Cody's Corner: We need revival
In Psalm 119:88 NKJV, we read, “Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.”
The definition of revive, according to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary includes this: “2. To recover new life or vigor; to be reanimated after depression.” The citation underneath it states, “When he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived, Gen. xiv.”
Do you need to recover life, a return of life, or be reinvigorated after this period of depression known as the year 2020? I believe most of us feel like this year has been a forced non-stop rollercoaster ride of one bad thing after another, with no end in sight. If we are exposed to any kind of peace and quiet, happiness, or anything positive we can’t enjoy it, because immediately we are suspicious that the rug might be pulled out from under us since something good is happening.
This is the way it is when we go through periods of prolonged depression, suffering, or being completely drained. We need revival.
Praise God that he is in the business of revivals and reviving you to life again. If I had to be forced to name only a few characteristics of God that were my favorite, then two in the above verse would make it in. Reviving people to life through His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and compassion is one of God’s most unique traits.
Another characteristic of God that I love is that He does not require things of you where He does not support you, follow through, save you, protect you, uplift you, enable you, provide for you, and help you where in our own strength we would surely fail or quit. I do not have enough space to tell of all the times in just my life where God has revived me through countless ways to keep persevering, keep enduring, keep serving, keep loving, keep trusting, and to keep obeying. We praise you God for being this way, and please forgive us when we are so prone to forgetting and forsaking your ways and commandments since we are too earthly minded.
I read something encouraging this morning that I think might be a blessing to you. Young William Wilberforce was discouraged one night in the early 1790s after another defeat in his 10 year battle against the slave trade in England. Tired and frustrated, he opened his Bible and began to leaf through it. A small piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor. It was a letter written by John Wesley shortly before his death.
Wilberforce read it again: "Unless the divine power has raised you up... I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might." This was taken from Our Daily Bread, June 16, 1989.
I would encourage you in the same nature to take the words above to heart. Implant them in your soul, and see the fruit come immeasurably as you begin to trust in God’s strength and in perseverance in doing Kingdom work. It is what we are created for, and what we should expect in the Christian life. Unfortunately we have so few who actually set the example for us to imitate that we do not even know what it looks like to live courageously for the Lord, to persevere in a cause where we see no possible victory, or live for something other than ourselves.
Even so, we are called to believe, to endure, to persevere even if we feel completely alone. The truth is that all it takes is one person to follow God courageously, and it will spread to others like a fire. If you have ever been through a personal revival, or a church revival you know what I am talking about. It can be a moment that marks change in your life forever. It can also be a fire-starter that spreads to all those you come in contact with. This is the kind of contact-tracing I would be for. To find out where, when, how, and who was responsible for starting a spiritual revival in the city of Blackwell that broke out to infect surrounding cities, and eventually the whole of Oklahoma. Why couldn’t it happen? Why couldn’t it start with you? Re-read the William Wilberforce story again if you need courage, and inspiration.
A last word about revival is that it never come without certain steps accompanying it. The most common are repentance, restoration, and rejuvenation. There is such an awareness of personal sin, and societal sin that results in confessing and forsaking it completely. There is joy in completely committing ourselves to God, and His Kingdom work now that all our sins and chains have been removed. There is new life personally, and in the local church as well. Joyful, and willing obedience to God spring forth like never before.
In closing our thoughts on revival, I like this quote attributed to anonymous author, “The kingdom of God is not going to advance by our churches becoming filled with people, but by people in our churches becoming filled with God.”
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