Grabbing A Dog By It’s Ears 

2 Chronicles 35:21
“But he sent messengers to him, saying, ‘What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you.,'”

Josiah had a tremendous ministry with wide spreading impact. His personal commitment to the Lord resulted in a national revival that even drew people from other nations to commit themselves to YHWH. While we could discuss in detail the long lasting affects of his ministry, I was struck by what cut it short. We read that he began to meddle in things that were not the Lord’s call on his life. He started fighting the wrong battle, and it cost him his life. A few verses come to mind when I think of the premature death of Josiah.

2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Paul used the phrase “good fight” or “good warfare” on three occasions. Once, he explained that his life was coming to an end and that he had spent it fighting the good fight. Twice he exhorted Timothy to do the same. It was important to Paul, and should be important to us, that we stay focussed and maintain the proper focus in ministry. It is easy to get sidetracked into battles that just don’t matter. Solomon put it like this,

Proverbs 26:17  “He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.”

The imagery is quite vivid. Grabbing a dog by the ears is a really bad idea and will result in an unnecessary hospital visit, which will probably include a shot with a very long needle.

It is possible to lose sight of what we have been called to and get caught up in a host of lesser things. I have seen ministries that were once vibrant in winning people to Christ, making disciples, sending out saints, become sterile. Their focus became building the church, getting too political or becoming overly concerned with what other leaders are doing.

We learned from Martha that it is possible to get sidetracked by just about anything, even duties. The important thing is that we remain focused on what God has called us to do. I remember a quote from Charles Spurgeon that went something like this,

“If God has called you to preach don’t stumble along the way to become a king.”

Let’s keep our eyes focused on Jesus, and our time spent on what he has called us to.

Pastor Jim

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