2 Chronicles 34:33 - "Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors."
Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites so that all who were present in Israel could serve the Lord their God. Wow! That was nice of him.
What needs to be removed from your life?
There's a television commercial for some product (which I think is a truck) that shows some kids playing ball on a very nice baseball field. Then the advertisers kick the video in reverse and show everything that went into making the ball field, including "removing all the detestable boulders." I hope those kids thanked the person and the machine that did all the heavy lifting so they could have a ball field, even if it was just a commercial.
That's what Josiah did for Israel. He did all the heavy lifting. He removed stuff that got in the way, not of people having a good time playing ball, but he removed the stuff that got in the way of having a good time serving the Lord.
Let me ask you a personal question?
Do you enjoy serving the Lord? I don't mean the idea of serving the Lord; I mean everyone likes the idea 💡 or the thought of serving the Lord. It's a nice idea. Instead of the idea of serving the Lord, what I mean when I ask "Do you enjoy serving the Lord?" is do you enjoy serving the Lord God as the Lord God describes serving the Lord God in the Bible? Ya know, humbling yourself, stooping down, getting your hands dirty in service to people whose life doesn't look like your life and they need somebody to encourage them with real hope. (Maybe read Matthew 25:31-46 for some ideas about serving the Lord!) So after thinking about it, do you enjoy serving the Lord?
If you answered "no, I do not enjoy serving the Lord," then today's Bible verse is just one of many where God tells us that there's something in your life that needs to be removed (maybe something detestable) because it's claiming your eagerness, anticipation, and hope for what is to come more than the Lord is receiving your eagerness, anticipation, and hope for what is to come. Quite frankly, God's Word basically says that God is constantly amazed at how nonchalant we are about our relationship with the Lord. We'll swap time with God through His Word for time with the world and its pleasures in a heartbeat. All we need to do to have proof that God is right about this is look at our calendar and checkbook.
The major problem with letting the world dictate our calendars and checkbooks, which is a way the world creates spiritual boulders in our lives, is that Jesus says that we are nothing apart from the Lord, have nothing apart from the Lord, and can do nothing apart from the Lord. And spiritual boulders tragically make sure that we're apart from the Lord.
So let's get to the point. You know where the Lord is on your priority list. If God isn't first on the list and the center of everything else on the list, then you (like all of us) have some detestable boulders that need to be removed so that you can have a good time serving the Lord. Now the question is, "So who's going to remove these things from our lives, especially if ironically they're so big we can't see them?"
Yep, you got it! God, through Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is the only one who can remove the spiritual boulders. After all, he overcame the sin of the whole world, overcame death, and overcame the grave. And Jesus mightily removed some big ol' literal honker of a boulder from his own grave. So I'm sure he can remove some relatively little ol' boulders from our little ol' lives.
Keep it simple. Just ask Him! And he will!
"The gospel is the story of Jesus [what God's only Son has done for us that we can't do for ourselves], spoken as a promise." - Robert Jenson