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12 Step # Step 4

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“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

We are called to examine ourselves (take inventory) regularly
There are some testament examples of God calling his people to look at themselves honestly
2 Kings 18:5–7 NLT
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses. So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. He revolted against the king of Assyria and refused to pay him tribute.
Hezekiah’s Revival 13th King from Solomon
2 Chronicles 28 starts the story
Hezekiah opened the temple door that had been shut
Restored the priesthood and offerings & passover
Destroyed the idols in the land
The two kings following Hezekiah turned away Manasseh & Amon
Josiah’s renewal takes place (Josiah 16 years old when he did this)
2 Chronicles
34:1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.
3 In the eighth year of his reign (16 years old), while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols.
After Hezekiah’s tremendous renewal
It only took 76 years for it to completely dissolve
2 Chronicles
34:8 8 In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign( 26 years old), to purify the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the ruler of the city, with Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the temple of the Lord his God.
goes on to say in verse 11
11 They also gave money to the carpenters and builders to purchase dressed stone, and timber for joists and beams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin.
The kings after Hezekiah (Manasseh & Amon) had slowly allowed old ways to creep in (leaders failed)
We over time can allow things to creep back into our faith
In just 76 years their fervor for God had dwindled
They returned to old ways and not trusting God to take care of them and started trusting other beliefs and lifestyles.
Ezra Repentance
Exiles return from Babylon to rebuild temple 537 BC
They finally rebuild the temple and dedicate it 22 years later 515 BC
57 years after this, Ezra arrives to beautify the temple, over a million dollars in Gold and jewels and silver
This is what he finds
Ezra 9:1–6 NLT
When these things had been done, the Jewish leaders came to me and said, “Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the other peoples living in the land. They have taken up the detestable practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. For the men of Israel have married women from these people and have taken them as wives for their sons. So the holy race has become polluted by these mixed marriages. Worse yet, the leaders and officials have led the way in this outrage.” When I heard this, I tore my cloak and my shirt, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked. Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel came and sat with me because of this outrage committed by the returned exiles. And I sat there utterly appalled until the time of the evening sacrifice. At the time of the sacrifice, I stood up from where I had sat in mourning with my clothes torn. I fell to my knees and lifted my hands to the Lord my God. I prayed, “O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens.
In 57 years the passionate dedication to living for God was permeated with their own ideas and behaviors
The 4th step of the 12 Steps agrees with what God did throughout the centuries
It calls us to:

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Lamentations 3:40 NLT
Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.
2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
1 Corinthians 11:28 NLT
That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup.
For those who do not know Jesus
Peter was telling a large group about who Jesus was and is and how he came to save us…and they were convicted by their lifestyle
Acts 2:
36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
PERSONAL SPIRITUAL INVENTORY
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