2 Chronicles 34:14-33
January 14-15, 2023
I'll tell you, God loves revival because God loves you. Here's what I mean by that. God grieves when He sees what's happening in this world. There's such brokenness and despair. I have never seen so much brokenness as that we are seeing today, but you got to see it from God's perspective. It grieves the Lord to see all that comes from following after the flesh, from leaving the worldly life. He sees the brokenness of it, but when that person turns their life around and comes to a place of personal revival, God rejoices.
In fact, Jesus said the angels of heaven rejoice when even one sinner repents. What a picture is that? One sinner repents and the angels of heaven start rejoicing. God delights to see revival. God delights in it because you see, God doesn't stand by idly when a person is making terrible decisions and destroying their life. No, God is on the move. God is sending His Spirit to draw them, to convict, to bring them to an understanding of life. He continues to draw and reach out to them. Jesus gave parable after parable describing the heart of God in the pursuit of sinners.
Over and over, He spoke of that. He pursues them because He loves them. See, God loves sinners. Oh, this is so important to see. God loves sinners, and He sent His Son to go and seek them and to draw them. When they come to a place of revival, God delights in it. That brings us to 2 Chronicles 34 because this is a story of revival. Now, in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, there were three kings that really stood out from the rest because they were kings who brought revival. You got to start with David. David, of course, was the king that all of the other kings were compared to because of David's faith, David's heart after God.
Now, yes, I understand David certainly had his failures. They're infamous, I understand that, but one thing must be surely said of David, he never turned his heart after the gods of the world. There was nothing in them that David desired. God was enough, God was more than enough. Jehovah was the heart that David had, and so he was a king who brought revival. All of the kings were compared to him. Then there was Hezekiah. We've been studying about him recently. He was the greatest of the kings after David because his revival transformed the nation and prepared that nation for the troubles that were going to arise.
There's where's a lot of lessons for us because there is trouble that is a storm cloud on the horizon even now. There needs to be a revival to prepare for the spiritual warfare that is arising in this world. There is tremendous spiritual warfare, and there needs to be a revival and to prepare for it. Hezekiah is famous for that. What's interesting about Hezekiah is that his father was the worst of the kings in the south, and Hezekiah saw enough of his father's evil that he wanted nothing to do with it. He had the authority to do something about it, which speaks, of course, of the significance of leadership and responsibility to influence others towards that which is good and godly.
Then there's Josiah. He's the king that we're going to look at today. All of his life he tells us he was faithful. He never turned to the left or to the right all the days of his life. Interestingly, he also had an evil father. That is just such an interesting thing. He saw enough of that evil, and he wanted nothing to do with it. He took the opportunity to make that choice for himself. It was a decision that he made to live his life with the honor of God and to bring about a revival. This revival is filled with lessons for us to take hold of today. Let's read it.
I. Each One Must Decide for Himself
We're in 2 Chronicles 34. We're going to begin reading in verse 14. We're going to pick it up right in the middle. What happened was he decided to pursue the God of his father, David, and then he saw that the temple there in Jerusalem had fallen into disrepair. The kings before him had allowed the idols, the Baal, or Molech, or Ashtoreth there in the temple of all things. It had fallen into disrepair. Josiah raised the money and was doing the work of repairing the temple when they found a book. That's where we pick up the story in verse 14.
When they're bringing out the money which had been brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the book. It was The Book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses. Now, a little context to this, by the way, we all are so used to having the Word of God. All of us, we have two or three Bibles oftentimes. We all have a Bible, and some of us, many Bibles. We have full access to the Word of God any time we want. They did not. It was a very rare thing. If there was a copy, it's because someone hand-wrote it. A scribe would write it out by hand, and it had become into such disuse at this point that no one had a copy.
When they discovered a book, The Book of the Law of Moses, this was a tremendous find. Notice verse 15, "Hilkiah the priest responded and said to Shaphan the scribe, I found the book, The Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. Hilkiah gave then the book to Shaphan. Shaphan brought that book to the king." Now, he reported further word saying, "Now, everything that has been entrusted to your servants, they are doing." He's going to give a report on the construction. They've emptied out the money which was found in the house of the Lord.
They delivered it into the hands of the supervisors and the workers, but moreover, Shaphan the scribe then said to the king saying, "And one more thing, Hilkiah the priest gave me a book." Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. Imagine this scene. There's the king, he's sitting on his seat, his chair of authority, and Shaphan the scribe comes in, gives him a report of the repairs and whatnot, the workers. Okay, that's all good. "Oh, one more thing, we found a book." "You found a book?" "Yes, we found The Book of the Law of the Lord that was given by Moses."
"Really?" He sat and listened while Shaphan read it. Now, his response to it is part of the nature of the story. He hears this. Notice what follows. "It came about, verse 19."That when the king heard these words of the Law, that he tore his clothes." Now, remember in the Jewish culture in those days, for one to tear his clothes, it was a sign of deepest grief. It represented a tearing of one's heart. It's like, imagine a father gets word that his son died in battle, let's say. Then the father would say, "No," and he would take his clothes and just tear them, "No." He'd just tear his clothes as a sign of deepest grief.
A. Revival begins with a tender heart
This is what he did. He hears the word. What a reaction is this? He hears the word, and "No." He tears his robe and begins to weep. The word here is a deep weeping. This is a very interesting reaction but notice what follows. Verse 20, so then the king, after tearing his clothes and weeping, he commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, Abdon, the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, and he said, "Now, go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah concerning the words of this book which has been found.
For great is the wrath of the Lord which is poured out on us because our fathers have not observed the words of the Lord to do according that's all that's written in this book." It's like, "Now, I see. Now, I understand why we have such trouble and travail. Our fathers have walked away from God. Now, I see it. Go, inquire of the Lord for me. Verse 22, Hilkiah and those whom the king had told, went to Huldah, the prophetess, the wife of Shallum, the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, the keeper of the wardrobe. Now, she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter, and they spoke to her concerning these words.
She said to them, "Thus says the Lord, God of Israel, you tell the man who sent you to Me, thus says, Jehovah, Behold, I am bringing evil on this place, and on its inhabitants, even all the curses written in that book which they have read in the presence of the king of Judah. Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore, my wrath will be poured out on this place, and it will not be quenched. But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus you shall say to him, thus says the Lord God of Israel regarding the words, which you have heard.
Because your heart was tender, because you humbled yourself before God when you heard the words against this place, and its inhabitants, because you humbled yourself before Me, because you tore your clothes, because you wept, I truly have heard you." Now, this is such an important key. "Because you are tender of heart, because you tore your clothes, you humbled yourself, and you wept, truly, I hear you. Behold," verse 28, "I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see all that evil that I will bring on this place, and on its inhabitants."
They brought back this word to the king. Now, would you notice what he does next? Because it is epic. "Then the king hearing this, he sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. Then the king went up to the house of the Lord, and then all the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, priests, Levites, all the people from the greatest to the least of them." A great assembly, a vast assembly he gathered, and then he read himself, the book. Now, I love this thing. He did not defer to the priest. He didn't have somebody else read it.
The king himself stood up, everyone is gathered, great to the least, and he says, "Hear the word of the--" They had never heard this all their life. Can you imagine never hearing the Word of God ever? He said, "Hear the Word of the Lord, O, people." Then he himself read all of the words of the Word of God. Then it says, verse 31, "The king stood in his place next to the king's pillar, and he made a covenant before the Lord to walk after the Lord." He's making a covenant with the Lord, to keep the commandments, and testimonies, and statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to do, to reform the words and the covenant written in this book.
Then, moreover, he made all that were present there in Jerusalem, and in Benjamin, to stand with him. Everybody stand on your feet, and then all of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, they all made a covenant entering in to do that which is according to the word of the God of their Fathers. Then he's not done yet. Josiah then removed all of the abominations from all the lands belonging to the sons of Israel. We're talking here about from the south to the north. All the lands that belong to Israel, he's going to get rid of all the abominations, all that is offensive to the Lord, get rid of all of them.
Then it made all who were present in Israel to serve the Lord their God, and throughout his lifetime, they did not change from following the Lord God of their fathers during the entirety of his life. That is an amazing story. That is revival, and there's great lessons for us to learn out of this story, starting with this, each one must decide for himself. Here, Josiah had a father that was very evil, and he saw the evil of his father and had to decide. People respond differently when they see evil, brokenness. Each one must decide. Some follow after it, some repeat it.
Others say, "I want nothing to do with that." Not many of you know my story. My father was an alcoholic, not just an alcoholic, but angry, cantankerous, an old cuss, he would say himself he was. It's very common for children of alcoholics to grow up and become alcoholics themselves. I'll tell you, it'll mess up your life. Each one has to decide. I looked at my father and I saw the way of his life, and I said, "I don't want this. This is not for me. This is not the life, I don't want to become like this. God has more than that for me."
There was something that happened. You got to decide. Each one must choose the path he will walk. Each one must decide his course. Now, God is giving each one that choice. Now, God wants you to choose life. He's drawing you to choose life. He's thinking very clearly what He wants for you to do, but He's laying it out before you so that each person would make the choice to choose on their own the life that they will live. Notice Deuteronomy 30:19, God is speaking to Israel through Moses, and He says, "I set before you life and death. I set before you a blessing and a curse but choose life."
He's telling them what He wants them to do. "I want you to choose life that you may live. I want you to live, you and your descendants." Jesus said a very similar thing. "I have come that you would have life. That God my Father sent me to you that you would have life." God wants you to have life and life abundantly. That's what God wants, but you got to choose it. Joshua, very famously, at the end of his life, gathered all of Israel together to hear that same challenge. Choose yourselves. See Joshua 24:15, "Choose for yourself today whom you will serve," and then he made that famous declaration, "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
This thing is settled with me. We have made our mind, we know in whom we have believed, we will serve the Lord." Each one has that choice. Each one must choose to walk as a man or a woman after God. Now, it's true that we have inherited our father's disposition. That's true. We do inherit our father's disposition, but you don't have to walk in whatever disposition you were born with. Now, some people are convinced that they cannot change, that their disposition was wired into their DNA. That's just who they are, and that they cannot change because that's just who they are.
I tell you that they are quite wrong. God has the power to transform. I have seen God transform some of the most difficult, impossible people. God has turned their life around and made such a transformation that it's like, the before Christ and the after Christ. It's amazing what God can do. God is not done. God can still transform because here's the thing, every one of us in this place, every one of us was born in the nature of flesh. Everyone was born in the nature of flesh. Everyone inherited enough tendencies toward the world to mess up your life.
Everyone has inherited enough tendencies of the world to mess up your life, but do not and never discount the power of God because He can take that and transform it in power.
See here's this, I love this picture, the temple had fallen into disrepair. Josiah, in following after the Lord, wanted that temple restored to its glory. "This is the house of the Lord. It ought to be a place of glory. Now it's fallen into disrepair, and they've got the gods of Baal and Asherah in there. No, I want this temple repaired." It's a picture. It's a picture because if you have received the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord and Savior, the Scripture says you are now a temple.
You can look it up in this Scripture. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit and part of the work of revival is repairing the damage done to your life by the old way in which you used to live. When people come to faith in the Lord, they bring a lot of damage with them. Anybody who's done the things of the world will relate to it. Oh, there's a lot of damage that needs to be repaired, and God will do the work of restoring and repairing. In the process of repairing, they find this book, they bring it to the king, who listens intently. There is this great insight that comes from his response. He hears the word, and something stirs. Something happens in his soul.
It stirred because there's a picture. Revival begins there, in that stirring, in that tender heart. Revival begins with that tender heart. Something stirred. What stirred is that he saw it. I see now. I never saw it before. Now I see. I see. Now we understand why our nation has gone through such tragedy and travail. Our fathers turned their back on God, and they went after the gods of the world. Now I see it. In many, there's that moment when the eyes of the heart open, "I get it. I see it. I didn't see it before. Now I get it." I mentioned my father.
That's what happened to him. He came to the Lord when he was 75 years old. I'll tell you what, there's a testimony right there, it's never too late to get your life right with God. It's never too late. At 75 years old, we were sitting together, and I-- Too long of a story. The history there is long. We're sitting there. He had divorced my mom by this time and moved away, back to the home state where he grew up. No one had talked to him for years. Then my older brother died, so he came for the service. He stayed with us. I'm talking with him, early, early, early morning conversation over breakfast, where he says, "I see now what I did not see before.
I've wasted all my life, and I've drawn away from the people that matter to me. Would you help me make something of my life? Can I come back into your life? Can I get to know your children?" He wasn't even at my wedding. "Can I come back? Would you allow me back?" To which I said, "Oh, I would love to help you." The end result of this was that he came to faith in Jesus Christ.
Yes, amen. Absolutely. There's that moment when the eyes see it, "I didn't see it before. Now I get it." It's like that prodigal son. You remember his story where he got his father's inheritance early, a great sum of money. He goes into the city, he spends it all on the parties, and the world, and the women and all. Then after he's out of money, a famine hits the land, and he can't even get a job now. Then he gets the worst job of all, feeding swine. Then he comes to his senses. There's that moment. "My father's servants are treated better than this."
There's that moment, "I see it now." Josiah has that moment. Something stirred when he hears the Word of God, "I see it now. Now I understand." He connected the spiritual condition to what was happening in the nation. There are real-world consequences to the condition of your soul. Do you believe this? There are real-world consequences to the condition of things in your soul. That's when faith arises. When you see that, faith arises. He knew that their only hope was to turn this thing around, to turn this nation around, to bring them back under the hand of the Lord.
There's the life lesson then, is God's response. You've got to see this part of the story. He hears the word, something stirs, he weeps deeply, he tears his robe. He goes to seek and inquire of the Lord, and then God's response, verse 27, "Because your heart was tender, because you humbled yourself, because you tore your clothes, because you wept, truly, I heard you." You got to step back and see this because it's really a very important scene that's happening. He hears the word, he stirred. He's hearing the word. When he hears the word, see, he's hearing God's heart, "Now I get it.
Now I see God's heart." He responds because he's hearing God's heart. God says, "Josiah, I heard you because you humbled yourself. I heard you because it mattered to you, I heard you." Josiah truly heard, so God heard Josiah. Please hear this. Josiah truly heard. He heard God's heart, and he received it, and it stirred him. It mattered to him, so God says, "I heard you, Josiah." I'll tell you, this is my point, it's an insight into prayer. It's an insight into prayer. Prayer is not the exact correct formulation of words. That's not the point of prayer.
Oh, you got to just say the right words to make the prayer as if it's some kind of formula. No. Prayer, effective prayer, comes out of and born out of revival. It comes from the condition of the heart. It mattered. That's why the disciples, they saw Jesus and the relationship that Jesus had to his father, and they could see that Jesus prayed, was a man of deep prayer, so they said, "Teach us that. We want to know that." I tell you, this is a very important thing. God has decided that He will move by the prayers of His people, and therefore, it's incumbent upon us to understand the insight of prayer.
Notice James 5:16, I love the quote there, "The fervent, sincere prayer--" See, notice that part there, it's born out of that revival. The fervent, sincere, born out of the heart that's stirred, of a righteous man, is very effective. Want an effective life? Here's a great key to an effective life, prayer that is born out of a heart that's stirred, out of revival. Notice Jeremiah 29:12, another one, "Then you will call upon Me, and you will come, and you will pray to Me, and I will hear you, I'll listen." This is the key. This is like a mic-drop moment, "I get it now.
I see now." God says, "I truly will hear you. You will seek Me, and you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." I get it now. It's one of the deeper insights of prayer. It's not the formulation of words. It's the condition of revival in the heart that seeks. See, why did he tear his clothes? Why did he weep? Because it mattered. Does it matter? It matters. See, when I think about that I'm reminded of the story in my own life of a time, I was just beginning ministry. This is more than 40 years ago now. I gave a sermon that was perhaps the worst sermon given in the history of the world.
At least that's what I thought of at the time. It was so bad. How bad was it? It was so bad that while I'm giving this sermon, I'm having a conversation with myself. The conversation with myself went something like this, "This is a bad sermon. This is really bad." I'm sinking in the waves, like, "God I'm drowning here." These thoughts were so big, I was drowning in them. I couldn't get out of it. This is bad, this is really bad. This is so bad that I stopped the message, and I asked people to pray in small groups. I'm trying to put some kind of spiritual turn on it.
"You know what we should do? I just think we should seek God. We should just get into small groups and pray." I'm thinking, "Oh, Lord." Then when the thing was done, my wife was sitting in the front, I took her by the hand, brought her to a back room, and held her, and just cried. It was a deep crying. I know you're not supposed to cry, but I can't. I cried. I know. I go home, and one of the guys from the church calls me, my dear friend, Paul. He calls me and he says, "How are you doing?" I said, "Oh, it was bad." He said, "I was there." I said, "It was so bad that I took Jordy's hand, and I went, and I cried." He said, "You know what? I'm glad you cried."
I said, "Really? Why?" "Because that tells me that it mattered to you. It mattered, that's why you cried. I'm glad it mattered to you, and I'm glad you cried." Josiah saw it. It matters so much that he wept, tore his clothes. Does the heart matter? Oh, it matters to God. It matters above all things. When Jesus was ministering, some of the experts in the law of God came to Him and said, "Now, teacher, which is the highest and foremost of all that God has ever spoken to man?" What a question is that? What is the highest? What's the greatest word that God has ever spoken?
He quoted from Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "The greatest, the highest and the foremost that God has ever spoken to man is this. Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, and the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. These words, which I'm commanding you today, write them, they shall be on your heart." That's the highest. You know what I say out of that? This is the highest place that you can arrive to in your life. This is the highest place. There is no greater aspect of life than to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
B. A heart that’s tender desires reform
There is nothing greater than that. To seek after the glory of God in your life, the love of God manifest in your soul. There is no greater aspect of life than that. Therefore, it matters, but then would you notice this? A heart that's tender toward the Lord, desires before Him or change. In other words, a heart of revival wants a changed life. This is a part of revival. A heart of revival wants a changed life. It ought to then impact the way the life is lived. Once you desire the fullness of God, if you desire the fullness of God in your life, it will impact how you live your life.
Notice, Ephesians 3:19, Paul says, "My prayer for you, my prayer is that you will know the love of Christ. This is the highest. If you would know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, and that you would be filled up with the fullness of God." Imagine to be filled up with the fullness of God, how beautiful is that? Then he says, "Now unto Him who is able to do far more exceedingly beyond in your life, all that we ask or even think." It will translate into, that which moves in your life. There are real-world impacts from a heart like that, to do far more exceedingly and beyond all that we ask from Him and think.
It's like, I don't want that. Paul says, "I want you to want that according to the power that works within us." See, reform happens, change happens when your life is formed by the heart of God, the Word of God. When a person's heart finds revival, not authentic love, they want that. They want their life to be changed. See, it starts with revival and then comes the life change. When life change comes and is born out of revival, it's the inside out. That's the way God moves, from the inside out. I'm reminded of the example of the Jesus movement of the '60s.
By the way, let me remind you, there's a movie coming out to theaters all across this country, will be released in theaters right here, and it's a movie called The Jesus Revolution. It's a movie about the revival of the '60s. We got to see it. All of us, we got to see it. In many ways, it's the history of the Calvary Chapel movement that was intricately part of that Jesus revival. The hippies of that day were a generation of rebellion, anti-everything, and the drugs, just the culture of the whole thing. Their hair was part of their rebellion, their clothes, and they're not wearing shoes and all.
Chuck Smith began to teach the Word of God, and something happened of revival, but it stirred in their soul first, from the inside. They still had their long hair, still had their bare feet, but there they come to hear the word. It was that which stirred inside of them, from the inside out. Like Roman 10:17, "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing comes from the word of Christ." That's how it's built. After Josiah's heart is broken, and he hears this word, he gathers all the people. He gathers all of them to hear the word, that they all might then make a covenant with the Lord.
Then he begins that work of removing all of the abominations, those things that were offensive. See, notice how it worked. Josiah's heart was stirred. He stirred the people, and then, "Now we're going to get rid of some things. That's what we're going to do. Those abominations, those offensive things to the Lord, we want them out. That's the stirring of a life change because revival has two parts. This is my point and we got to see. There are two parts to revival. The beginning of revival is that heart that's stirred, the hearing of God's word. That it matters that you love the Lord, highest, and first, and foremost.
C. There are two parts to revival
Then comes the second part. The changed life. It's like you're saying, "I see it now. Those things are poison to me. These things of the world in my life, they're standing in the way. I want God, it matters to me. I want more of God in my life. I want to love God with all my heart. I can't love God with all my heart when these things remain as abominations and offensive things. I don't want these things in my life. I want these things out of my life." That is the second part of revival, and there is no revival without it because there are two parts.
You cannot love the Lord with all your heart, all might, and strength and still have abominations in your life. Anybody understand what I'm saying? No, this thing about the revival is that you want to get rid of them. See, that's the difference. You want to get rid of them. I see it now, I didn't see it before. I kept them hidden in the closet thinking that they were my friend, but now I see it, they're not my friend. They're hurting me. These things are against me. These things stand against all that God wants to do in my life. That's what I see now.
II. Beware the Outward Form of Religion
I want that out of my life, that's revival because now you see it. You didn't see it before, and now you see it. I see it for what it is. How ugly it is. I want it out of my life. I do want to add this, beware of the outward form of religion. In other words, it's possible to do the appearance of the thing to make the look of righteousness for the look of the thing, thinking that you're right with God because it looks a certain way. I was thinking of an illustration. Back many years ago when I had more time for counseling, I met with a man who said he wanted to work on his marriage, and said, "Okay, I'll meet with you." We met, and I heard his story.
I said, "You know what? These are some things that I really want you to take hold of and work on for your life. I gave these things to him, and then he didn't do it. We would meet again, and I would say, "Now, these are the things that I really wanted you to work on these things right on your life. Then he would come back, he wouldn't do it. Then he would come back again, I'd say, "You really need to work on these things," but he wouldn't do it. Finally, I said, "You know what? I don't think you actually want to change. I think that you're meeting with me only for the look of the thing."
A. Beware of reform without revival
He says, "What do you mean?" I said, "I think you want your wife to think that you're working on it, but you're not. What you need, my friend is revival because there will be no change until there's revival first." See, because people do that with God. They want God to think that they're okay. They want for the look of the thing, but they're not. In other words, be aware of reform without revival because it's possible just for the look of the thing. Now, it's understandable, you see, with children. This actually happens with children and it's understandable with children.
I'll explain, but it's very dangerous in adults, same with children. It's good for families to create, let's say, rules of righteousness for how a family will operate. This is very common and good. It's the reform. In other words, it's the righteous guidelines. Each one, each child raised up in those guidelines has to find their own revival. See, the Scripture says, Proverbs 22:6, "Raise up a child in the way he should go. Then when he's old, he will not depart from it." You raise him up in that way, the guidelines of righteousness, this is what we do as a family.
We go to church, and we pray. These are things we do. The standards of our righteous. We don't go to those movies, we don't watch that, we don't listen to that. Now, a lot of kids will, of course, not appreciate these rules of righteousness. They'll even resist you. They'll even kick against some of these guidelines of righteousness. They don't want to do these things, and they push against them. We raised five teenagers; we had five teenagers in the house at one time. I understand this very well, but when they find their own revival, it's beautiful.
You raise them up in the guidelines of righteousness, praying that they find their own revival. Each one must find their own. It's somewhat common for kids to leave the house and go to college, or they work in the world, or whatever, and melt down their life because they were not operating at a revival. They were just living according to your guidelines of righteousness. They didn't find their own revival. It is possible, isn't it? It's common in children, but they must find their own. Pray for them, pray for our kids that each one would find their own revival, because when they do, oh, how beautiful it is.
I was thinking of our kids. All of our kids had an opportunity to go to serve at an orphanage in Mexico. There's an orphanage that we here as a church support. In fact, I was there when the orphanage was launched. It's an orphanage for disabled children, and they can never leave, so they end up being older and older. Now, many of them are disabled adults. Our youth would go and serve there. To serve in the name of the Lord is a good thing. I loved to see what happened. They would come back, and they would be so impacted, oftentimes showing pictures.
They start crying. Oh, what happened there was so beautiful. Several of my kids went back later on, and one of my kids worked there for a year, another one for several months. It's like when they find their own revival, there's something beautiful. I got to tell you, something happened last night. After the service, I was in the back waiting for the service to get over. A young boy came up to me, I don't know, maybe 11,12. He said, "I just want to thank you for the message. I felt Jesus here tonight." I said, "What is your name, young man? How old are you?"
"11." I looked at him, and I thought, "God has got big plans for this young man." It's tremendous when you see revival like this. It's possible though to do righteousness for the look of the thing when there's no revival in it. This was, Jesus pointed this out in Matthew 23:24-26. The Pharisees were masters at having the outward appearance without the heart toward God. Jesus's confrontation is epic. Notice Matthew 23, "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees." Woe is a big word. "Woe to you, you are blind guides." Don't you just love the straight-up authority of the Lord Jesus Christ?
"You are blind guides who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel." What does that mean? Both a gnat and a camel are unclean. You're not allowed to eat gnats, and you're not allowed to eat camel. I'm here to tell you, I have abided by this Word of God all my life, not eating either one, but for the show of the thing, if a gnat, which is the smallest of flies, happens to land in the tea, the drink, whatever, a lot of people would just flick it. No. They won't make a big show of the thing. They take a big strainer, and they strain. "God forbid that I should have even the mistake of consuming a gnat," for the show of the thing.
Then when they would give their offerings at the temple or whatever, they would bring a trumpeter with them. Who brings a trumpeter? For the show of the thing. Then when they do their prayers, they give their prayers in such a way for the show of the thing. Jesus said, "You're straining at a gnat, but don't you see you're swallowing a camel. You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but the inside is full of self-indulgence. First, clean the inside that the outside may be clean also." Then let's close with this. God writes His word on your heart so that you delight in it.
B. God writes His Word on your heart
See, that's the thing. Delight in it. That's where revival comes from. When God's word stirs your soul, and it matters, and you love God because of it, there's a delight in the soul. Psalm 40:8, "I delight to do your will." I don't have to muster myself up. I don't have to somehow, "Okay, fine." I delight in it, Oh my God, because your word, your law, it's written, it's within my heart. I love You, Lord. I love You, Lord, and it matters to me. I want to live to your honor. I want to live to your glory. It matters to me. It's written on my heart. Let's pray.
Father, thank you so much for how you move in power through your word. It stirs us, and we say it matters. Church, how many would say that to the Lord? "It matters to me. I want to love You with all my heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. I want Your glory in my life. It matters to me. I want to live to your glory." Church, how many would say that? Would you just raise your hand as a way of declaring it to the Lord? It matters to me. I want to love You more. I want your glory in my soul. I want to live to your honor. It matters to me. Father, thank you for everyone who's stirred of the Lord. We truly love You and honor You in Jesus's name, and everyone said-- Let's give the Lord praise and glory.