil was rampant at the time of Josiah’s birth. People were worshipping the gods of the lands around them. Molech, Chemosh, Ashtoreth, and Milcom, demonic idols receiving the glory rightfully belonging to God. What one king in his lust had allowed into the Promised Land, another in his innocence would drive out. Josiah was born with a fire inside him, a passion for purity that would cause him to rise up against the leaders of the land, stand in his proper authority and demolish the strongholds of the enemy. Satan trembled when he heard Josiah’s first cry. His time was short in the land of Israel.
King Josiah did not have the luxury of considering the opinions of others as he walked the path God had carved out for him. The truth was, their opinions didn’t matter. He purposefully pursued God’s will to rid the land of Satan’s influence, not allowing anyone to cause him to turn back. No doubt, there was much opposition facing him. It was the priests in the land, those entrusted with the Word of God, who had turned the people away from God. Religious leaders were not on his side. The church, who blindly followed the wayward shepherds, were not on his side. He marched forward in his mandate, regardless of what anyone thought. He didn’t need their approval. His one pursuit was the words God had spoken over him through the mouth of a prophet many years before his birth. He was unstoppable!
Josiah traveled throughout the land destroying the altars dedicated to Satanic gods. He didn’t ask for permission because he knew that God approved. He didn’t hesitate for a moment to consider the people around him. He heard clearly and obeyed without questioning. He demolished the wooden images and articles of worship that had been defiled. He scattered the ashes of their foreign gods on the graves of the people. He broke down the pillars of the demonic temples and scattered the bones of the dead on them, to defile them as they had defiled true worship in the land. He was relentless!
“Josiah put away those who consulted mediums and spiritists, the household gods and idols, all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might perform the words of the law…” Josiah didn’t just deal with the idols and their unholy temples, he dealt with the people who disobeyed the Lord and caused the land to be defiled. He didn’t worry about offending them, he was more concerned about restoring the approval of God on the land. He was courageous!
As followers of Christ and lovers of God, we cannot afford to be stopped by the mere opinions of man. We cannot allow their disapproval to keep us from fulfilling God’s will for our lives. We do not have the time to consider our approval ratings. We have a mandate. What God asks us to do may not widen our circle of friends. On the other hand, it may whittle it down to One, but that cannot stop us. We are living in a critical time, in a land full of darkness and demonic worship. Satan has a grip on our land, and people are blindly following those who would call themselves leaders. It is time for the church of God to know the Word of God, to rise up and go forth in the Spirit of God and Authority of God, to restore the knowledge of God. Not in a legalistic way, which demands allegiance without teaching about Grace and Faith and Love. But in the power of the Spirit, manifesting the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It is time for Christians to become unstoppable in our pursuit of holiness. We need to become relentless in our pursuit of people who are lost! We need to become courageous for Christ!
* Scriptures referred to are 2 Kings 22 & 23 and Galatians 5:22-23