THE WAY OF REVIVAL
Here are some thoughts to ponder based on 2 Kings 22-23 and an historic revival:
The way of revival involves A RETURN TO A WALK WITH GOD (22:1-2). Young Josiah learned to walk--with God--and as king of Judah would lead the people to follow his steps in returning to a walk with God. Revival isn't an event scheduled on the church calendar, but an experience with the eternal God.
The way of revival also demands A RESTORATION OF THE WORSHIP OF GOD (22:3-6; 23:21-23). The house of God had fallen into disrepair and the worship of God had been discarded for paganism. Josiah knew that the foundation of revival in a personal walk with God needed the framework of revival in the corporate worship of God. Someone has well said that revival is a person or community saturated with the presence of God. Worship brings us into an encounter with the Holy--awe-inspiring and revival-inducing.
The way of revival leads to A RECOVERY OF THE WORD OF GOD (22:8-10). A strategic make or break moment occurred when the Scriptures were found during temple renovations. All revival movements demand a recovery of the preaching, teaching and submission to the Word of God.
The way of revival calls for A REPENTANCE TO THE WILL OF GOD (22:11-13). A broken heart and bowed knee was the response to the truth of Scripture. The will of God was expressed in the Word of God, and Josiah and his subjects brought their lives into alignment with God's standard. This is more than emotion--though emotions are included--but is about volition--a deliberate surrender of our will to God's will. There cannot be revival without repentance.
The way of revival means A REPRIEVE FROM THE WRATH OF GOD (22:16-20). God's wrath was coming. Judah deserved it. Nothing could stop it. But revival meant that it would not occur in Josiah's lifetime. It was as though God hit the pause button. The fact is that this world has been on a collision course with the wrath of God since the first sin in paradise. Scripture is clear about the course and consummation of the age--but, it doesn't have to happen in our day. Revival can bring reprieve. Recall how pagan Nineveh, given a deadline of forty days to judgment, repented and experienced a revival under Jonah's preaching. Later, Nineveh returned to its old ways and the promised wrath of God fell.
The way of revival means A REVIVAL OF THE WORK OF GOD (23:1-3). Josiah leads the people to make a covenant to serve God. This kind of commitment is a hallmark of real revival. It isn't just about gathering for preaching or prayer--crucial as that is--but performance--the practical application of the truth.
The way of revival results in A REMOVAL OF THE WICKEDNESS BEFORE GOD (23:4ff). Josiah led the Jews to purge pagan practices--to remove the evil from their midst. Only then, would the hand of God be free to bless them. God takes sin seriously and until we do, we will never have revival.