Profiles of Biblical Revival Leaders
There are several occasions in the Bible when God sovereignly chose to revive His people. Each of these accounts of God’s activity are unique; however, there is at least one common factor. Each revival was marked by a man who set his heart on seeking the Lord. This person became the catalyst through whom God initiated and perpetuated revival among His people.
These men were different from one another in personality, age, background and social setting. However, their determination to whole-heartedly seek God’s face and His glory unifies them. At the sovereign initiative of God, each of these men led the people to cease all activity for the sole purpose of returning to the Lord. Without exception, God honored their vulnerable faithfulness. God is still searching for humble, broken, and prayerful leaders through whom he can revive His people. As you prayerfully consider the profile of some of these men, may it deepen your hunger to be a vessel of revival to the people of God.
MOSES – Exodus 2-3, 32-34
- He was born in the midst of the bondage of God’s people (2:1-2).
- God divinely intervened in sparing his life when he was an infant in Egypt (2:3-10).
- He experienced the futility of his own impulsive efforts apart from God (2:11-15).
- He received a call from God in the context of the manifest presence of God (3:4-6).
- His call by God was in direct response to the crying out of the people of God (3:7-9).
- He was called to lead a stubborn and stiff-necked people toward the will of God (32:9).
- He was a passionate, desperate intercessor in behalf of his people to the point of being willing to sacrifice his personal well-being (32:11, 32).
- He had a deep concern for the reputation of God (32:12).
- He was angered by the idolatry among the people of God (32:19-21).
- He called the people to repent and return to their covenant relationship with God (32:26).
- He practiced corporate confession on behalf of the people (32:31).
- He guided the people in responding redemptively to the discipline of God (32:34-33:7).
- He experienced intimacy in his walk with God (33:9, 11).
- He was marked by a stubborn refusal to move ahead of God (33:15).
- He cultivated the manifest presence of God in his life (33:18-23; 34:5-7).
- He prostrated himself before the manifest presence of God as he cried out for corporate forgiveness (34:8).
- Moses received a specific promise of revival from God (34:10).
- He called the people to strict obedience personally and corporately in renewal of the covenant relationship (34:11-27).
- He practiced fasting and prayer (34:28).
SAMUEL – 1 Samuel 3-4, 6-7
- At an early age, he learned to hear and obey the voice of God (3:1-10).
- He was called to serve in a spiritually barren time (3:1; 4:11-22).
- He responded with strong, timely leadership to the lamenting people of God (7:2).
- He called for whole-hearted repentance and the denouncement of idols (7:3).
- He led the people to prepare their hearts to encounter the Lord (7:3).
- He called the people to singular allegiance and loyalty to God (7:3-4).
- He conducted a solemn assembly among the people of God (7:5-6).
- He exemplified a strong commitment to intercession, as well as fasting (7:5-6)
- He led the people in corporate confession (7:6).
- The people held the intercession of Samuel in high esteem (7:8).
- He experienced divine intervention in response to his intercession (7:9-13).
ASA – 2 Chronicles 14-16
- He purged the nation of idols and pagan worship centers, and commanded the people to seek God with a view to obedience (14:3-4).
- He cried out to the Lord for divine intervention (14:11).
- He was deeply concerned for God’s reputation (14:11).
- He experienced the manifest presence and power of God (17:10).
- He obeyed God quickly in removing pagan idols and restoring the altar (15:8).
- He led the people to wholeheartedly return to the covenant relationship (15:12).
- He conducted a solemn assembly, and experienced the return of the manifest presence of the Lord among His people (15:9ff).
JEHOSHOPHAT – 2 Chronicles 17-20
- He experienced the manifest presence of God in his life and ministry (17:3).
- He stood counter to his culture as he steadfastly obeyed the Lord (17:4).
- He took delight in the ways of God (17:6).
- He uprooted and destroyed satanic strongholds of pagan worship (17:6).
- He promoted reviving reformational teaching of the Scriptures (17:7-9).
- He experienced a regional awareness of the manifest power of God (17:10; 20:29).
- Jehoshophat positioned himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast among the people in keeping with the solemn assembly (20:3ff).
- He demonstrated dependence upon God in pleading for divine intervention (20:5-13).
- He received a personal promise of victory from God (20:15).
- He prostrated himself before God (20:18).
HEZEKIAH – 2 Chronicles 29-32
- He repaired the house of God, and removed rubbish from the holy place (29:3, 5).
- He traced the hand of God in judgment among his people (29:6ff).
- He sought the lifting of God’s wrath through renewing the covenant (29:10).
- Hezekiah conducted a solemn assembly (29:3ff).
- He urged the people to return to the Lord that His wrath might be lifted (30:6-9).
- He interceded on behalf of the people, and the Lord responded (30:18-19).
- He maintained his focus on God amidst opposition and misrepresentation (32:7-8, 16).
- He experienced divine intervention (32:21).
JOSIAH – 2 Chronicles 34-35
- He assumed leadership as king amidst compromise, idolatry and disobedience (34:2).
- He sought the Lord at an early age, and refused to turn to the right or the left (34:1-3).
- He initiated the removal of false worship and the repair of the Lord’s house (34:4-8).
- He openly expressed brokenness and remorse in response to the Scriptures (34:19).
- He acknowledged the wrath and judgment of God on the sin of the people (34:21).
- He led in the corporate confession of the sin of their fathers (34:21).
- His heart was tender and humble before God (34:27).
- He conducted a solemn assembly of covenant renewal (34:29-33).
- He carried out a deep purging and cleansing of ungodliness among the people (34:33).
EZRA – Ezra 7-10
- He prepared his heart to seek and obey the Lord, and to teach the people to do the same (7:10).
- He identified the activity of God in the midst of the people (7:27).
- He experienced God’s hand powerfully resting on his life and ministry (7:28).
- He proclaimed a fast and conducted a solemn assembly (8:21-23; 9:5-15).
- He overcame the temptation to compromise his total dependence upon God (8:22).
- He mourned and fasted over the failures of his people, as he interceded (9:3-15).
- He expressed humiliation as he acknowledged God’s grace in withholding judgment (9:8-9, 13).
NEHEMIAH – Nehemiah 1-6
- He mourned, wept, fasted and prayed out of a deep burden for the people of God (1:4).
- He earnestly interceded on behalf of his people (1:5-11).
- He practiced corporate confession (1:7).
- His deep burden produced a sorrowful countenance on his face (2:2).
- He magnified the hand of God on his life and ministry (2:8, 18).
- He clarified his mission in isolation and obscurity (2:12).
- He experienced ridicule, criticism and opposition (2:19; 4:1-3; 6:1-13).
- He responded to his critics and opponents with prayer (4:4-5, 9; 6:9, 14).
God Still Seeks Men Who Will Seek Him
- For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him… (2 Chronicles 16:9 nkjv).
- Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leave shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3 nkjv).
- Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation (Psalm 24:3-5 nkjv).
- So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none (Ezekiel 22:30 nkjv).
- Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3:20 nkjv).
© 2009, 2011 Prayeridigm Publishing. Adapted from Blow the Trumpet in Zion: Calling God’s People Back To Him Through Solemn Assembly by Keeney Dickenson. To order a copy of the full work, visit Prayerdigm Publishing.