“Then he said, “What gravestone is this that I see?” So the men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done against the altar of Bethel.” And he said, “Let him alone; let no one move his bones.” So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria.” (II Kings 23:17-18 NKJV).
Josiah was a child of prophecy. He was born out of time to fulfil what God had ordained. Imagine how he would have felt when he knew that his actions were a fulfilment of a prophecy given 300 years earlier. (1 Kgs 13:2). God’s words are timeless and infallible, they come to pass with time. Unfortunately, the revival Josiah pioneered was short-lived, and his successor did not sustain the revival. This is why his works are called a reform rather than a full-blown revival. His reforms were like refreshing water in the oasis of a desert.
What the experience of King Josiah teaches us is that no matter how long it takes, God’s prophecies concerning the future kingdom shall come to pass. God has spoken that he would build his church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. He had also spoken that the good news of the kingdom will be preached to all the ends of the world before the end shall come (Mt.24:14). The end-time message can only be powered by the Spirit of revival.
We don’t need another prophecy other than God’s promises to remind us that the Church will experience revivals in the future. The history of the Church is replete with one revival or another. Therefore, God will certainly visit his Church again to restore his power and glory.
God’s spoken promises concerning the future outpourings are resoundingly certain and clear:
“And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29 NKJV).
“I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.” (Ezekiel 34:26 NKJV).
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19 NKJV).
These promises may seem far and remote, like Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones but they will one day come alive when the wind of the Holy Spirit blows on them.
The most precious and important realities of the kingdom are beyond our physical senses. This is why we walk by faith and not by sight. We “look” at these unseen things through the lens of the Scriptures. We strengthen our hearts and our courage by fixing our gaze on the invisible. God, in every age, fulfils his promises as his army of intercessors prays.
When Jesus looked and saw the helplessness of humanity, he said the harvest was plentiful, and he then urged his disciples to pray for labourers. (Matthew 9:36-38 NKJV). We have to pray to God to send labourers with a passion for revival and a heart for the harvest. We need revivalists like King Josiah, who will fulfil the plans of God for our generation.