November 27, 2008

Revive Us, Again.

Continuing my study on Revival, I've spent quite a bit of time dwelling on what I ready in regards to God's place in revival, or rather His work in revival. I guess I always viewed revival as it is commonly seen in today's churches: planned and dictated.

For example, a moder day church is planning their annual revival. Everything is predetermined, from the evangelist to the musicians and special music. Goals are even established as to how many new visitors and conversions the church wants to aim for. While setting goals and planning for a revival are amiable and God honoring, I can't help but wonder if it leaves very much room for God to do His work. I doubt the the new Christ Followers at Pentecost had set so many goals....

So like I said, I've tried to focus on God's role in revival. Today I'm going to focus on God's role of Restoration, as described in Psalm 85:4.

A few Scripture References Regarding Restoration:

Job 33:26 "He will pray to God, and God will delight in him. Tha man will behold His face with a shout of joy, and God will restore his righteousness to him."

Psalm 23:3 "He restores my soul...for His namesake."
(The soul is defined in my Bible dictionary as the emotional, spiritual aspect of our lives, and our essential being.)

Psalm 51:12 "Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation and make me willing to obey You."

Joel 2:25 " I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten."

There are four observations that I made while reading the above passages.

God Restores:
1. Righteousness to man (Job 33:26)
2. Our Soul, or essential being (Psalm 23:3)
3. Joy to His people (Psalm 51:12)
4. Wasted and barren years (Joel 2:25)

Please note that all of the above can be restored exclusively by Almighty God! No action of man, no chance encounter or spiritual exercise can restore mankind to righteousness, it is the redemptive work of Christ on the cross, and His work alone! Likewise, because our souls are emotional and spiritual rather than physical or chemical, they cannot be revived by exercise and medicine - our souls are only restored and refreshed by our loving Shepherd, Jesus Christ. While happiness can be induced by many factors (material things, exciting circumstances, etc.) joy is inherently the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22 -" But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of") Thus, joy can only be restored by God! Lastly, wasted and barren years - isn't it amazing to know that God can and will restore lost time? He is so full of goodness and grace, and He alone can take our wasted years and restore them for His glory and fame.

As I seek personal revival, I pray that God will restore these four things in my life. Will you pray with me?

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