Cultivating a Tinder Heart

“In the eighth year of his reign … he began to seek the God of his father David, and … purge Judah and Jerusalem.” 2 Chronicles 34:3

During camping trips growing up, as the youngest of four boys, I was often tasked with foraging the woods for tinder to light the campfire. Spiritually-speaking, as God prepares to set His people ablaze, His eyes run to and fro throughout the earth looking for tinder among us.

2,650 years ago in Judah, God’s eyes fell upon a young king named Josiah who would usher in one of the greatest renewals the nation ever saw.

Josiah re-instituted the Passover, something no king of Israel had done before, and he ‘removed all the abominations in all the country … and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the Lord their God’ (2 Chronicles 34:33). Simply put, God raised up Josiah as a catalyst of revival.

God is about to move again. As He does, His eyes scan the earth for tinder! What exactly was it about Josiah that caught God’s attention?

First, he set his heart to diligently pursue the Lord. This was deliberate, focused seeking. He came to a point where he set distractions aside. Important matters paled against the sense of urgency as he pressed into God. Desperation is indispensable kindling for every move of God.

A central feature of Josiah’s seeking was to know how God moved in the past. Finney studied Edwards. Seymore and Roberts studied Finney and Edwards.

The Latter Rain leaders of 1948 researched the early Pentecostal outpourings, and subsequent revivals always sought diligently to unstop the wells opened by the awakenings of past generations.

They knew the Master said that wise householders mine treasures from the old even as they embrace the new (Matthew 13:52).

I’m extraordinarily blessed to come from a rich revival tradition. Some of my spiritual mothers and fathers were central figures in that Latter Rain Movement.

I was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit at the height of the Charismatic Renewal, and drank from the sweet waters of the Toronto Blessing and Brownsville Revival. I laughed for hours at Rodney Howard-Brown meetings.

As good as each was, none compares with the miracle- and presence-filled revival I experienced intensely and first-hand in China in the 80’s to early 90’s.

Talk about power encounters! Those days defy description. Heaven came down. Souls were saved in droves. The blind saw, the deaf heard, the lame walked. Angels were commonplace, as were epiphanies of Jesus.

Josiah’s hunger was rewarded. He ‘re-discovered’ the Book of the Law. It had been there in the temple all along! But as is always the case when God’s Spirit is poured out, Josiah trembled when confronted by the Word of God.

‘Thus it happened, when the king heard the words of the Law, that he tore his clothes’ (2 Chronicles 34:19). The Word broke him and called him to account for everything he had been doing.

Worship practices were reformed across the land. A nationwide Passover was decreed. God’s Word brought transformative change.

Enter the Prophetess Huldah. She had most certainly been interceding for this day! The wife of a wardrobe-keeper who lived in an obscure part of the city (in a male-dominant age), Huldah had been promoted in the peoples’ eyes.

Everyone concurred that this woman had the Word of the Lord. Her voice pierced like a sharpened sword directing all eyes and ears to the key that opened the heart of this 16-year-old king now responsible for a great visitation in Israel.

Huldah said, “Because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God…” (2 Chronicles 34:27)

God is about to do a new thing. People around the world are talking about it. Many devour books and articles about Wesley and Wigglesworth, or Azusa Street and legacies left by the awakenings of past generations.

Expectations are reaching a boiling point. Watchmen are taking their places on the walls. A cry is ascending. Bones are rattling.

A ‘walk’ through our forests reveals scars of scorched sections of the woods from ancient burnings. To venture here is to be struck by the cracking sounds of dry branches snapping underfoot.

God strolls here as in the Garden of old; this time, His to-and-fro gaze searches for Josiahs – for those who have cast all other pursuits aside and are bent on witnessing God move gloriously as He has done before.

They’re no longer content to snack on the Bible but are rediscovering that they live by every Word from the mouth of God. Clothes are ripped open again.

If Huldah was here, her unsheathed words would be pointing at those who are diligently humbling themselves before the Father – whose hearts, like Josiah, are being tenderised to lay hold of the next mighty move of our fiery God.

This forest will burn again to become a mighty torrent of flames across the lands. Tender is tinder.

May God find the combustibles He seeks right here in Cornerstone – then set ablaze the jungles of Singapore and beyond!


Pastor Kevin Graves

 

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