An Observation On Sustaining Revival

How do we maintain momentum in revival? These two portions of scripture below, and the lives described behind them, define the utter importance of living out a One Pursuit life establishing passion for First Commandment living.

Here we see the contrast between a father and a son, revival and apostasy. What a contrast!  There are lessons to learn here. Take a look and share your thoughts after reading.

2 Kings 18:1-6

1 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.3 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.4 He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. 5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.6 He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.

2 Chronicles 33:1-6

1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them.4 He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.”5 In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts.6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.

As I go through my study of the kings of Israel and Judah I cannot ignore the topsy-turvy dedication and devotion of these kings to the Lord. Furthermore, it’s hard to understand how these kings could not sustain revival though their family lineage.

Each portion of scripture above is six verses long. One about a father and another about his son. One leads the nation in revival the other into apostasy.

Hezekiah (the father) is attributed as one of the greatest kings of Judah. He gave his heart fully to the Lord. He radically put away evil. He led the nation into a reformation. He stood his ground to military powers. For 29 years he completely shifted a culture and brought the nation into revival and the radical blessings of the Lord!

Manasseh his son came to the throne following his fathers death and completely destroys everything his father had achieved. Unbelievable. He was one of the darkest kings in Judah.

His name literally means “causing to forget”. He forgot the Lord and the blessings that came with serving Him. He saw a move of God with his own eyes yet walked away from it. He forgot his own children by sacrificing them in the fires of the demonic. He reigned 55 years and even though towards the end of his life he found God, a good thing, it was too little too late. Even with Josiah coming on the scene years later the nation never fully recovered and fell into the hands of Babylon.

I don’t know the relationship that Hezekiah had with his son Manasseh and I never want to shift any blame one way or the other. But one thing is obvious, one generation can undo the work of another.  Somehow we have to learn to string the generations together and build godly momentum that lasts.

We cannot chase revival and lose a generation. And on the contrary, we can’t grow up and live in the glory of  revival and walk away from it.

YOUR TURN: I would love to get your take on this. What are your observations regarding these portions of scripture?

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  1. Marc Madrigal Aug 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    A pastor of a very diverse church once told me it’s easy to have a multi-ethnic church, what’s hard is having a multi-generational church.

    The more ways we can find to bridge the gap between generations, I think the healthier the church can be. Personally as a young person I am always encouraged when I hear about the revivals of older generations 🙂

    1. Greg Aug 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      Hi Marc. I think every generation needs it’s own encounter with the Lord. They need to build on the move of the Spirit without falling into needless traditions. The greatest threat to a new move of the Spirit comes from the one who previously experienced one.

      The older ones need to father the next generation and encourage them to soar. I hope to bridge the generations starting with my own kids and pray they can take revival higher and farther than me. 🙂

  2. Hilda Aug 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I find that the son wants to rebel against the father. He is jealous of the father’s way and hope to create his own way that will dominate and surpass that of his father’s. I personally don’t think it’s important to tie generations or even create gods or what not. I just think that changes
    should be made to accomodate changes of the next generation. It is important not to forget the past, but we should not even dwell on it. Dwelling on the past would only lead to the same mistake. The son did make a terrible mistake, but possibly by dwelling on competiting with the father.

    That is my take on it 🙂

    1. Greg Aug 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      I am all for changing methods of how we should do things but the message here should never change. The message is found here, Mark 12:30 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ This message never changes and should be upheld through every generation. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. charis Aug 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    hmmm, good question. i have wondered for quite awhile the same thing – how such good kings were sons of such evil kings and how such evil kings were the sons of such good kings. i think there could be things tied to parenting, which makes me take my job as a mom very seriously. i cannot just assume that my kids will know the Lord by default. i must teach them intentionally and keep pointing them back to pursuing Him for themselves as their God. but, i am also reminded of the verse about each man standing accountable for his own sin before the Lord and that sons will not be judged for a father’s sin nor father’s for a son’s sin… we each have a choice to follow when it comes down to it.

    i am not sure if revival is meant to be “sustained” in the way we often talk about it. i believe there are movements of the Holy Spirit that come and go like the wind and breathe fresh on each generation. when we try to live on yesterdays manna, that is when i think things get perverted. i believe we keep the same pursuit of seeking Him first and He will meet us over and over again – from glory to glory. we don’t want to camp in a “revival movement” if His Spirit has moved on and is doing something new – we need to go where His Spirit goes.

    1. Greg Aug 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Absolutely on both counts. If we choose to make sustaining revival our primary focus INSTEAD of the Lord Himself then we just bumped revival ahead of the First Commandment on the priority list. We cannot USE the Lord as a means to sustain a movement rather we have love the Lord supremely and go with the Wind (Spirit). Thanks for sharing.

  4. Child of God Aug 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Good post! I wonder if this has something to do with not only family ties but generational ties in the church, or body of Christ. It seems that people want to be broken into age groups which is great, but this separates and divides the people which will eventually break up the group of believers. Since we are the body of Christ we need to work together in all things, just like a body does, then, I wonder, if the revival will hold from generation to generation.


    1. Greg Aug 23, 2011 at 9:25 am

      An inheritance is what we for others and a legacy is what we leave in others. If we are so see a perpetual, ongoing move of the Spirit, the generations must connect and move together. Good point!!


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