Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

2 Kings 22:1-2
Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.

A few years ago as I was working on my doctorate, I attended a seminar in Jacksonville, Florida. One evening after the day’s meeting a bunch of us preachers decided to head to the coast, so we hopped on the interstate there outside of Jacksonville and took off. The beach was only about 20 minutes away so no big deal, right? Just a few minutes after setting out on our beach run the GPS on my phone told me to get off at the next exit. When I got off at the next exit I realized that the GPS had misguided us, so I turned down a side street to reroute. What we found when we rounded that corner is what makes this story. When we rounded the corner there was a huge party going on right in the street. Dancing, smoking, drinking….all kinds of not so spiritual stuff was happening right in front of us and our vehicle was literally now right in the middle of it all. What a site that must have been for the party goers as well, a bunch of preachers show up right in the middle of your shindig! Somehow we were able to get turned around without getting beat up or shot (or without one of the preachers jumping out to join the party!), and we vowed never to trust my GPS again.

Josiah is one of the most powerful examples of godly leadership in the account of the Kings of the Old Testament. Thrust into power at only 8 years old, Josiah ended up leading some of the most sweeping spiritual and national reforms in Israel’s history. Under his reign they recovered the Book of the Law of God which had been hidden for years, and Josiah led the nation to return to biblical accountability. He had a deep reverence for the Word of God and led the nation to do the same thing.

I love what the Scripture says about Josiah here at the beginning of his reign. It says he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in the way of his father David. Then it makes an interesting statement. Scripture says he did not turn to the right or to the left. Josiah chose the straight and narrow course of obedience to God’s law in all his leadership of the nation of Israel. He stayed the course, unwavering, even when all others around him were taking side streets of the road of faith.

Would to God that you and I would have the same testimony! Just like Josiah, God is calling us not to veer to the right or to the left in our walk with Him. We can’t take detours, shortcuts, or side streets with God. We can’t take the off ramp from our faith and start wandering in unknown territory. We must stay on the freeway of faith in obedience to God’s Word. Had I just stayed on that freeway (which I did after turning around), it would have taken me straight to the beach without any problems. In life, when we veer off the course of simple pursuit and obedience of the Word of God, things get sketchy quickly.

So, don’t veer of course in your relationship with Christ. Don’t veer of course in your marriage. Don’t take shortcuts in your parenting. Don’t take dark side streets in your morality. Don’t exit off the highway of witnessing. Stay the course. Keep traveling on the straight and narrow road with Jesus. Then and only then will you reach that heavenly shore with confidence.

Dear Lord Jesus, You are the only road to heaven. You say it is only those who follow the straight and narrow road with You who receive eternal life. Help me Jesus to travel the straight and narrow road with You. Help me to walk in the salvation You have won for me. In Jesus name, amen.

Isaiah 26:3
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.