Posted in coaching

when God drops in to visit

God is attracted to humility.

Take this 8-year-old king named Josiah (2 Chron 34). He had a lot of obstacles to overcome. His Grandpa, Manasseh, was utterly wicked. His Dad was worse; but Josiah found the Lord in spite of them. Apparently, it’s not always “like father, like son.” Sin’s consequences are influential, not determinative or causative. 

People often misinterpret God “visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation” (Ex 20:5-6). What people fail to see is that God is the active agent behind the visit—not demons or Satan. What does “visit” mean? The Hebrew word means “to inspect, to take action to cause a considerable change in the circumstances” (the outcome could be good or not so good). Divine inspection-visits are merciful interventions because of the iniquities of the father—not punishments on children for having bad fathers! Each person can respond to God’s “visits”—that is, they can choose to turn to God or continue in the sin of their fathers.

How did Josiah respond to God’s visit? When he was 16 years old, Josiah chose to seek the Lord. When he was 20, Josiah cleansed Judah from its idolatry. Six years later, at the ripe old age of 26, Josiah wanted to “repair the house of the Lord.” It hadn’t been renovated for 250 years! 

Jerusalem’s magnificent temple was a dilapidated warehouse full of junk. There were no services in the sanctuary. The Bible was completely discarded. But while the remodeling was going on, Hilkiah, the priest finds the Book of Law. He shows it to a guy named, Shaphan, who takes it to the king. Josiah wept when he heard the words of Scripture and orders Hilkiah and Shaphan to “go inquire of the Lord.”

They seem a bit scared to go to the house of Huldah the prophetess. Judah is in big trouble! She says tell Josiah “Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the LORD.” For the one whose heart is tender and responsive, there is great hope!

God is looking for humble, tender hearts. Let’s pray for a divine visit! 

Posted in coaching

kingdom culture

When you’re a leader, you have to at least look calm. But don’t let Jehoshaphat fool you. He’s pretty freaked out. His enemies had joined forces and were about to erase Judah from the map. So the king sets his face to seek the Lord. “Do not be afraid,” says the Lord. “Stand firm, hold your position … You will not need to fight this battle.” No worries, God’s got this.

While revival breaks out, Judah’s enemies start arguing about how to cancel God’s people. That’s the thing about cancel culture; it never ends because everyone sins. Sinners need to be canceled.

Although the term has been around for several years, cancel culture was barely a blip on Google trends until the summer of 2020. Canceling went viral like the virus. Maybe we should start calling out the difference between cancel culture and kingdom culture.

Kingdom culture laments human brokenness and offers forgiveness. With cancel culture there is no redemption—only public humiliation. But in the Kingdom culture, we not only confess our sins and God forgives us; we seek to restore one another “in a spirit of gentleness” (1 John 1:9; Gal 6:1).

Kingdom culture cherishes grace and mercy. With cancel culture, mob enforced judgments are not open to debate. But in the Kingdom culture, the merciful are blessed and “mercy triumphs over judgment” (Matt 5:7; James 2:13). We actually run to “the throne of grace with confidence … to receive mercy and find grace” in our time of need (Heb 4:16).

Kingdom culture values conversations. With cancel culture, there are only statements. But in the Kingdom culture, “speaking the truth in love” enables us to “grow in every way and be more like Christ” (Eph 4:15). Kingdom conversations build up that we may give grace to those who hear (Eph 4:29).

Kingdom culture appreciates forbearance. With cancel culture, the entirety of a person is judged on one word, one action, one assumption or accusation. But in the Kingdom culture, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,” we are “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:2-3). After all, there is only one Judge of all the earth. Thank goodness.