Yesterday I started the Daily Note on Revival speaking about what could go wrong. Today I want to mention some positive effects that Revival brings. Professor David Dickson wrote the article “Five Effects of true Revival”. Here they are with my comments:
(1) True Revival brings Peace with God. The wonderful experience of being in His Holy Presence is such a humbling experience. Most people who experienced true revivals could not articulate their experience of God’s visitation and the awesome peace they enjoyed with God.
(2) True Revival brings more of God’s Glory in the Land. A huge benefit in society is that although people cannot explain it, they start living moral lives. They stop searing so much. Domestic abuse, adultery, drunkenness and crime tends to become less.
(3) True Revival sees more of God’s Saving Grace. The first effect is always holiness in the church (point 1), yet at the same time many souls that seemed far too hard and impossible to save come eagerly into the Kingdom through repentance and faith. In the later part of the 70’s – 80’s there was a “mini revival” that took place in the Western Cape … specifically the Southern Suburbs. At St. James Church in Kenilworth someone said of people being saved … “They are literally falling into the Kingdom”. One night I was so surprised to see a man who was quite a gangster, looking for a seat. Tattooed arms, ‘ducktail walk’, closely combed greased hair … wonderfully saved by grace!
(4) True Revival sees God’s Special Favor on the Land. As the community of God affects society and as people change in their behaviour, so there tends to be an economic upturn, job creation, better crops, better governance, stability in homes, better parenting and diligence in schools.
(5) True Revival moves the people of God Forward in Holiness. It seems the greatest effect about true revivals was to hear of God’s people desiring holiness. They wanted to be like Jesus in practice right now. The effects of a True Visitation from God cannot be counted, recorded or explained, other than to say the Spirit moves mysteriously and wonderfully with the Triune God getting all the Glory! As we return to king Hezekiah, we see …
1) There were faithful people. In any revival there are satan’s agents seeking to destroy as God seeks to build. They are the minority though. As the invitations were carried by the messengers, “some men … humbled themselves.
2Ch 30:11 Nevertheless, some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.
As you read the word “humbled”, you get the picture of repentance. They made themselves “little” before a Holy God. They knew something was happening under king Hezekiah and they wanted to be part of it. This is a wonderful truth. When God is at work, there are those who refuse and reject and want nothing to do with spiritual things … yet there are those who, irrespective of how they have drifted from God or how “unsaved” they are … suddenly that effectual call of God hits the heart and they repent, confessing their sins come to the fountain of eternal joy. They are pardoned and enter in God’s Family through grace. For us it’s puzzling when the expected refuse the invitation yet the unexpected respond in the most concrete manner.
2) God responded with favour. The revival hit home throughout the Province of Judah because it was done God’s way (according to His word).
2Ch 30:12 Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the LORD.
See that term … “unity of mind”. This means team work. Everyone was involved because God had touched their hearts. We ought to long for a unity of mind in the Community of Christ we belong to! Could we find a New Testament counterpart in
Eph 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Surely “unity in faith” and “as each part does its work” amounts to what happened in Judah!
3) The people rejoiced. The restoration of the Passover festival was the greatest “modern experience” for these people as Israelites. Joy or happiness leads to rejoicing.
2Ch 30:25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites and all who had assembled from Israel , including the aliens who had come from Israel and those who lived in Judah. 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.
Few Christian can say God never visits them when they pray, study the Word or worship with the saints. Why are we so morbid and sad? Is it because we are not serious in our union with Jesus?
4) The people were blessed and God heard His people’s prayers. In those days the Priesthood gave the blessing, but it went further
2Ch 30:27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.
Prayers were heard, not just in heaven but in the very ear of God where He dwells in the Holy Place. Today God blesses us, not priests or pastors. God does that as He answers our prayers providing for our needs. Truly He is a Good, Loving Father! Tomorrow we will look at revival under another king, but for now, have you been able to see what true revival … true visitation from God is all about? The three most important ingredients seems to be …(1) Prayer; (2) Bible and (3) Holiness making. None of these three are easy but as we have seen, the results and the effects of a Holy Spirit brought spiritual revival of the people of God and the effects upon society is what every true believer ought to hunger for with passionate earnestness.
Our Holy God, graciously stir our hearts with desire to want a foretaste of Glory Divine in our day. Lord God, please send forth Your Spirit and revive Your Church. Amen.