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God knew 322 years before Josiah was born what his destiny was going to be. God looked into the future and saw the need for a Pacesetter - someone who moves out in front and sets the pace for future generations to follow.

In the book of Ephesians 2:10 we read:
For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
God has a plan for you to fulfill that no one else can fulfill but you!

Josiah was God's person to bring about the standard in Judah once again. We read that Josiah became king at eight years of age. He reigned for thirty-one years and did not turn to the right or to the left but he kept his focus straight on God!

Josiah was not going to follow the trends of the society around him, but was going to make a change - he was rising up to be the Pacesetter…he was setting the standard not following the trend.

Let's look at one important trait that allowed Josiah to succeed and become a Pacesetter.

Calling Others
Josiah knew that he could not change the trends by himself; he needed to enlist other people to help him.

What is happening in our world and churches is too big for one person to bring change. God is calling the whole army to rally to the call of a higher standard.

We read in 2 Chronicles 34:32 that Josiah had everyone pledge to follow the Word of the Lord. After Josiah rediscovered God's Word, it changed him. The change in Josiah effected him so much that it naturally began to effect the ones he had influence over.

Notice what Josiah did:
Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book….
(2 Chron. 34:31)
A Personal Example
It reminds me of what happened here at TC 2 Youth Ministries of Marysville First Assembly of God. In the spring of 1992, God called me to come to the great Northwest. I was working at the time in Apple Valley, California, as a youth pastor.

The phone rang one day and on the other end was Ken Squires, who was becoming Senior Pastor of Marysville First Assembly. He asked me over the phone to become the youth pastor of his new church. I can remember asking him where in the world was Marysville, Washington? I knew God was getting ready to move me, but I thought it was to the limelight not the moonlight of Marysville.

But God had other plans because significant movements start in small places.

After taking the position, I realized I had inherited a youth ministry of 20 students. The majority of them were cold and apathetic to the things of God. I wondered what was God doing to me and if He had made a mistake. However, the Lord knew that the students were Pacesetters who only needed someone to call them to set the standard and not follow the trend!

I began to do just that, and the students began to respond. The radical call to commitment brought radical change to a ministry and a city. The first year we saw our youth ministry grow to over 100 students. The power of God was so evident as we saw lives touched and changed.

The students began to learn the principles that Josiah taught his people. Here's what they learned:
  1. They knew they had to pray.
  2. They became activists. They took action concerning their convictions.
  3. They became honest about their sin and confessed it.
  4. They rediscovered the Word of God and began to live by it.
  5. They called others to join them in following Christ.
The results have been nothing less than miraculous. The youth ministries of Marysville First Assembly of God has exploded into a movement that is impacting a county, and influencing the youth culture. At present, the youth church has grown to 500, with meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

We have realized that by a few calling a few, who continue to call a few more, very quickly a great movement can be built. The key to remember is that it is Jesus, the ultimate Pacesetter, who is the One who receives all the glory.

We must do our part to continue realizing who we are in Christ so that we can allow Christ's power to flow out of our lives. That is how we can set the trends.

Source: Pacesetters: Setting the Standard, Not Following the Trend by Benny Perez
Excerpt permission granted by WinePress Publishing

Author Biography

Benny Perez
Web site: Benny Perez
Pastor Benny Perez is a dynamic communicator with a passion to see people encounter Jesus. Benny and his wife, Wendy Perez, pastor ChurchLV in Las Vegas, Nevada. ChurchLV is a multi-ethnic and multi-generational church that exists to help lead people to encounter new life in Jesus.

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