Shalom Aleichem Beloved,
While spring may not officially begin until March 20, we have always felt like the new season truly started with the celebration of Passover, Good Friday, and Easter. However this year, even more so, we have truly felt that something new is being birthed both in the hearts of our family, as well as in the Spirit. As we dig deeper and chase after God’s heart for this season, we wanted to pause and share something that has been sitting heavily in our spirit.
From his grimy cell on Babylon’s death row, King Manasseh looked back on years of unspeakable crimes—worshipping the sun and stars in the Lord’s own temple, shedding the blood of innocent people, sacrificing his own sons to idols. He realized his high-handed rebellion against God had brought him nothing but pain. Then he looked up to the God of his fathers and cried out for help. Interestingly, the Bible does not tell us what King Manasseh told God. Instead, it simply tells us how he prayed. “In his distress he [King Manasseh] sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so, he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.” (2 Chronicles 33:12-13 NIV)
Humanly speaking, even God’s holy prophets must have thought King Manasseh had gone too far for the Lord to bring him back. After all, his sins had led the kingdom of Judah so deeply into idolatry that they believed the Lord’s judgment on the nation could not be cancelled. Manasseh’s despair over his wickedness could not bring back to life the people he had killed and the families he had crushed. Yet, because of God’s forgiveness, King Manasseh could come into God’s Temple a forgiven man. Freed from Babylon and given another chance to reign, Manasseh took big, bold steps to show his repentance was real, tearing down pagan altars, restoring the Temple, and worshipping the Lord publicly.
Beloved, if we want to be entrusted with the revival we are seeking; if we want to see God move like never before on this earth, then we need to take a pause and examine our hearts, minds, lives, and spirits for the idols we have cluttered into the space reserved for the Lord. To take it a step further, this self-examination needs to be a spiritual discipline repeated so that we might steward the full measure of God’s glory that He is seeking to pour out.
Caite and I are believing for the youth and our family to step into a season where we cultivate a space that does not need a tidy up, it does not need a spring deep clean, it does not need to be re-arranged. We are believing for a Tabernacle that dances on the idols smashed beneath our feet as we wholeheartedly follow in Manasseh’s footsteps, crying out for God to move.
We ask you, Lord, to come saturate our lives, hearts, and minds until there is room for nothing but the weight of your glory and presence in our lives!
In the love of Christ,
Matthew & Caite Kunkel – Tabernacle Youth Ministry Directors