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
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
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
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.
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 www.GreaterImpact.cc.
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