As we deal with true revival, I want to share two quotes with you from Evan Roberts’ book, The Story of the Welsh Revival by Eyewitnesses’
(1) “There are no advertisements, no brass bands, no posters, no huge tents.”
(2) “The vision is passing out into virtue, and men are paying their debts, and abandoning the public-house, and treating their horses well. Oh, my masters! Did you say the next Revival would be ethical? It is that, because it is spiritual, and you will never get an ethical revival except in this way.”
When revival comes through the agency of the Holy Spirit there is no need for man to erect huge banners, mega white tents, loud big bands and smartly suited, handkerchief showing “charismatic preachers’. I’ll say it over and over again … God given revivals are preceded by earnest intentional prayer for a visitation of God, not for personal spiritual ecstasy, but for renewal in the church towards humbleness and holiness before the Sovereign God that spreads into and influences society and perhaps further afield. A real Holy Spirit revival is communal, not personal!
As we return to Hezekiah after having seen his spiritual credentials and what he did to remove pagan distractions from Judah so that the people could return to the true God. Now we need to look at a few further helpful characteristics we could model against … remembering that communal spiritual revival is our theme. Also observe that in three verses God’s name “LORD” is used four times. Never forget we are dealing with the Real God who is One … the only One!
1) He Trusted the LORD.
2Ki 18:5 Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. His God was not just the God of Israel as in those who had a god in another country or the Sun, Moon, Rain or Fertility god.
His God is named LORD (Yahweh, Jehovah) who is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, the Sovereign, Eternal God. Although observed in the Old Testament, we have come to know this God better as reveal in the New … God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, the God who saves and changes lives. This is the God Hezekiah trusted. Trust here includes dependence but goes much further with its real focus as faith. Faith includes dependence as well as salvation as the major component. You see, faith encompasses knowledge about God that leads to understanding who God is and what He requires. It is confidence to put yourself, your soul and eternal future into the hands of the LORD. Have you done this? Now see how trust is unpacked …
2) He was glued to the LORD.
2Ki 18:6 He held fast to the LORD.
The concept of “held fast” is associated with “united” in Genesis 2:
Ge 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
United means “glued” to the point of inseparable. His trust in the LORD put him into that sphere where he and His God were one in spiritual union as a husband and wife are one in physical union. As you gauge your relationship with God, are you able to say the same? This ingredient is vital in the believing heart for it displays true love that lasts. Such love is required amongst the Body of Christ for Him to send the Spirit to revive the Church.
3) He followed the LORD.
2Ki 18:6 and did not cease to follow him.
May you wonder how he followed God … it is the way we do today! How is this done? It is through the Word of God. Just as we follow the rules of a country and a club, so we follow God by following His Rule Book, commonly known as the Holy Bible. May I suggest that apart from the lack of prayer in individual believers and corporately in the Church, the neglect of following God through His Word is the single biggest problem in the Church today … the single biggest cause of a lack of revival. Why do I say this? Because God’s people, not using His Word, do not know how God requires them to live! Consider the morality and ethics of those who make up the Church. Do you see inconsistency? Have you compared your morality to God’s? Let me ask one question … When you are put on the spot that requires an immediate answer, do you tell the truth, fabricate a story, tell a half truth or stammer? Following God through His Word might be hard work but once you are on the pathway, you’ll find it refreshing as your soul is shaped in holy living and Christlikeness! When the people of God stand on the Word of God, the Spirit of God has a good platform to usher in a Work of God (revival).
4) He kept the Commands of the LORD.
2Ki 18:6 he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses.
Here we need to see something deeper. Keeping the commands of the LORD means a heart response to not only the Ten Commandments but all the supporting Commands found in the Books of Moses. Our Lord Jesus has a wonderful way of putting real meaning into the Commandments by saying things like adultery includes “looking with lust” and murder includes “anger”. Here we find another huge obstacle to revival. It is no good knowing what the Bible and Commandments say in their teaching if not translated into spiritual maturity, desiring more of God and His intimacy in your life and His morality in your heart.
5) The blessings the LORD gives.
(1) The LORD’S presence.
2Ki 18:7 And the LORD was with him. Due to Hezekiah’s total commitment, God was with him, guiding, providing and protecting.
More than anything in the world this is what we need in our lives. Nothing and no one is more important than Jesus Christ!
(2) The LORD’S provision.
2Ki 18:7 he was successful in whatever he undertook.
As king, he sought to reign under the LORD, following the Word and God made him successful. This impacted on his kingly leadership, turning the nation back to God. This is where true revival finds its roots. Please pray that God raises up prayer warriors and pastors to lead God’s people in the sphere of readiness for the Holy Spirit to work.
(3) The LORD’s blessing.
2Ki 18:5 There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.
God rewards His faithful servants.
Father, please lead Your Church into holiness and godly living so that by grace and love You may send a genuine revival that influences society. Amen.