…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
We drive on parkways and park on driveways. Does anyone actually keep gloves in their glovebox? Churches announce they are having revival and have a series of evangelistic meetings instead. There is nothing wrong with those types of services, but that is not revival. There is always the possibility a revival could break out in the course of such meetings, yet you can no more schedule revival than you can make the wind blow. We can, however, set our sails, in preparing for God’s wind from heaven—the Holy Spirit—to come in power. You cannot work revival up, but you can pray it down. That happened at Pentecost as 120 believers were united in believing prayer. The Spirit came as a rushing, mighty wind. A church that was alive then went out and changed the world. That is real revival—and desperately needed today!
2 Chronicles 7:14 is a classic text to show how to experience real revival. It shows the candidates, conditions, and consequences when revival happens.
The candidates for real revival are found in this phrase, “My people who are called by My name….” God told Solomon there would be a time when God’s people would turn from Him—and the Holy One would discipline them (v.12-13). The Lord promised, however, that if they would then turn back to them that He would revive them. We whine about the condition of our culture, but sinners behave like sinners do because saints are not behaving as saints ought to!
God speaks of “My people….” We are God’s children and our Father will hear the cry of those He loves. He points to “My name….” God’s glorious name is bound up with His children. We are a reflection on Him for good or bad. Since God is zealous for His glory, He wants His name to be praised and that takes His people living for that purpose.
The conditions of real revival are underscored in this, “if…then….” The promise of revival requires certain conditions being met.
There is the poverty to admit as they “humble themselves….” So long as we think we can live without revival, God will let us! When we admit our bankruptcy then we can have His blessing.
There is the petition we ask as we “pray….” James tells us, “you do not have because you do not ask.” (4:2c) These petitions are not reciting pious platitudes, but urgent pleas meant to reach God’s ears rather than impress men’s. No revival in history has ever occurred apart from this kind of praying.
There is the purpose we affirm as God calls us to “seek My face….” We do not seek God’s hand for what He does, but we seek God’s face for who He is.
There is the penitence we acknowledge as His people “turn from their wicked ways….” There can be no real revival until there is genuine repentance.
Meeting the conditions leads to experiencing the consequences of real revival.
God will hear, “then I will hear from heaven….” He isn’t deaf or incapacitated!
God will help, “then I will…forgive their sin….” No matter how low we have sunk into the slime of sin, God can reach us!
God will heal, “then I will…heal their land.” We are sick, but God has the cure!
Do you want real revival?