“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Going Beyond the Past, by Randall D. Kittle
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“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”— Isaiah 43:18–19

If we are not careful, we can easily begin to use he hurts and wounds of the past as an excuse for our present circumstances.  Regardless of how terrible and wicked your family roots or your upbringing may be, you can be a great champion for Christ if you will choose to move beyond your past.

Such was the case of young King Josiah. For the first six years of his life, he lived in the palace where his grandfather Manasseh ruled. His grandfather was a very wicked and evil king. “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. … He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger” (2 Kings 21:2–6).

After Manasseh died his son Amon, Josiah’s father, became king. Having grown up watching the wicked ways of his father, is it any wonder Amon, too, was a very wicked king in the eyes of the Lord. “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. He walked in all the ways of his father; he worshiped the idols his father had worshiped, and bowed down to them” (2 Kings 21:20–21). Amon was so wicked, that the servants in the palace conspired to murder him! This was the godless and bloody heritage that Josiah inherited.

Having been raised and nurtured in a godless and evil family, you would naturally think Josiah would follow in his father’s footsteps and be a wicked, idolatrous king. However, the Bible tells us that he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David, not earthly father Amon. As a boy king, he began to purge the country of the idolatry of his father and grandfather. The Scriptures go on to say that no other king, including David, was like him. “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did — with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Laws of Moses” (2 Kings 23:25).

So remember, no matter what skeletons may linger in your family closet, if you will choose to pursue the Lord with all that is within you, you too can overcome your past and be a man or woman after God’s own heart.

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