Jehoahaz was named king of Judah in place of his father, but he reigned only 3 months.  He spent the time he had in deceit, corruption and oppression, serving only himself and his evil desires.  His father, Josiah, did what was right and just, taking care of the oppressed rather than oppressing.  “’Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD’ (Jer. 22:16b).  Unfortunately for Jehoahaz, his time was short, probably shorter than he realized despite the prophet’s repeated warnings, and he was taken captive to Egypt where he remained until he died.  I wonder if, looking back upon his short time as king, he ever regretted the decision to live life on his own terms, rather than getting to know the Lord and letting Him change his life, his purposes and his pursuits.

What does it mean to know the Lord?  He tells us right here!  Knowing Him means that our purposes will begin aligning with His purposes, our hearts will begin to look more and more like His, and what we care about will be what He cares about.  (I’m not referring to salvation here, but the sanctification process where we get to know Jesus more.)  Paul prays for the Ephesians, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Eph. 1:17, emphasis added).  He also said in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing with Him in His sufferings...”  Jehoahaz’ “eyes and…heart [were] set only on dishonest gain…” (Jer. 22:17), but we are told to “fix our eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:2), “set [our] hearts on things above, where Christ is” (Col. 3:1), “set [our] minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Col. 3:2), etc.
While these are many of my favorite verses, for years I struggled to do what they said and always felt discouraged when I didn’t constantly succeed at focusing all my attentions on eternal things and Jesus.  Part of this was because I forgot about sanctification being a process, that knowing Jesus is a journey and not something instant.  Another reason is because I didn’t have any concept of what boundless joy and freedom, beauty and wonder will be ours the moment we step foot into the presence of Jesus in Heaven.  So let me end with encouragement to think and ponder what Heaven will be like!  This is the one Place that will never disappoint, with the one Person who will never disappoint!  This is not a vacation that you imagine will be wonderful that somehow inevitably falls short of your expectations, but the one Person/Place that will constantly be filling us with awe!  One day, much sooner than we can imagine, we will step from the shadows of this world into the fullness of the next one, the Place we were created to be.  We will be with Jesus, the One we were created for.  We will finally be Home.  Every glimpse of joy we see in this world is only a foreshadowing of the unfathomable joy we’ll experience TOGETHER for all eternity!  There will be no more death, crying, sadness, pain—He will make everything in all of creation new!  We will see Him, the One our hearts long for, and we will truly and fully know Him at last!

by D'Ana Adams, Women's Ministry Team

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