For we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV
Do you have a personal faith? There were many people in the Bible who walked with God but there were also many who didn’t.
After Solomon’s idolatry, the twelve tribes of Israel were split into two kingdoms: Israel and Judah. After his death, there was a constant change of rulers as men fought against each other to obtain power.
The period beginning with Ahab and Azariah’s death was particularly bloody. All the members of Ahab’s family were killed either by Jehu or under his direction.
Forty-two of Azariah’s brothers were killed by Jehu and all of his children, except one, were killed by his mother, Athaliah.
Baby Jehoash was smuggled into the Temple by his aunt Jehosheba. He lived there for six years hidden from his grandmother (2 Chronicles 22:10-12). When Jehoash was 7 years old, Jehoiada the priest organized a coup and seized power for the boy king (2 Chronicles 23:1-11).
After Jehoash became king, the Bible said this about him,
And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest (2 Chronicles 24:2 KJV).
These words hint at a sadness to come: Jehoash only served Jehovah as long as his mentor was alive. Oh my friend, do you have a personal faith? Do you spend time nurturing your relationship with God or are you riding on the coattails of someone else’s faith?
As Christians, it’s not enough to attend church and soak in what the pastor has to say. It’s not enough to read our Bibles regularly as part of our daily routine. It’s not enough to believe what our parents or our families believe unless we cultivate our personal faith. Our faith has to be personal because we are called to have a one-on-one relationship with God.
Jehoiada lived a long life but eventually died when he was 130 years old. After his death, some of the princes of Judah came and spoke to the king. We don’t know what they said to the king but whatever it was, they abandoned the ways of the Lord and worshipped idols (2 Chronicles 24:17-18).
God sent His prophets to speak out against the evil that the people of Judah were doing. God even sent His Spirit on Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada to no avail.
Jehoash killed the son of his mentor and did not stop serving idols. Jehoash’s reign ended when he was murdered in his sickbed by his own servants (2 Chronicles 24:25). What a sad end to a king who spent six years living in the temple of God and had been guided for much of his life by a priest.
How to Cultivate a Personal Faith
My friend, if you and I don’t cultivate our personal faith, we will not know the God we profess to serve. Here are four things we can do to cultivate a personal relationship with God.
1. Read the Bible often. Read and study the Word to learn more about the character of God and not to check something off your to-do list or because it’s expected of you.
2. Listen to Bible-based teaching. Again, this is something we do to gain a deeper understanding of the nature and character of God.
3. Meditate on what we read and hear about God. The more we think about what we learn about God, the more we will know Him. The more we know God, the better we will love Him.
4. Spend time in prayer. Prayer is an opportunity to bring your requests to God but it’s also an opportunity to listen to Him.
Creating a personal relationship is something that each of us can do with a little intention and the right mindset. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as we create a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Father, I want to know You better. Open my eyes that I may see You, my ears that I can hear You, and my heart so that I can receive You. I want to have a personal relationship with You. Help me to cultivate a personal faith with You, in Your name I pray, Amen.
Other actions you can take: