2 Chronicles 24, Three Types Of Spiritual Living
1. Spiritual Influencer (v14-16)
2. Spiritual Dependent (v17-18)
3. Spiritual Captive (v17-19)
Recorded at Calvary Chapel Into The Light.
2 Chronicles 24, Three Types Of Spiritual Living
1. Spiritual Influencer (v14-16)
2. Spiritual Dependent (v17-18)
3. Spiritual Captive (v17-19)
Recorded at Calvary Chapel Into The Light.
God as we consider Your word this morning I pray, Lord, as we spend this time with you.
Lord, that you would do something radical in our hearts.
To open our eyes and give us great clarity.
To where we are at in our relationship with you.
But our hearts are prone to deception, even against our own selves.
And so, God, I pray that you would break through that this morning by your Spirit minister to each one of us.
God, that we might know you.
And that we might pursue you with all of our hearts, I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.
As we look at second chronicles Chapter 24 this morning, I've titled The Message three types of spiritual living.
Three types of spiritual living and I want to do something a little bit different and that is to give you ahead of time.
The three points I'm going to share.
Usually I like to build up suspense and reveal each one, but none of that.
Today the the three points the three types of spiritual living are.
You can live as a spiritual influencer.
You can live as a spiritual dependent.
Or you can live as a spiritual captive, and what I would say to you this morning is that you should right now begin.
To invite the Lord to speak to you about which one of these describes you best, that every one of us falls into one of these categories.
We live a spiritual life.
That is an influential spiritual life, or that is a dependent spiritual life or we live as spiritual captives to others who are spiritual around us.
Yes, these are things that we may not think about often in this way, but the Lord wants to challenge us and speak to us about and help us to come to the place where he wants us to be.
Now looking at a list like this.
I know it's easy to.
Kind of think the best of ourselves and have a high esteem of ourselves and immediately gravitate towards the one that we think is the right one.
Or the best one.
Or you know.
And and we can easily.
The lean into that and not really give a full consideration to where we're at, and an honest evaluation of our hearts this morning, but I I would pray that you would make a conscious effort to not just slip into a category automatically, but would you be willing?
To be honest enough with the Lord and to invite the Lord to speak to you.
About where you're at in your spiritual life, the first thing we'll look at is the spiritual influencer, and we're going to be looking at a man named Jehoiada as an example of this, he was the high priest of the Nation of Judah at the time, and we'll begin looking at him here in versus 14 through 16 and verse 14 it says this.
When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada they made from it articles for the House of the Lord.
Articles for serving and offering spoons and vessels of gold and silver, and they offered burnt offerings in the House of the Lord continually all the days of jehoiada.
Notice that last piece of the verse.
They offered offerings.
All the days of jehoiada.
Here we get to see and understand jehoiada.
Is a strong spiritual influence on the nation of Judah and the king at the time, whose name was Joe Ash.
Joy that was the high priest.
In that role, he served as a mediator between God and the people, representing God to the people representing people, to the God, to God.
My throat's been.
A little bit weird this week.
So he as a high priest was representing God to the people and the people to God, and one of his roles was to take care of King Josh.
You see, earlier in the chapter verses one and two, Josh was seven years old when he became king.
So he was young, he was too young to really be able to handle the matters of state.
He wasn't negotiating treaties and dealing with complex political things.
You know, at 7 years old.
Jahada was kind of a custodian of the Kingdom in that way, and he helped preserve Josh on the Kingdom until Josh was old enough to be able to handle things on his own.
And so he is a spiritual influencer for the nation of Judah, and the Lord was continually sought by the nation by the king under his influence.
During this time the nation of Israel had been split in two.
Judah was the smaller southern Kingdom.
They had mostly bad kings, some good kings here and there.
At this time.
They had a few bad kings in a row and the nation was really in a bad state morally.
Jahada comes on the scene and is really instrumental in bringing the nation to a right relationship with God.
It's during this time that the temple is restored.
They had been really gone into disrepair because of their rebellion against God.
In verse, four tells us.
Set his heart on repairing the House of the Lord, and so there's been this restoration project under the leadership of Kinjo Ash and Jahada, who was influencing him.
But notice a really important point there at the end of verse 14.
What is the implication when we see that it says all the days of jehoiada?
They were sacrificing unto the Lord all the days of joy.
What is that?
What does that tell us without seeing it clearly, without saying it explicitly, it tells us after the days of Jehoiada.
Things changed after the days of jehoiada.
They stopped sacrificing.
Continually as they once did.
Was a strong influence on the nation?
And once his presence was removed.
Well, the nation changed dramatically now the people of the day recognized the influence that Jehovah had and the good that he did for the nation.
Verse 15 and 16 tell us that.
When he grew old and when he died.
They buried him in the city of David among the kings.
Because of the good that he had done toward God.
And his house.
They gave him this burial that was.
In great honor.
They buried him in Jerusalem with the Kings as a statement of.
Toyota we honor your life and what you have done.
You've done so much good.
High priests weren't normally buried with the kings.
In fact, some of the Kings weren't buried with the Kings because of how dishonorable they were.
But this high priest stood out.
He was different.
He made a significant impact.
And they so they said, we want to honor and recognize that impact that he has made.
In our life.
During jahada life.
There was great spiritual influence going on.
Again, verse 14 says they continually offered burnt offerings all the days of jehoiada. The whole nation impacted, but go back to verse 2 here of chapter 24.
Here it talks about King Joe Ash.
It says Joe Ash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
You see that same pattern when thinking about the nation they offered sacrifices continually for the whole life of jehoiada.
Thinking about the King Joe Ash.
He did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of.
Toyota. What is the implication?
After the days of Jehoiada.
Joe Ash did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord.
Pastor Charles Spurgeon says see the influence of one man.
One man can sway a state.
One man can check sin.
One man can be the head of a host.
Who shall serve God and honor his?
Name Joy Darwin guy?
In a key role.
Because of his relationship with God, had a huge impact on an entire nation and on the king who sat on the throne.
The Bible is full of examples like this.
Right now as a church back at living water we are working our way through the Bible in three years, and so we were in chronicles not too.
Long ago, we've gone through Ezra and Nehemiah.
Also, great examples of spiritual influences.
People who were with the the people who were going back to Jerusalem after captivity.
They had been raised in a Pagan environment in Babylon.
They had been raised apart from the temple and really distant from the things of God and Ezra.
Nehemiah were instrumental in helping the people to learn and to set back in place the right things in the right way to walk with God and know God.
Then you move.
On in the Old Testament to the Book of Esther.
And you don't hurt account and how she was used by the Lord to save the Jews all around the world under the against the wicked plot of Haman.
But you can think about Mordecai, her uncle.
A spiritual influencer in her life who raised her and prepared her for this role that she would have.
You could move from there into the prophets.
For example, the prophet Daniel.
A prophet in a foreign land.
The Kingdom of Babylon.
He was a spiritual influencer.
And all of Babylon knew of the Lord because of Daniel and his role.
In the Kingdom.
We could look at example after example after example, but as you think about this idea of spiritual influence, please understand that it's not something that's just limited to a select few.
It's not just Old Testament prophets or these kind of key individuals in these places in history.
But I would suggest you this morning that every one of you as a believer in Jesus Christ you are called to be a spiritual influencer.
And I think this is clearly demonstrated in the Great Commission in Matthew Chapter 28. Jesus says go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son, and.
Of the Holy Spirit.
Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end.
Of the age, Amen.
Think about what Jesus says here.
Talking to his disciples, he says, go therefore and make disciples.
This is something you need to know about following Jesus.
Following Jesus being a disciple means.
That you go and make disciples.
Disciples make disciples.
Disciples don't just follow and receive, and then that's it.
Disciples follow the Lord and receive and then turn around.
Jesus says in verse 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.
You, as a disciple, received from the Lord, are instructed by the Lord.
You learn of the Lord.
You learn his nature, his characteristics.
You take steps of obedience.
You learn how to deal with temptation and sin.
You learn how to navigate challenging marital situations.
You learn how to be a witness in the workplace.
You you learn all of this as a follower of Jesus and Jesus says now turn around.
And help others to learn those things too.
Disciples make disciples.
And if you're not making disciples.
Then you're not a disciple because disciples make.
Disciples, we know one of the reasons why this is not just a command that it was given to those guys on that day when Jesus delivered the message.
Because it says in verse 20 even to the end of the age.
Even to the end of the age, now none of the disciples lasted on this life to the end of the age.
But Jesus made this point.
I'll be with you to the end of the age so.
Who are disciples through all the ages up until the end of the age you today as a disciple would know?
This is instruction.
For you go therefore and make disciples.
And so you can be a spiritual influencer.
Spiritual influencers have a relationship with God that enables them to teach doctrine.
To represent God to restrain disobedience.
To make an impact.
Towards the things of God on the lives of the people around them, I I would encourage you now to consider this in the context of the home.
In your home.
Who is a spiritual influencer?
In your home.
You might think, well, OK, I know if he's.
In chapter 5.
Husbands are to be the head.
Of the house.
True does say that.
Doesn't mean that the husband is to be the only spiritual influencer.
Your job is to be a spiritual influence in your home.
To have a relationship with God, to know God and to such a degree that you're able to then impart and be part of teaching doctrine and representing God to your husband to your family.
To restrain disobedience, and this is really important because a lot of times husbands head of the home.
You're not the spiritual influencer that God has called you to be.
And although God has set the order, that doesn't mean that you have the right or the opportunity to to then just do what you want and live how you want.
But what God has called you to do husband is to have a real relationship with God and receive from him so that you can then be an influence on the home that God is entrusted to you.
It's not that God is placed, the man is the head of the home, and so wives just be quiet and don't ever say anything.
And don't have any impact.
That's not how it works.
I'll let Pastor might teach that message later.
He can fill in all the.
Husband and wife should be.
A spiritual influence on each other.
Encouraging each other, helping each other, having their own connection to God, but then using those things that are received from the Lord to help each other grow and progress and develop and keep their home in the place where God wants it to be.
And many of the problems we see in the home.
Are there because husband you are not a spiritual influencer?
You're not making an impact for the Kingdom of God.
Maybe you have your rules and your regulations and your whole House knows the schedule that you want and the way that you like you know your meals prepared and things set out and things to go but.
But your household is not benefiting from a real spiritual influence from you.
Many of the problems we see at home is because.
Wife, Mom, you're not the spiritual influence that that is needed.
Your voice needs to be heard and there needs to be that that passing on of what you receive from the Lord to your husband, to your children.
God is called each of us to be a spiritual influencer.
As believers in Jesus as followers of Jesus that applies.
To the home.
That applies to the workplace.
Again, looking at the Prophet Daniel, who is in a secular workplace, he was.
An official in the Government of Babylon.
And he had great influence.
Not just because he had this powerful position, but the people around him knew that Daniel knew God and knew of God and about God because of Daniel's influence in their life.
Your church needs you to be a spiritual influencer to have your own strong relationship with God so that when you come here, it's not just to receive, but also to impart.
That you would be able to help others.
Well, that you would be making disciples helping others to know God and walk with him as well.
And so Joanna here we see as a a great example of a spiritual influencer.
Made a huge impact on King Joash, and on the nation as a whole and one person.
Who knows God and walks with God?
Can make such a big difference to all the world around them.
But another option.
What type of spiritual life are you living?
You might be living the life of a spiritual.
Influencer, I pray that you are.
But perhaps this morning, if you were honest and evaluated this, you would find yourself not so much an influencer, but instead a dependent a spiritual dependent.
We're going to look.
Now at King Josh specifically and see what changed.
After Jehoiada is off the scene, check out verse 17 and 18.
Says now after the death of Jehoiada, the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them.
Therefore, they left the House of the Lord God of their fathers and served wooden images and idols.
And Wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass.
Notice what happens with King Joe Ash.
After the death of Jehoiada.
Perhaps manipulated, perhaps deceived.
By the other leaders of Judah.
And he listens.
To these other people who want to take the nation into full on rebellion against God.
After the spiritual influence is removed.
It doesn't take a long time for the nation to dive into idolatry.
And they they go in full out rebellion against God.
It tells us here that so that the wrath of God was stored.
Up against them.
And it's such a disappointment.
As you follow along the account of Joe Ash, oh, it's such a disappointment to get to this part and see the change that happens.
Josh has such a cool origin story.
If you like superhero type movies, you know that that origin story is often fun to experience.
You get to see them later on.
You know in their the work that they're doing, but then to go back and revisit, like how did they get here, what it, what happened there.
And of course it's all fiction and fantasy, but still I enjoy a good origin story.
Joe Ashes plays out like a great movie.
In my head.
Setting the stage going back many years his grandmother.
Her name was athaliah.
And she was a wicked queen.
When her son died, who is the king?
She saw the opportunity to seize the power she took over the nation of Judah and killed all of her grandsons.
In order to not have any threat to her power to her throne.
Only Josh survived.
Joyce survived because Joetta saw what was happening, swooped in, HID Joe Ash from Athaliah so that he was not killed.
You see that?
I mean, it's like the opening of Cinderella or you know.
So like it's like this incredible back story, right this how he was saved as a cool story and and then he's raised under the the the guidance of Joetta joetta waits for the right time.
When Josh is 7 years old.
Joetta decides now is the time.
We're poised to be able to bring the Kingdom back to its rightful place.
And there's all this strategy involved, and he has to bring in and involve all these people and schedule it at just this right time so that all of the Kingdom gets the word at once that Joey is now King and Queen Athaliah has been overthrown.
And as they're going through this ceremony and pronouncing him as king at the Lion hears the commotion and the excitement, and she comes to investigate, and she sees what's happening and she cries out treason.
It's this incredible story that.
Leads up to the rule and the reign.
Of Joe ash.
As he begins to step into his role as an adult and as king.
It's on his heart. Verse four tells us here of Chapter 24.
He sets his heart on repairing the House of the Lord.
He's not just becoming a man and now ruling and reigning in the way that he is.
You know rightfully called to do, but.
But he's involved in the Kingdom of God.
Under the influence of Jehoiada Joe Ash.
Was a godly man.
And did good things.
Did much good for the nation.
And so it's such a disappointment to find out later on.
He was actually a spiritual dependent.
As good as he looked, just.
A few years earlier.
He didn't really develop his own connection to God, his own relationship with God.
So that he is in a position to be easily swayed.
Manipulated, deceived into turning away from the Lord.
And I think this is really important to consider because I would suggest to you that Josh Josh did not know that he was a spiritual dependent.
If you would have grabbed Josh and said hey Josh.
What do you think about this?
Do you think it would be ever possible that you would turn away from God and pursue idolatry and allow that in the nation?
As Joe is like working on the temple and rebuilding things and he would look and say, are you crazy?
What's wrong with you?
Of course, that would be impossible.
I would never turn away from God.
Would be an easy statement for Josh to make.
Under the influence of Toyota.
But that influence is now gone.
And what happens?
Again, verse 17 after the after the death of Toyota.
The leaders of Judah came down and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to.
Therefore they left, they left the House of the Lord God of their fathers.
And served wooden images and idols, and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass.
As a spiritual dependent, when that strong influence was gone, he was incredibly vulnerable.
To be LED astray.
Pastor Charles Spurgeon says all that Jewish had done.
Was to give his heart to Jahada, not to Jehovah.
It is very easy to be outwardly religious by giving your heart to your mother or your father, or your aunt, or your uncle or some good person who helps you to do what is right.
But God says, my son, give me thine heart.
Josh gave his heart to Jehoiada.
And and he was.
Faithful to the Lord because Jahada was faithful to the Lord.
But again, he had no real connection to God himself.
His connection to God was based on somebody else, and their relationship with.
And and some of you listening to this right now, some of you hear this.
Or in a similar place you're a spiritual dependent, and that doesn't mean that you don't feel anything about God.
It doesn't mean that you have no desire for God.
It doesn't mean that you don't experience anything of God.
And maybe like Joe Ash, you have some good ideas.
Hey, let's rebuild the temple, maybe like Joe Ash, you want to be involved in the work of God and and you're engaged in the things of the Lord.
But when you lack your own connection to God in real relationship with God, listen.
You have a weakness within.
And and and what is there if your spiritual life is ready to crumble?
As soon as.
Your spiritual influencer is removed.
When that strong spiritual person in your life is no longer there.
Because you have no connection on your own because you haven't developed that relationship with God.
You like Joe.
Ash have given your heart to somebody else instead of God.
And now you're in a position of great vulnerability.
And so I ask you to consider this morning.
Can anyone claim you as a dependent?
Every year as you work through your.
Tax forms it's one of the questions you have to consider.
Can anybody claim you as a dependent?
Now the IRS defines that as.
When someone else provides more than half of your annual support.
You are that person dependent.
That's not the Bible, but perhaps it's a good point of reference for us to consider.
Is there someone else in your life that provides more than half?
Of your spiritual life, what you hear from God, what you receive from God.
Where does that come from?
Does that come from you having a relationship with God and connecting with him?
Spending time with him in prayer and in the word, and engaging with him and and hearing from him and taking steps of faith because he's speaking to you?
Knowing about God, think about what you know about God, the characteristics that you know of God, that the things that you appreciate and love about God.
How do you?
Know those things?
If half of what you know about God has come from other sources.
Aside from your own relationship with God.
Listen this morning I would say to you you are a spiritual dependent.
God has designed us.
To be interdependent as the body of Christ.
And there will never be a time where we don't receive from others and we don't, you know, allow God to work in our lives through the people around us, and God has anointed teachers and preachers and people to be influences in our life.
That that is always going to be the case, and we always need to be in that teachable condition where we receive from others 'cause that's many times how God speaks to us and works in our life.
But it's about the proportions.
It's not that I never received from anybody.
It's that I receive from others and and I get, you know, a lot of nutrition spiritually from what others around me provide.
But it's not the majority of my diet.
It's a supplement.
It's a contribution, but the majority of my spiritual diet is me connecting with the Lord myself.
Me seeking the Lord myself, me hearing from God myself.
How does God speak to you?
And if you would tell me this morning, well, God doesn't.
Really speak to me.
Then I would suggest you have no spiritual life at all and you need to be born again.
And when we're born again, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our heart, and we have a real connection to God, and he speaks to us, and we speak to him.
And that's what God is desired all along is that relationship with us.
And that is what many times is lacking.
And we find ourselves in that place of dependency.
Even if at one time we were influencers at one time we had a vibrant relationship with God and a strong connection and we were hearing from him but.
Perhaps there's been a season of regression and.
Today, if you're honest, you would realize I'm in a place of dependency.
How has God been speaking to you this year so far 2022?
If more than half.
Of what God has been saying to you.
Is through someone else.
You're in a place of dependency.
If Pastor Mike provides more than half of your spiritual support.
If the words that you hear from God more than half of them come through Pastor Mike, he's a great guy.
I love him.
But you're not called to be his dependent.
He is called to have an influence on you and to impart the.
Word of God to you.
But not that you rely upon him, so that if he goes away now, you have no spiritual life, because your connection to the Lord was through Pastor Mike or through your spouse or through your parent, or through someone else around you.
That that's what happened for King Joe Ash.
His connection to God was king or not king, but.
The high priest Toyota.
And when joy was gone, King Joe Ash found he had no real connection to God himself.
And so again consider your home.
Can your wife claim you as a dependent?
If you're filling out your spiritual tax form.
You're walking through it.
Stand before the Lord.
What did you do with what I gave you?
Did you hear the words I was speaking to you?
And you say, well, I heard the things that my wife shared.
Can your husband claim you as a dependent?
Husband and wife.
You are to be influencers towards each other.
To have your own connection to God to help each other to grow and develop as believers in Jesus.
And it should not be the case.
That your connection to God is through your spouse.
As close as our relationships can be and as beautiful as that can be.
Your relationship to God must not be through your spouse.
Can you honestly say?
That you have your own connection to God that you hear from God.
Think about the steps of obedience that you've taken.
New things that you've done out of obedience.
Where did that instruction come from?
Where did that command come from?
Or when you've found yourself in a place of disobedience and and there was the need for repentance.
Where where does that caldora pendance come from?
Are you hearing that from the Lord, or are you hearing that from the Lord through other avenues and sources?
Because you don't have your own relationship with God?
What steps of faith have you taken, and is it because well, husband or wife really believes this is of God?
And so I trust them, and so I'm going to step out in faith with them because they've heard from God.
Or is it because I have heard from God also and God is speaking to me about this and I'm going to take this step of faith in response to what God is speaking to me, not just what God is speaking to you.
The things you know about the Lord.
Do you know them because of your own encounters with the Lord?
Or is it somebody else who holds that?
Place between you and God in and they're a great influence and it's it's good.
That they are there.
But what about?
When they're gone.
Here's the thing about being independent.
When you're independent, then guess what you're dependent.
You're dependent on someone else and their relationship with God and what happens when that person.
For Josh, he fell hard.
He didn't just dabble in a little bit of compromise. He didn't just kind of like, you know, slightly, you know, open up 1% of.
He fell into absolute rebellion against God. Check out verse 22 here of Chapter 24, it says.
Thus, Joe asked the king did not remember the kindness which jahada his father had done to him.
But killed his son, and as he died.
He said the Lord looked on.
It and repay.
Turns away from God and starts to involve himself in idolatry.
God sends prophets.
To call him back.
God sends other influencers to.
Try to make an influence and to bring Josh back.
To doing what is right in the sight of the Lord, one of the prophets that God sent.
Was the son of Jehoiada.
Remember this guy Jehoiada, who protected him when his evil grandmother was killing all his brothers and sisters?
Raised him, helped him guided him, protected him.
Kept the Kingdom together until he was old enough to handle it.
Remember this guy joetta?
His son comes to Joe Ash.
Says God calling you back to repentance.
And Joe Ash says, I don't care.
About what Joetta did before all the good that he showed me, I don't care doesn't matter goydish Lloyd.
Yeah, and he puts his son to death.
I mean, how far do you fall to go from being under the great influence here of joy to to now not even esteeming his son, who stands before you with the message of God to call you to repentance.
He says I don't care my hardest hard.
My heart is wicked I want to pursue what I want to pursue.
And death to you, son of Jehoiada.
This really demonstrates for us the depravity of our sinful flesh, and This is why it's so important to not be content living as a spiritual dependent.
Because it might be OK for the time that your spiritual influencer is there.
But you are not guaranteed to have that kind of spiritual influence all the time and you will be weak and vulnerable if that spiritual influence are goes away.
And you might say I would never do that just like Josh would have said, I would never kill the son of Joetta.
But as a dependent.
You will find the foundation crumble.
Because you haven't developed your own relationship with God.
God does not want anyone to be a spiritual dependent for very long.
There is an appropriate season of dependency.
Just like tax returns, right?
There is an appropriate time in your life for you to say yes.
Somebody else can claim me as a dependent as a minor.
That's the appropriate thing.
But there should be some maturity that happens, and as you grow.
In a similar way, in a spiritual world.
It's appropriate as a new believer.
Yes, naturally most of what you receive from the Lord and hear about the Lord and understand of the Lord is going to be through other.
Sources, as people are disciple ING you and helping you to understand the things of God that's appropriate, but there comes a time where now you've been independent for too long.
And you should have your own relationship with God, but instead you are dependent upon others.
To do that for you, Hebrews chapter 5.
The author of Hebrews, writing to a group.
Of people who.
In a similar situation to Jewish, they're on the verge of running away from the truth of God.
And the author of Hebrews says, though by this time you ought.
To be teachers.
You need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God.
And you've come to need milk and not solid food.
Notice the first part there.
By this time you ought to be teachers or this morning I'll say it this.
Way, by this time you ought to be influencers.
You've known about God for long enough.
You've been around the things of the Lord long enough.
By this time you ought to have your own connection to God and be receiving from him and be receiving so much so that there's even overflow for you to impart.
To friends to family.
Fellow church members, coworkers that there should be some influence that you're having because you have this strong relationship to God.
But the problem for the Hebrews is they were spiritual dependents and he says you need someone to teach again the first principles.
Of the oracles or the teachings of God, you're still stuck in the ABCS spiritually.
Because you've never developed your own relationship with God, you need milk and not solid food because you're independent.
You're just wanting the bottle continually.
And hey, that's a comfortable place to be.
Hey you go hear from the Lord and then just come and tell me that's that's nice and easy and comfortable.
But it's a place of great vulnerability.
By this time, some of you.
Right here in.
This room, by this time some of you should.
Have been influencers by now.
But do you find yourself in a place of dependency?
Verse 17 again now after the death of Joetta, the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them.
Joe Ash, Joe Ash as a spiritual dependent.
Was easily swayed.
Because he did not have his own foundation in the.
Things of the Lord.
Pastor Warren Rigsby says if you lean on others and fail to develop spiritual depth.
Your spiritual life.
Will be gone when those people are gone.
Again, this is the problem.
The vulnerability of being a spiritual dependent.
You know the saying tomorrow is promised to no one.
And usually we think of that in the.
Context of ourselves.
Tomorrow is not promised to me.
This evening is not promised to me, and it's not.
Promised to you, right?
We think of that in our own context, but.
You should also evaluate it in the context of your spiritual influencers.
Whoever that is, that is that spiritual influence in your life they're not promised tomorrow and tomorrow, that person could be gone.
Back at living water, we're a small church.
Over the past year and a half.
We've seen three people become widows.
And one guy become a widower.
For us as a small church, it's devastated like this, that all of these are our family.
And each one of these spouses now who?
Their spouse has gone into eternity.
Are now having to discover.
Do they have their own relationship with God?
I mean, I'm not trying to bring you down and make you depressed or anything, but this is a reality.
Your spouse is not promised tomorrow, and if they're gone tomorrow, where is?
Your relationship with God.
Your parents are not promised tomorrow.
Your friend, your pastor, your whoever that spiritual influences in your life.
And as much as you would say, well, I would never turn away from the things of God.
I would never wander from the things of God.
You can say that till you're blue in the face, but all you have to do is look at Joe, Ash, and.
Say yeah, he would have said those exact same things.
But as a dependent.
He was not prepared.
To be strong on his own in the things of the Lord, do you think Joe Ash?
Is in heaven right now?
Something challenging to consider?
We don't know.
The Bible doesn't tell us.
Only the Lord knows.
There was opportunity probably for him to turn and get right with God and develop his own relationship with God.
Towards the end of his life, hopefully, perhaps.
Ezekiel Chapter 18 God walks through some situations here and he says, look if a righteous person turns away from righteousness and commits iniquity that turns to a life of iniquity.
God says, listen.
His previous righteousness would not be remembered.
He'd be dealt with according to his iniquity, and by the Grace of God, the inverse is true.
God says if someone has lived a life of iniquity, but they turn from that and embrace God, and walk with God, and receive the forgiveness of God, their iniquity will not be remembered, and instead they'll be clothed in the righteousness of Christ, like that is the grace of God.
But as we much as we appreciate that and then we need to know that so that we come to God, even no matter how far how far we've gone or how bad we've been.
But we also need to understand that you can't just.
Say, well, I did a bunch of righteousness.
Josh couldn't say listen, I built the temple and I restored it and so that's good enough and now I can live.
However, I want to live.
With no real eternal consequences, it doesn't.
Work that way.
Can anyone claim you as a spiritual dependent?
If half of what God speaks to you comes through someone else.
You're a spiritual dependent and listen, your soul is at stake.
Eternity is on the line.
You need to recognize your condition and develop a real relationship with God as a saying.
God has no grandchildren.
That is, everybody who is in right relationship with God.
Connect with him personally.
You can't have a relationship with God and receive the blessings and eternity with God on the basis of your parrot.
You must be born again and be a son and daughter of God in the fullest sense of the word.
I could also say it this way.
God has no in-laws.
That you will not have right relationship with God on the basis of your spouse.
Or your family.
You cannot experience what God has for you and the blessings of God only through other people around you.
You need to develop your own walk.
It's going to take some effort and listen.
This message is not about teaching you how to do that.
I understand that that's a deficiency in this message that I'm bringing to you this morning.
This is an awareness.
This is a call to pay attention to your own condition and then beyond this.
OK, you realize you're independent now.
Understand who your influencers are and go work with them and say can you teach me how to hear from God like you hear from God.
Can you teach me and disciple me, teach me to know God and walk with God in the way that you do?
Because I need to develop.
And it's not that that spiritual influencer has less and less influence on your life.
Now, what really happens is they continue to influence your life but your own spiritual life grows and develops so that you hear more and more from the Lord.
And it's the proportion that changes.
Now you don't hear less from God because you're developing your own relationship with God.
Other people are still having the influence, just like God designed.
But you now have.
Lead a foundation.
With your own encounters with God.
Learning to hear from him and walk.
So this morning you might be a spiritual influencer.
You might be a spiritual dependent.
Or finally you might be a spiritual captive.
Look at verses 17 through 19.
Again, it says.
Now, after the death of Jehoiada, the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them.
Therefore, they left the House of the Lord God of their fathers and served wooden images and idols.
And Wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass.
Yet he sent prophets to them.
To bring them back to the Lord, and they testified against them.
But they would not listen.
Here, as we look at these verses again, we're focusing on the leaders of Judah.
After the death of Jehoiada, it tells us in verse 17 the leaders came.
To Joe ash.
The leaders of Judah.
We're waiting for this opportunity.
They wanted to turn to idolatry a long time ago.
But there was a restraining force.
Jehoiada and his godly influence kept them from pursuing the evil that they wanted to pursue.
But now that that influence is gone.
They see their chance.
They come and make their case, Josh.
We want to pursue idolatry and we don't know the arguments that they made.
They were very persuasive, or perhaps manipulative or deceptive.
And they convinced Joe Ash to let them chase after these things.
The only reason they haven't pursued idolatry is because well before this it would have meant a fight.
They would have had to face joida and be honest about what they wanted and their desires and they would have to fight this fight.
And they weren't willing to do that.
But now that the influencer is gone, they decide.
You know, probably it's not.
Going to be a fight.
We could probably get this to happen now.
And so they were faithful during the time of jehoiada, but it was forced.
It was external.
In a similar way during the Millennium.
The thousand year reign of Christ that is yet to come.
There's going to be a forced righteousness where those who survive those who populate the Millennium will be obedient to God, but for not for all of them.
Will it be because they want to.
Zechariah Chapter 14 talks about the nations that will not come to worship the Lord at Jerusalem and how rain will be withheld from their nation and the plagues will come upon them that that there will be this immediate consequence for disobeying God during that time.
And so there will be righteousness during that time, but it's going to be forced.
And that's why at the end, when Satan is given.
His freedom and leads one last rebellion.
There's going to be many who join up with him to try to rebel against God one last time.
At the end of the Millennium.
Well, they're spiritual captives during that time.
They want to pursue other things.
But they're not willing to suffer the consequences or to fight the fight.
Taking this to your home, your children may be captives.
And in some sense that might be appropriate and that you as a spiritual influencer you say.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
And you exert that influence as much as you can during the time that you have until you're out of the picture.
And then it's up to them and it's between them and the Lord.
Whether or not they're going to pursue after the things of God or not.
Your spouse might be a captive.
They don't really want to be here this morning.
That person next to you.
But it's easier than the fight that would have to happen for them to not be with you here, this.
Morning you know what I mean?
Sometimes it's easier.
I don't want it.
I hate this.
There's a worse way to spend a Sunday morning, but.
It's better than the fight that I would have to have and the week that I'd have to have after that fight.
You know, I'll just go along and put up with it.
It's the easiest route.
The least resistance.
But boy, if that spouse was removed.
Maybe your that captive, maybe you wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for some influencer in your life and the fight that you would have to fight to not be here if that was removed, you'd be like fouzia.
I never have to go to church again.
Are you the captive?
Do you think the leaders of Judah?
Are in heaven.
Who led Joe Ash down this path of idolatry?
We're talking about life and death.
We're talking about eternity.
To be a spiritual captive.
It's a tragic place to be.
For some of you as spiritual influencers you you need to understand this and and have a little bit of discernment in those that you're influencing.
Are they dependents or are they captives dependency?
You can teach them?
You need to teach them.
To develop their own relationship with God.
You need to hold the line and be firm and and you need to be praying for God to transform the heart.
Listen, if you're here today and you recognize, yeah, I'm a spiritual captive.
You can't change that on your own.
You can't turn things around by just OK, I'm gonna make a New Year's resolution and change things.
We know that doesn't work.
The captives are set free.
By running to the Lord.
So you need to ask God.
To change your heart.
The worship team is.
Going to close this in a song in just a moment and so I would invite you again.
To have this moment of honesty between you and the Lord, would you evaluate your heart?
Where are you at?
Are you a spiritual influencer, really?
Do you hear from God and walk with God and make an impact on the world around you because of your real and vibrant relationship with God?
Or are you a spiritual dependent and the majority of what you know about God the majority of what you hear from God?
It comes from other sources.
And you haven't learned how to develop your own connection to God.
What do you find yourself this?
Morning as a spiritual captive.
You're along for the ride 'cause it's easier.
Than the fight.
And you don't want that battle, but you also don't really want to be involved in the things of God.
And your first opportunity out you're going.
To take it.
Listen, recognize that that's your heart recognize.
That eternity is on the line as a dependent, as a captive and make this morning the opportunity for the change.
That you can turn to the law.
And he can transform your life in your heart.
He can develop in you a real spiritual life and you get the privilege.
The opportunity to know the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
As yourself, the creator of the heavens and the earth wants to speak to you about your life and your situations, and you need to know him and spend time with him.
What type of spiritual life do you have?
The worship team is going to.
Come up and as they lead us in this song, the prayer team is going to be up here.
And I would encourage you.
I would challenge you.
Come up for prayer if you find yourself today as a spiritual.
Dependent come up for prayer.
Ask for prayer.
Ask for help with the change that God needs to do, but also perhaps maybe they have some.
Helpful for steps for you.
How do I transition from a dependent?
How do I get out of that state of dependency and hear?
From the Lord on my own.
If you find yourself as a captive.
You recognize the hardness of your heart and God's opened your eyes. Right now he's given you this moment of clarity so that you have an opportunity to change and you can. You can choose not to.
And your heart will grow harder.
And you'll be more opposed to the things of God so many times we think of putting off things and it'll be easier later.
But just think about it like doing the dishes.
If you wait a couple weeks to do the dishes, it's not going to be easier to clean off that gunk than it is today.
Today is going to be the easiest.
Me to deal with that adultery today is going to be the easiest day to deal with that failure.
That sin in your life another day is not going to be easier.
Today is going to be the easiest day to come clean.
To be set free.
And to allow God to do something new in your life, let's worship the Lord and invite him to transform us to be more like him.