READ: 2 Kings 22-24, Psalm 114, Matthew 25, Titus 3
Jesus carries the only opinion that matters. Omar Beiler puts it this way: “Don’t give other people free rent in your head.” We can spend inordinate energy worrying about what others think of us, rather than taking great pleasure in doing what God wants us to do. The longer life goes, the more difficult decisions become. When faced with a choice, choose to do what Jesus would approve and choose to delight in delighting Jesus. Let the only energy we exert after we have made a difficult (potentially unpopular) choice be celebration energy as we rejoice in pleasing Jesus.
Tender hearts do what is right regardless of consequences. Josiah was like no king before or after him as regards to his reckless pursuit of holiness. He radically removed all traces of false worship (2 Kings 22). We should be as relentless in self-purging our hearts and lives of any trace of idolatry. The remarkable aspect of Josiah’s reforms, however, is that he undertook them regardless of his escape and his nation’s doom. Josiah had been told that his tender heart, humble spirit, and godly sorrow (2 Kings 22:19) had granted him a judgment exemption and that there was too much accumulated national guilt for the Lord to relent (v. 17). Josiah spent tremendous energy on making the radical reforms anyway. The point was not consequences; the point was doing what pleased God. May we be just as radical–unconcerned about consequences–devoted to pleasing Jesus.
It is the Lord’s desire to make us His sanctuary and dominion (Psalm 114:2). When we are temples purified for His indwelling, when we are so completely under His control that it can be said we are His “New Dominion,” the Lord is greatly pleased and we are easy for Him to use. We find this condition joyful, for faithfulness to Jesus not only pleases Him, but it makes us happy. My joy is found in being faithful (Matt. 25:21). When I am faithful to Jesus, my wife, my family, and my friends, an inevitable byproduct is great joy in my soul. It is in my best interest to be completely faithful, for my faithfulness brings joy to everyone, myself included! Faithfulness makes me happy.
Joy is found in doing what is right in Jesus’ eyes. When we scurry around, frantically trying to please others, it robs us of joy and we are never at rest. When we devote ourselves to pleasing Jesus (regardless of consequences, negative or positive), joy fills His soul and ours.