Lately the topic of spiritual revival and awakening has been on mind. A blog that I read regularly recently broached the topic as well. Has there ever been times in your life when God continues to show you things until you are prompted to action by conviction and encouragement? I feel like now is one of those times, but I’m not sure what to do with it…
Earlier this evening, I was reading in the book of 2nd Chronicles and the story of Hezekiah when he becomes King of Judah (2 Chronicles 29-31). Hezekiah is about my age when he takes over as King. [Astonishing to think that someone my age could be leading God’s chosen people!] While I typically don’t look for a theme of alliterations when coming up with lessons fro the scriptures, I couldn’t help but notice the words that I had underlined while studying this passage. In the first few verses alone you see he did what was right in the sight of the Lord (2 Chr. 29:2), repaired the house of the Lord (2 Chr. 29:3), began reforming the house of the Lord through consecration (2 Chr. 29:5), restored temple worship, and as a result you see the people rejoicing (2 Chr. 29:36). In chapter 30, you see his action to reinstitute the passover feast, people returning to the Lord, and prayers rising to heaven, the holy dwelling place (2 Chr. 30:27). In chapter 31, you see continuation of reforms and the destruction of idols, the Lord providing for the tithe in abudance, and the people repsonding faithfully! What an absolutely riveting three chapters in the Old Testament (hence, one of the reasons that 2nd Chronicles is one of my favorite books)! The section culminates in 2 Chr. 31:20-21 with the following, “Thus Hezekiah did throughout all of Judah; and he did was good, right and true before the Lord his God. Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered.” WOW!
[deep pause to take all of that in]
So…what do I take away from all of this? What was it about Hezekiah that led to revival in the hearts of the the people of Judah?
The over-arching theme that I see in the life of Hezekiah is responsiveness. He was responsive to the desires of his heavenly father. He followed the examples of great men of faith before him. It is evident that he sought the heart of God (2 Chr. 29:10).
So… what does this have to do with revival today?
Can the responsiveness of one man change the course of an entire nation of people? [don’t dismiss this too quickly – see Hezekiah’s example of Ahaz, his father in 2 Chr. 28)] . Can the responsiveness of one father bring revival to his household? What about one mother and the spiritual lives of her children? One Pastor and his church? One church and the nation?
Although I don’t believe there is a “secret formula” to revival, I do feel that we are given examples and testimonies in God’s word of which we are to draw wisdom. Based on the life of Hezekiah, I wonder if it may simply start with a heart of responsiveness…