When king Hezekiah initiated the reforms in Jerusalem, he began by removing the filth and rubbish from the Holy Place. This included the uncleanness that the priesthood had developed in the years of apostasy from Jehovah. Before our temples can be filled with the things of God’s Spirit, we also must first be cleansed from all filthiness (wickedness, immorality), which is never from the Lord, and thus should not be tolerated. After all, it was sin that had brought the wrath of the Lord upon Judah and Jerusalem.

Hezekiah was raised up by God’s grace to get the people back on track with the Lord. Interestingly, he calls for these very same priests, the Levites, to return to their ministry, which was vital to the people’s restoration to God. Note again the warning: “My sons, do not be negligent now”. It is all too easy to drift away from the Lord! It is also very dangerous, and Scripture cautions against it. We all need to take heed as to how our spiritual “construction” is going, and take care that our growth will not be a stumbling block to weak or young believers. We also need to guard against becoming self-confident.

The ministry of reform was first a return to the Lord, and simply to stand before Him. We are chosen to stand before Him, which enables us to stand in spiritual combat. By standing before Him we find the ways that He wants us to serve Him. Write this upon your heart, Christian worker: Ministry is serving Jesus, not myself, not even other people. Jesus inspires us to serve by His example, but true ministry is always vertical before it is horizontal. Anything else is, at best, wood, hay, and stubble.

Please note again in 2 Chronicles 29:11, that the priests were chosen to stand, serve, minister, and burn incense. This burning of incense symbolizes prayer. Prayer is the life line, the fuel of ministry. To minister effectively, pray. Seek the Lord’s face, and get your heart in line with His will.