2 Chronicles 33:13
“And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.”
Manasseh’s journey to a personal realization of God’s realness in his life was a longer journey than needed. His father was Hezekiah, and though his father died when he was just a young man, he had to see how God worked in his father’s life. However, just like many young people who grew up in a Christian home, he seemed not to learn the realness of God by observation and experience, but he had to learn through sin’s consequences.
Every person must come to a point in their life when they make God their God. Manasseh’s long journey to come to this realization can be much shorter for you if you will learn the lessons through observation and experience instead of judgment. Manasseh’s life teaches the Believer four lessons on how to make God your God.
First, your parent’s experiences with God will not suffice for you. Manasseh could have relied on his father’s experiences, but we can see that his father’s experiences were not good enough to make God his God. You may be a second or third generation Christian, but God will never become your God until you live like you are a first generation Christian. Just because your parents were spiritual or were used of God doesn’t mean that you inherit their spirituality and reality of God’s sovereignty and power. You can certainly learn from your parent’s experiences, but hand-me-down Christianity has never produced a fervent and effective Christian.
Second, God becomes your God through humility. Your parent’s experiences with God do not make you someone special to God. Manasseh had to learn the hard way that God wasn’t impressed that he wore the crown for Judah. Likewise, God is not impressed with you because of your parents walk with Him. You will never learn the power and sovereignty of God when you think you are somebody because of your heritage. Humility is always the first step towards having a personal relationship with God. 1 Peter 5:5 reminds us that “…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” You will never know the graces and experience of God’s goodness until you are humbled that He would even take knowledge of you.
Third, God becomes your God through sanctification and holiness. In verse 15, Manasseh put away the strange gods and idols that Judah had set up. God cannot be real in your life and heart as long as your past success has become your god. Holy living from the past doesn’t make us holy Believer’s today. You will discover God’s presence in your life as you live a life of sanctification. Sadly, we add many gods and idols in our lives when we believe that we inherited God’s blessings, but when we begin to put these things away is when God starts to become more real to each individual.
Fourth, God becomes your God through experience. This is why living the life of faith is so important because it is in the life of faith where you see God come through in a personal way. A personal walk with God is so vital to learn His truths personally and to have your own answer to prayers. If you live off the experiences of the past, God will become a God of the past instead of a God of the present. Let me encourage you to let God give you present-day experiences because without them you will find that other gods will move into your life.