Revival in 2015

I am getting ready to lead a retreat with my staff in a couple of weeks and this is one of the topics that I want to cover over the weekend. If you have been in a Baptist church for more than 5 minutes, you have heard the word “revival”. Some churches still have revivals on a yearly basis.

The idea behind revival is to experience a spiritual renewal in your life. There is a case of this in Israel that I would like to examine. This is what I am going to teach on in a couple of days. This example of spiritual renewal is found in II Kings 22 as well as in II Chronicles 34.  Josiah is our “hero” in these passages. He is used by God to change the direction of a nation during his lifetime. We have much to learn from him.

I. Josiah’s life: Overview

The overview is seen in verses 1-3. Josiah is the king of Israel. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord. He walked upright before the Lord. He lived the way that David lived. He looked to David as an example. He did not turn aside to the right or the left. Why is all of this important? Josiah grew up in the midst of a perverted generation that was a result of the previous perverted generations. Josiah did not have godly examples around him. He only saw evil and the results of evil. Josiah did not look to his father or his grandfather as an example. He looked to David, a righteous man that he had been taught about from his nation’s history. Josiah wanted to be like David, having a relationship with God and doing what is pleasing to God. He did not want to go along with popular culture. He wanted to live counter-cultural. Josiah wanted to please God more than man. As a result, he changed the culture instead of being changed by the culture. This is what Paul teaches in Romans 12:1-2. The Word of God keeps us from being “molded” into the image that popular culture wants to mold us to, in the image of the culture that is always anti-God. Josiah wanted to have his mind renewed so that he could be molded into the image that God created him to be. So, how did Josiah bring about such a societal change?

II. Josiah walked with God

At an early age Josiah began to seek God. He was made king at 8 years old. At 16 years old, an age when most people seem to lose their minds, Josiah made a decision to seek after God. He spent 4 years walking with God and God laid on his heart to deal with the idols in his society. Josiah immediately faced opposition from the leaders of society, the priests. He won the battle, a deadly battle. After winning the battle, Josiah tore down the alters of idolatry in the society. The idols in society were 1)fortune 2) happiness 3) progress 4) sexual immorality The people of Josiah’s nation were obsessed with these things, to the point of fighting to the death for them instead of giving them up to follow God. They gave lip service to God for a while and then got to the point where they just removed God from their society. At 20 years old, most people are thinking about themselves, their careers and starting their own families. Josiah is focused on bringing God back to his society for the good of the people around him. This is how he brought about revival to his people.

  1. Searched for God and found Him
  2. Cleaned out the idols in society
  3. Started to serve the people of his nation

That is not all. At the age of 26 years old (it took him 6 years to clean the nation of all of its idols), Josiah decided to fix up the house of the Lord so that people could turn away from their idols and turn to God. He worked together with a team. He planned out his actions and worked according to the plan. While working on the house of the Lord, an amazing event took place. The workers found a Book that they did not know anything about. It was the Book of the Law which had been lost in the house of the Lord. The Word of God was taken to Josiah and read to him. Upon hearing the Word of God, he tore his clothes because he realized how far away he and his nation was from God’s standards. Not only did Josiah tear his clothes, he also repented of his actions and the actions of his nation. He had a tender heart before the Lord and his heart was broken by the Word of God. It did not stop there. Josiah wanted his people to hear the Word of the Lord as well. He gathered all of the people together and had the entire Book of the Law read to the people. In other words, Josiah reintroduced the Word of God to his society. He experienced revival in his life and he took the Word of God to the people so that they could experience revival as well. For the rest of Josiah’s life, the Word of God was honored in society and people’s lives were changed. People learned to know God and to walk with Him and this transformed all of society during the days of Josiah’s life. Let’s list what he did once again:

  1. Searched for God and found Him
  2. Cleaned out the idols in society
  3. Started to serve the people of his nation
  4. Studied the Word of God
  5. Repented
  6. Taught others the Word of God
  7. Reintroduced the Word of God in society

III. Results of spiritual revival

The first thing that we see is that people repented of their sins. They turned away from their idols and turned to God. God’s wrath and punishment for their disobedience was curbed during Josiah’s lifetime. The Word of God was reintroduced in society. People began study the Scriptures and living by them. People began to attend worship services again. Immorality was stopped in its tracks. The victims of immorality disappeared. People were humbly walking with God. People began serving the Lord again. An entire generation was positively impacted by the Word of God.

As bad as our society is today, it is still not as bad as during the days of Josiah. He was a brave person who walked with God and changed his society for good. He did it by teaching the Word of God to the people of his society. He was an example for others to follow. If God could do this with Josiah, do you not think that He can also do it with you? What keeps you from being like Josiah? In what ways are you excusing yourself? (too young, just one person, its too hard, its dangerous, no one will ever listen, I don’t know how, I don’t have any role models etc.) None of those excuses stopped Josiah. Are you ready to bring revival to your family in 2015? What about to your church? Your neighborhood? Your workplace? May the Lord help us all be like Josiah, having a tender heart for the Lord.

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3 comments on “Revival in 2015

  1. This is great, Erik! God has been showing me many areas that I need to seek Him on lately, and I have not thought about these changes in the context of revival, or the renewing of my mind. I have been praying for God to guard my mind and to correct false philosophies, and I really have thought that God was making me practice a great deal of patience instead of answering my prayer, but after reading your article, I realize that He has been answering me all along but in a way that I had not “planned.” I just didn’t connect the dots since I was expecting something else. Keep up the good work!

  2. Pingback: Engaged in good deeds | Erik and Elena Brewer's Weblog

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