Monday, April 23, 2007

Revive Us LORD!

In my post last week called Time to Repent I ended with the issue of pride. To fix this heart issue, God calls us to repent! Joel 2:12-13 says Even now— [this is] the LORD's declaration— turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the LORD your God.

Here is my prayer for us. “Will you not revive us again oh Lord so that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6). God wants to revive His people. He wants to restore us so we can experience deep joy and rejoice in Him. Isaiah 57:17 says this: For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly (humble) spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly (humble), and to revive the heart of the contrite.

God says He dwells with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the heart and spirit of the lowly and the contrite. Let's look at this word "contrite" to see what it means. In the original language the word is dakka' which means destruction or dust. Dakka' is from the root word daka' which means to crush, destroy and be broken. Do you see what this is telling us? We have got to get to the place in our lives when we can recognize that we are absolutely nothing without God. He is the giver of Life and Breath. Our lives are completely in His hands and apart from Him we can do nothing. We must come before Him broken and admit that we are utterly helpless and spiritually bankrupt. When we see God for who He is we will see how sinful we really are. When we truly see God’s holiness we can’t help but fall down on our faces and acknowledge our impoverished condition. My pastor, Buddy Gray in his sermon "
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit" says “Proud people won’t ever understand spiritual helplessness”. So what are we to do? We MUST confess our pride.

This is such a hard thing to do today for us in our western culture. We are taught that we are to be strong, mighty and that “we” can do anything if we work hard enough at it. Listen to what Chris Tiegreen says in his devotional book called, “At His Feet”. Tiegreen states, “Our world sells us “a higher plane” with self help materials from spiritual gurus. Poverty in spirit is a weakness. Jesus is an offense to the ego of this world. In our natural selves, we see ourselves as lords of our own lives. When those lives are dysfunctional, we seek to mend them. We apply self help techniques, psychological therapies, and religious philosophies-anything to pull ourselves up. We think we need improvement and that we can do it ourselves or with a little help from our friends. But Jesus did not come into the word to improve us. He came to rescue those who are lost, broken, and helpless.”

God’s word tells us that He opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. God is looking for contrition. He says He will dwell with those of a contrite and lowly spirit and he will revive the spirit and revive the heart of the contrite. John Piper states in his book “Desiring God”, that “mingled with the feeling of genuine brokenness and contrition there arises a longing for God. "As a heart longs for the flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:1-2). "Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73:25-26). "O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is" (Psalm 63:1). God is not unresponsive to the contrite longing of the soul. He comes and lifts the load of sin and fills our heart with gladness and gratitude. "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee forever" (Psalm 30: 11-12).”

Believers today desperately need to be revived!! Are we willing to turn to Him and admit our absolute need for Him so He can come and fill our hearts with JOY?

Heavenly Father, "Will you not revive us again so that your people may rejoice in you?"

I thought that I would close with a poem that my good friend Joy wrote:
Revive us, Lord and make us new. Restore us by Your grace.
Cleanse our hearts and hands, O God, That we may see Your face.
Revive us, Lord, and make us pure. Forgive us by Your blood.
Renew our desire for You, O God, That we may dwell in Your love.
Revive us, Lord, and make us free. Save us by Your hand.
Rebuild our hearts and lives, O God, That we may obey Your commands.
Revive us Lord, and make us firm. Steady us by Your truth.
Meet our need for You, O God, That we may rejoice in You.