At the same time, God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah,
giving them a strong desire to unite in obeying the orders of the king and his officials,
who were following the word of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 30:12 NLT
True confession time: I have such a strong aversion to failing at New Year’s Resolutions that I start mine at least 2 weeks prior to New Year’s Eve every year. I think the logic is somewhat similar to that of setting my van clock ahead by 10 minutes. I know the real time, but for a few seconds each time I glace at that clock, I get to experience the sensation of relief that I’m not THAT late. This year, in addition to starting early, I am going a little bigger than I normally go.
This year, my resolution is to start a revival. (Well, technically I’m continuing a revival that King Hezekiah started between c. 715 and 686 B.C. – Thanks, Wikipedia!)
King Hezekiah’s story in 2 Chronicles 29 & 30. Hezekiah was the kind of king that did not mess around. He believed wholeheartedly that God is the real deal, and he took to cleaning up his predecessor’s mess so that his country could once again honor God. It was a humongous job because the king before him was an epic dork-wad. Once everything was repaired, purified and rededicated, he sent word to all Israel, Judah, Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the Temple of the LORD to celebrate the Passover.
There were three types of responses to the invitation, but the one that really struck me was this one: God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them a strong desire to unite in obeying the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the word of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 30:12) Because God’s hand was on them, blessing them with an extra measure of obedience, they followed the Godly leadership King Hezekiah offered. THAT BLESSING created the divine domino effect that I am so, SO excited about! Check it out:
And so a huge crowd assembled at Jerusalem in midspring to celebrate Passover and the Festival of Unleven Bread. They set to work and removed the pagan altars from Jerusalem. They took away all the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley. On the appointed day in midspring, the people slaughtered their Passover lambs. Then the priests and Levites became ashamed, so they purified themselves and brought burnt offerings to the Temple of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 30:13-15)
At first glance, that all sounds a little bizarre, but here it is actually so far beyond cool that I can’t even type enough exclamation marks to express it!!!!!!!!!!!!! What happened at the gathering was the people, moved by the hand of God, took on Hezekiah’s revival personally! They gathered together and set to work removing the garbage from their place of worship. They showed a powerful love and humility for their God and took responsibility for the state of their God’s dwelling with their own hands! AND they did it with such zeal and passion that it even revived their religious leaders’ passion for God’s work!
There it is! That’s the revival I’m talking about! A revival of faith so strong that I stop complaining and expecting someone else to “fix it,” I just go do what God commanded me to: Love the Lord our God with all my heart, soul and mind and love my neighbor as myself!!!!!!
Since that kind of revival can only be done by the hand of God, the New Year’s Revival Plan is this:
- I am going to pray that God puts his hand on the people of my family, my community, my country, my world.
- I am going to pray that we are given a strong desire to unite in obeying the orders of the Godly leaders in our lives.
- I am going to pray every day for a revival that shakes our world with faith alive in the Holy Spirit’s power.
- I am going to pray that we encourage and cherish our Pastors and Teachers with our faith in action, offering them support and courage to do what they were called to do.
I am going to do that every day, starting today. And if you are reading this, I pray that you will join me. I cannot wait to see how God blesses the revival that King Hezekiah began so long ago.
Dear Lord, I humbly ask you to put your hand upon us, as you did for the people of Judah. Move us to become a people on fire for you. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we may love one another boldly and fearlessly as you taught us. Move us to hungrily seek you above all else. Revive in us the faith that moves mountains, full of humility, truth and love. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/manullang/2136105277/”>and12ey</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>