walk in the word
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit (Psalm 51:12, esv).
At certain points throughout history, in various places around the globe, God has brought extraordinary seasons of awakening and revival to His people. No one can manufacture these kinds of happenings. God alone, in His sovereignty and mercy, knows exactly the right moment for these widespread, public experiences to break out.
But while we have no control over events like these, which people have traditionally called revivals, we do have control over being revived. “I am exceedingly afflicted,” one of the psalm writers said; “revive me, O Lord, according to Your word” (Psalm 119:107, nasb). “Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways” (Psalm 119:37). The Bible clearly teaches that God wants to revive us—wherever we are, at any moment of the day, at all times and occasions, every time we respond to His Word. He both prescribes and offers us a renewed interest in Him after we’ve been through any period of indifference or decline.“The Bible clearly teaches that God wants to revive us—wherever we are, at any moment of the day, at all times and occasions, every time we respond to His Word.” Click To Tweet
Don’t you want to experience that? Don’t you sense the hunger in your soul to pray, “Revive us, and we will call upon Your name” (Psalm 80:18)?
Among the defining marks that Paul eventually observed in the church at Corinth was a “longing,” a “zeal” for the Lord that hadn’t been there before (2 Corinthians 7:11, esv)—a palpable sense of revival. They’d previously been involved in all kinds of sexual sin, not really caring how it impacted their relationship with God, or with each other, or how it worked against their Christian witness in the community. But then the Lord woke them up to their sin, and they repented of it with their whole hearts, both with urgency and sincerity.
Then like a river rushing down a mountainside, like a waterfall gushing from a cool stream, His mercy began to wash over their lives. They experienced the renewing of joy, the restoration of free-flowing fellowship with Him. They longed to stay close to Him again. Their hearts became tender and sensitive to Him once more. They didn’t realize their life with Him could be this good or this exciting, but that’s exactly what it became.
And yours can be the same. You can be living it, and loving it, walking confidently in “the joy of your salvation,” hardly able to wait for what He’s about to do next in your life.
Church won’t be a chore any longer. You’ll find yourself wanting to hurry out of bed in the morning so you can get into God’s Word. You’ll look forward to being with His people, actively engaged in worshiping and serving Him. Where before you felt caught up in your problems and burdens and all the uncertainty about the future, now you’re basing each moment on the certainty that you’re going to heaven someday. You’re too passionate about the things of God to worry over matters so temporary.
Not many people choose to travel this road—from repentance to restoration to revival. But you can travel it—moving forward, not looking back, “a repentance that leads to salvation without regret” (2 Corinthians 7:10). Repentance never takes you to a bad place, only to a good place. And wouldn’t that be a great place to live?
Lord, thank You not only for leaving the path open for me to experience revival, but for leading me and wanting me on it. Please grant me the gift of repentance, and thank You for reminding me today that true joy can be on my horizon. Thank You for the reality that walking in unhindered fellowship with You is always the most abundant life. I come to You now with a repentant heart, and with the fresh anticipation of faith, in Jesus’ name, amen.
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