Summary: We find a defined prescription for real revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14. The problem is that, like with many precribed orders from our physician, we hesitate to take the medicine.
Over and over, the Lord spoke to Israel through Jeremiah the prophet saying, "Return to Me." Practically to the very end, He called unto them to return and repent. He admonished them as a loving and faithful Husband would his unfaithful wife. As a Shepherd, He called to His wayward sheep. And as a Potter with the clay, He patiently and persistently applied pressure on Judah, in order to make them a vessel of honor. But they refused God’s call, and judgment was rendered through a seventy-year Babylonian captivity.
In chapters 6 and 7 of 2 Chronicles, upon the dedication of King Solomon’s temple, the LORD reminded Israel that if because of their sin He brought judgment upon them, or if they had been carried into captivity because of their wickedness.
"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 will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
While the primary interpretation is for the nation of Israel, its application is certainly for the Church today. Israel was to be unto the Lord a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex. 19:6). They were to declare His glory to the nations. But how could Israel impact and influence the nations, if they themselves needed to repent and return to the Lord? So it is with the church in America. If the Church wants America to repent and return to God, then the Church must first repent and return to God.
So we find in this one verse, the 7 Keys to Revival - certain conditions we must meet in order to experience genuine revival, personally and collectively.
Key #1 "If" - The CONDITION. It is such a little word, but everything hinges on this little word. If we truly desire to see revival individually and collectively, it must be on God’s terms, not ours; God’s way, not our way. In the context, there is obviously a sense of urgency - a desperation (v. 13). But what about in our context? Are we content with spiritual drought? Has indifference paralyzed us? Just how badly do we want revival? It was Vance Havner who said, "The situation is desperate, but the saints are not." We need to be desperate for revival.
Key # 2 "My people" - The COMPANY. Revival begins with God’s people- PERIOD! Not the unsaved. Not America as a whole. Not in Congress or the Senate. But with God’s people. So we cannot blame society, our country, our government, our laws, or any individuals when we don’t have revival. But the truth of the matter is, revival really needs to start somewhere, other than in the church. What about our homes? Perhaps you have some unresolved issues at home. Perhaps relationships at home are strained, between husband or wife, parents and children, or maybe even among siblings. There may be anger, jealousy, hatred, bitterness, or unforgiveness. Please remember, all things that come between us and others (including our family), come between us and God and spoil our fellowship with Him. The home is to be a miniature or microcosm of the Church.
Key #3 "Who are called by my name" - The COMPANIONS.
At least 17 times in chapters 6 and 7, God referred to His name.
His name reveals all He is and all He has done. In Ezekiel 39:25 God said He is jealous for His holy name. He desired for His name to be declared to the nations.
Israel bore God’s name. Israel means, "He who strives with God and prevails," OR "A prince of God."
As the Church, we too bear God’s name. We are "Called-out ones." We have been called-out by God, unto God, and for God. we bear Christ’s name. Christians. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Originally it was a term of scorn or ridicule, but it soon became a badge of honor. What a privilege of grace to bear Christ’s name.
1. We are to identify with all Christ’s name means
2. We are to reflect and radiate all His name means
3. We are to proclaim that name
2 Chron. 6:32-33
Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; 33Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.