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As people who want to begin to change the trends, let us, like Josiah, be people who begin to seek God.
God has a standard He expects His children to strive to uphold and live by. He not only has standards for individuals, but for cities and even countries as well.

The Bible tells us that Josiah was a man who worked to uphold godly principles in the city of Judah. Although Josiah became king at the age of eight, he reigned for 31 years by not compromising his or God's standards. Josiah was a true Pacesetter for his time.

There are some important traits of a person who begins to set a new standard. Let's examine Josiah's formula for being a Pacesetter.
  1. He Knew He Had to Pray (2 Chronicles 34:3)
    The Bible says that while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father, David. Josiah had a burning desire to know God as much as David knew God.

    I can imagine Josiah reading the stories of how David was a mighty warrior who slew giants and captured cities. Josiah knew that the secret of David's strength was communion with God. Therefore, Josiah knew that the way to know God was to spend time in prayer.

    Prayer is literally when we, as finite people, begin to speak with an infinite God. E. M. Bounds wrote, "That Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees." Josiah knew that his power to effect his nation would begin in the prayer closet. He also knew that you are never too young to get serious about God.

    As people who want to begin to change the trends, let us, like Josiah, be people who begin to seek God. Jesus is the only one who can change the tide that is sweeping our land and so we must begin to march as soldiers on our knees.

  2. He Took Action Concerning His Convictions
    Josiah did not simply stay in his prayer closet, but put a plan to his prayers. At the age of 20, he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the "high places." All the witchcraft and pagan religions were cleared out of the temples and countryside.

    Josiah had the fire of God burning inside of him that compelled him to bring change. Josiah knew that he could not do everything, but he knew he could do something. Josiah was a man that began to lead others by example. We can do the same thing in our day and our hour. As ones called to raise the standard, let us make the same commitment as Josiah did - one of ACTION!

    As a pastor, I was challenged one night not only to pray for the youth of my city, but to go out and reach them. As I was driving down the main street, my heart broke as I saw literally hundreds of youth lost without Jesus.

    I began to pray that the Holy Spirit would begin to pull them into church. However, that was not good enough, God wanted to do more. I was challenged by the Lord to go out to the streets and talk with the youth. We started Friday Night Invasion where I and fifty other students would hit the streets to share our faith.

    I challenged our youth with the need to put action to our convictions. As a result of our efforts, we saw many youth come to know Christ. We began to change the trend in our city on Friday nights from cruising in cars to cruising for Christ. The result was an explosion of boldness and tremendous growth within our youth church.

  3. Josiah Was Honest About Sin
    Josiah was honest about his own life and how it had come short. We read that he tore his robes when he heard the Word of God. Josiah had realized that he had been coming up short with his lifestyle and he wanted to do something about it.

    We, as people wanting to change the trends, must get honest about our lives and how they are measuring up to the Word of God. You see, Josiah knew that sin had to be dealt with because sin is a killer.

    The Bible states the wages of sin is death, both physical and spiritual. Anytime we have sin that is in our lives we will pay a price. We must be quick to repent and confess so that cleansing might occur.

    We read in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

    To confess means to agree with God that our actions are wrong and that we must turn away from them. Josiah knew that in order to bring change that he needed to be honest with his sin and the sin of the people. In order for us to see radical change, we must do the same thing.
Another Example
Less than 100 years ago there was another young man who was not afraid to get honest about sin. This man, Evan Roberts, had a profound experience with God in which he experienced cleansing and awakening in his own life. Roberts began preaching that people needed to confess any known sin to God.

They needed to make right any wrong done to man, put away any doubtful habit, and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Within three months a hundred thousand converts filled the churches of Wales. Roberts was not afraid to call sin by its name.

He was a man who got honest about sin in his life and challenged those around him to do the same. The result was a changing of the trends and the setting of a new standard. Evan Roberts became a pacesetter.

Our challenge is to go do the same.

Source: Pacesetters by Benny Perez
Excerpt permission granted by WinePress Publishing

Author Biography

Benny Perez
Web site: Benny Perez Ministries
 
Pastor Benny Perez has an incredible passion for Jesus and it is in that passion that he has been called one of the leading voices to this generation. His ministry has been marked by unique ways of ministering, and God has used him as a means to bring revival and genuine transformation in the hearts and lives of countless thousands. Pastor Benny could be defined in part as being real, relevant and very responsive to the needs of people.
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