A multifaceted word carrying significant meaning throughout history. For some, it is the turning of hearts back to God – from the wayward prodigal back to the arms of the Father. For others, it’s times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord. Another is the indication that miracles and healings are present and abounding in number. Still, others believe that revival primarily consists of the conversion of sinners.
While it is nearly impossible to pin down a proper definition of revival, the desire for it should be upon our hearts as a near possibility for each of us. Regardless of what nation you are in as you read this – from the pivotal election of the United States to the police brutality and protesting in Nigeria – we can easily conclude that every country in the world at this time needs revival. The constant unrest and its chaotic effects have made me realize that we are in a spiritual battle like never before. The enemy is pressing hard because he does not want to give up the influence that he has had for so long. But God has a plan – a heavenly agenda that involves the people of God to pray, fast, and seek Him like never before so that His will be done in the Earth.
The verse that has been on my heart, especially within the last 40 days of a corporate fast that I am a part of, is from 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“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 will heal their land.”
In context, this Old Testament verse is spoken to King Solomon as he completed the much-anticipated temple of the Lord. God is pleased with the finished temple and gives him a conditional promise that ends in the forgiveness of sins and a healed nation. What a great passage!
Does this passage apply to Israel since they were a theocracy? Yes.
Then can this passage apply to us in our modern-day democracy? Why, yes.
Here’s why – the principles God highlights here are found throughout the entirety of the Bible. For example, does God desire humility in us? James 4:10 states that if we ‘humble ourselves before the Lord, He will lift us up.” Does God want people to turn from their wicked ways? Jesus Himself preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17). Isaiah 55:6-7a also says, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” These few verses are only scratching the surface since there are so many more!
Indeed, God has a special relationship with Israel. At this time in the Old Testament, specific requirements were given to the nation to follow God within the law’s context. Now we are freed from the law and live under the grace of Jesus Christ.
Although Christ completed the requirements of the law, His heart remains steadfast for each person in every nation today – that God’s people would seek Him wholeheartedly and live in righteous obedience. I believe if this God-centered desire was actualized in many persons throughout each nation, we would see revival. The Lord would answer, and the healing would take place in the land.
So how do we make sense of this passage for us? It’s easy! There’s our part, and there’s God’s. Ours is outlined first as Christ-followers are to:
- Humble themselves
- Seek God’s face [presence]
- Turn from their wicked ways
Simple, isn’t it? We know it is more challenging to live out being in a world of sin and unbelief. But praise be to God that this passage is given to help us understand the key to revival as we can pray this verse as a prayer of hope over ourselves, our loved ones, and our nation.
When it comes to humility, it’s about putting ourselves in the right posture before God. I am a man; He is God. I cannot come before God with arrogance or pride. How am I as His creation, to suppose that He, as the Creator, owes me anything? Rather, I come to Him as a broken man ready to make amends for my nation and the sins that have been committed.
Once my heart is postured correctly, I can pray to the Lord my requests. I am allowed to seek His face as His son. God delights in knowing that I come to Him as my Heavenly Father and wants to bless me with my desire for revival since foremost, that is His desire that He put within me.
As I draw near to God, I must turn away from wickedness. The Lord tells me to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16), not giving into habitual sins. I am not to be filled with selfishness, run after greed, or give in to lusts, but to walk in the Spirit. The act of turning away from sin and submitting to God demonstrates the love we have for God.
We have four things we are to do, and as they say, ‘the rest is up to God’.
In response, God will:
- Hear us
- Forgive us
- Heal us
I encourage you this week to focus on revival with 2 Chronicles 7:14 in mind. If it helps, memorize the verse so you can recall it when you need it. Ask yourself before the Lord, “what do I need to do to get ready for revival?” Look at the four options and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal which one you should focus on the most. Then look up verses, pray through, and apply that option in your life. Not only will you be more in tune with the Spirit for what God wants to do in your nation, but you’re allowing the Holy Spirit to transform you as well! According to the verse, we know that God will do His part to answer us accordingly and bring healing to where it is needed. We need the Lord more than ever and so do the nations of the Earth.
Have a blessed week!