Monday, March 27, 2023

Bringing Revival to a Nation

 Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the Lord.” – 2 Chronicles 34:21

In the 1990s, 70 percent of the Colombian drug trade was controlled by a cartel in the city of Cali. The Cali Cartel was one of the largest and richest criminal organizations in history, exporting half a billion dollars of cocaine every month. As cartel members drove their shiny black Mercedes through the city, all other traffic would pull to the side of the road. Many drivers who defied this etiquette were blocked, then shot. As many as 15 people a day were killed—just for failing to get out of the way. 

By the early 1990s, Cali Cartel interests controlled virtually every major institution in the city, including banks, businesses, politicians and police. Like everyone else, Christians were weak and scared. But in the mid-1990s, all that changed. A few pastors started meeting for prayer. They prayed for the Christians in Cali, particularly the pastors, to develop a hunger for prayer, unity and holiness. Some of the pastors rented the civic auditorium to assemble their congregations for an evening of joint worship, repentance and prayer. The pastors prepared for a few thousand people. But at the “Cali Revival” event in May 1995, more than 25,000 people filed into the auditorium. They prayed for God’s active participation in their stand against the drug cartels. At one point the mayor proclaimed, “Cali belongs to Jesus Christ!” 

Forty-eight hours later, the headline in the daily newspaper was: “No Homicides!” For the first time in as long as anybody in the city could remember, 24 hours had passed without a single murder. The Colombian government declared all-out war against the drug lords. Over the next four months, 900 cartel-linked officers were fired from the metropolitan police force. One by one, the cartel leaders were arrested or killed. Tens of thousands of Christians were revived and countless unbelievers were saved. Revival had come to Cali, Colombia.

The Cali Revival gives us a taste of what could happen across America when God ushers in the next great revival. In the Old Testament, 2 Chronicles 34 tells of another inspiring revival: the revival under King Josiah of Judah. Josiah was descended from two of the most evil kings Judah ever had. But Josiah didn’t walk in the wicked ways of his father and grandfather. Eight years into his reign, King Josiah began seeking the God of his forefather, David. He set out to purge Judah and Jerusalem of all idols and pagan worship centers, and he repaired and purified the temple (vs. 3-8). Then, in verse 14, a high priest found an ancient scroll of the Torah (most likely the Book of Deuteronomy) hidden somewhere in the temple. When the high priest found it, he gave it to Josiah’s secretary, who read it to the king.

How did King Josiah respond? “When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes” (v. 19). This was a sign of deep sorrow … and, probably, fear. He said, “Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the Lord” (v. 21). He sent messengers to ask a prophetess, Huldah, what punishment the people could expect for the sins of Judah—past and present. The news wasn’t good. Huldah replied that God would “bring disaster” on Jerusalem and its people. God’s anger “will be poured out and will not be quenched,” because “they have forsaken God” and “provoked Him to anger by all that their hands have made” (vs. 24-25). Judgment was coming.

However, because King Josiah had torn his robes, humbled himself before God and wept over Israel’s sin, God was going to delay His judgment. It wouldn’t come until AFTER Josiah’s death.

So, in verse 30, King Josiah gathered all the people of Judah and read the Book of the Covenant to them. And King Josiah led the people in a renewal of their covenant with God. They promised to turn from their sin and worship and obey God alone. And they kept that promise: “As long as [Josiah] lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their fathers” (v. 33).

Today, I think you’ll agree that America has a sin problem. So, if we desire God to bring revival to our nation the way He brought revival to the nation of Judah, we have to repent. The people of Judah had to turn from their wicked ways, and we have to turn from our wicked ways.

When we Christians confess sin and repent, we tend to just confess and repent from our own personal sin. And on the rare occasions when we do confess the sins of our nation, we tend to confess the sins that disgust us the most. But if we are serious about turning from our wicked ways and ushering in an extraordinary move of God, we cannot simply confess and turn from the sins of our nation that disgust US the most. We must confess and turn from all sin, because all sin disgusts GOD. (I encourage you to listen to my message, “Revival – part 3,” on YouTube for a list of national sins that you might not have considered.)

In the mid-1990s, God moved in the city of Cali, Colombia in extraordinary ways as the Church confessed and turned from the sins of their city AND the Church. God brought revival there, and He will bring revival here if we will humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. He WILL hear from heaven. He WILL forgive our sin. And He WILL heal our land. But turning from our sin begins with confessing our sin. And there’s no doubt: We have a lot of confessing to do. 

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Beginning on Easter Sunday (April 9th), join us at our great NEW worship location in Apple Valley (16209 Kamana Road) at 9am and 11am. You can also join us online at Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

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