One of my favorite Disney stories is Cinderella. I’ve always been a person that roots for the underdog, so perhaps that’s why this story has always been a favorite. In the animated movie, there is the scene where Cinderella and her step-sisters learn of the upcoming ball. They are all full of excitement – as any young girl would be – especially when they learn that the prince is to choose a bride from all the eligible young ladies. The mean step-sisters flit around each thinking so highly of themselves that they would be the chosen girl to marry the prince. As Cinderella mentions going, her step-mother gets an evil glean in her eye and says, “Yes, of course, you can go…” and then she drops a bombshell with one two letter word – “if.” If she got all the chores done. If she had something suitable to wear. If. The evil-step mother sabotaged Cinderella with just the word “if.”
Joash (also called Jehoash) was only seven years old when he was crowned king of Judah. The Bible tells us that as long as the priest, Jehoiada, instructed him, the young king did what was right in the sight of the Lord. In the midst of many evil kings, this young king wears the crown and did what pleased God. But then the bombshell drops with “Even so.” The New King James uses just one word – “But.” Joash did what pleased God – Even so, he left the fertility shrines.
As soon as Jehoiada had Joash crowned king, he made a covenant between God, the king, and the people that they would be God’s people and they all went to the temple of Baal and tore it down, broke the altars and images and killed the priest of Baal. They started out well – but they didn’t finish the job. They left the shrines in place and the people still sacrificed and burned incense there. By not doing so, Joash left a door cracked open for the people to return to idol worship. Anytime we leave the door of sin cracked open, Satan will stick his foot in the crack and swing the door wide open – and that’s what happens to Joash and the people. In 2 Chronicles 24 we learn that as soon as Jehoiada died, Joash and the people “left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass.” (verses 17-18). As a result, Joash’s servants take action and they assassinate him and make his son king in his place (2 Kings 12:20-21).
By leaving the fertility shrines in place, Joash left a door cracked open. Anytime we leave the door of sin cracked open, Satan will stick his foot in the crack and swing the door wide open. –click to tweet
We should never underestimate the power of small words such as “if,” or “but” or “even so.” We’ve all had those kinds of moments.
She had felt called to be a missionary, but she had to get married and he wouldn’t go.
He would have been promoted, if he had better work attendance.
They could have avoided divorce. Even so he couldn’t stop flirting with his secretary.
She tried losing weight, but couldn’t resist chocolate.
He felt God called him to the ministry. Even so, he was too afraid to quit his well-paying
job and go to seminary.
If someone were writing this verse about you and said, “[Insert your name] did what pleased God all the days of his/her life. Even so…” how would the sentence be finished for you? We can live all the days of our lives in a way that pleases God, but then not do that one thing or not finish the task and in doing it, we invite sin into our lives. Would you confess the “even so” to God now and ask for His forgiveness? Would you repent and turn away from your “even so?” Would you close the door to it and never go back?
We should also never underestimate the people that God puts in our lives to help steer us in the way we should go. Can you identify a “Jehoiada” in your life? Do you listen to this person of Godly wisdom? If that person was somehow no longer a part of your life, would you continue in the wisdom he or she planted in you – or would you return to the life you had before they entered your life?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.