As mentioned in another post, I’m going through the Psalms with my kids in our morning Bible time. We’ve been spending several days on Psalm 119 (it’s a loonngg one!) and today’s reading really struck home on many levels.
I cry out with my whole heart; Hear me, O LORD! I will keep Your statutes.
I cry out to You; Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.
I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word.
My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.
Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; O LORD, revive me according to Your justice.
They draw near who follow after wickedness; They are far from Your law.
You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth.
Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.
Consider my affliction and deliver me, For I do not forget Your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word.
Salvation is far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.
Great are Your tender mercies, O LORD; Revive me according to Your judgments.
Many are my persecutors and my enemies, Yet I do not turn from Your testimonies.
I see the treacherous, and am disgusted, Because they do not keep Your word.
Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.
The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. ~Psalm 119:145-160
Can you picture it? In my imaginings, the psalmist can’t sleep. He is overwhelmed. But, with a trusting heart, he cries out for God to help him, knowing God is full of lovingkindness and tender mercies. (I love this word, lovingkindness…more than love, more than kind, perhaps an extraordinary tenderness and compassion. Merriam-Webster describes it as benevolent affection.) I am sometimes kept awake when my mind refuses to shut down. I fret over difficult circumstances, and it keeps me from finding rest. This is a perfect opportunity for prayer and reading His Word. When I hand it over to Him, when I read His promises, my soul and my mind find peace, knowing that He is faithful.
Do you see the repetition? Revive me. The psalmist cries out for God to save him, to revive him, that he might then go out and live for God again. How I long for revival: in my spirit, in my family, in my church, in my community, in my country, in the world. We recently had a day of prayer in our local church, and revival was one of the items we focused on. I couldn’t help but think of the Keith Green song, “Rushing Wind” (I know…I am that old) as I prayed. “Jesus, You’re the One who set my spirit free. Use me, Lord, glorify Your holy name through me…Sanctify my life for You...Help me bear good fruit.” I’d like to write all of the lyrics out for you, but click on the link to listen to the song; it’s worth the time. I find it so stirring. Keith Green was a man who had a passion for Jesus and for the lost, and a beautiful, teachable heart that wanted to know more of God. He reminds me of David from the Bible. Our ladies’ Bible study group is doing Beth Moore’s David: Seeking a Heart Like His. I didn’t have a part in choosing this, but do you see all the connections for me? God is so good. He knows I am desperately slow and need many reminders, and all of these studies and thoughts and songs “just happen” to come before me around the same time to reinforce the theme.
Revival starts with me. With individuals. God deals with us on a one-to-one basis. He works on one heart at a time to do great and wonderful things on a grand scale.
Merriam-Webster defines the verb revive this way: “to become strong, healthy, or active again; to restore to consciousness or life. The Latin word vivere, meaning “to live,” gives us the root viv. Words from the Latin vivere have something to do with living. To survive is to remain alive. To revive is to bring back to life. Someone vivacious is full of life and is lively and energetic. Something, such as a story, that is vivid appears to be full of life and freshness.”
How I want the dust of my heart to be cleaned out by His Spirit. To rid me of my complacency, my fear, my apathy. Replace it with a new zeal for actively living for Him, for spending time with Him in prayer and reading His word, for sharing this wonderful news of the gospel with others. Replace it with a renewed life and a heart that is more like Jesus’. Replace it with a new consciousness of all He has done for me.
Jesus, You’re the One Who set my spirit free…Use me, Lord, glorify Your Holy Name through me…Sanctify my life for You…Help me bear good fruit.