I've been continuing my study on God's role in Revival. I didn't know until yesterday that the word "revive" is not found very often in the Bible. I generally read the Holman Christian Standard Bible, and in my concordance the word "revive" appears only six times (it appears seven times in the KJV) and the word "reviving" appears once. Interestingly, though my study is on Revival, the word does not actually appear in the Bible!
I've also discovered that most of the passages that do include the word "revive" are primarily discussing physical revival rather than spiritual revival. But I came across Psalm 19:7 and I realized a fundamental necessity for spiritual revival. "The instruction of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul." The Word of God is the essential element in bringing about authentic and lasting revival.
Thus I started a short study on the "instruction of the Lord" (Word of God) and it's many effects in the lives of Christ Followers. Psalm 119, though long, is very thorough in discussing the Word of God ("instruction" "statutes" "commands" "commandments" and "words" are used interchangeably to describe the Word of God.)
A few Scripture References that discuss studying and knowing the Word of God:
Psalm 119L11 - "How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules." (NLT)
Psalm 119:11 - "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (NLT)
Psalm 119:33-35 - "Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it." (ESV)
Psalm 119:48 - "I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes." (HCSB)
Psalm 119:130 - "The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced." (HCSB)
There are five observations that I made while reading the above passages.
Studying and Knowing the Word of God :
1. Keeps Christ Followers pure (verse 9)
2. Keeps Christ Followers from sinning (verse 11)
3. Brings delight to the hearts of Christ Followers (verses 33-35)
4. Invokes worship (verse 48)
5. Gives wisdom and understanding to the simple and inexperienced. (verse 130)
There are many more passages in Psalm 119 and throughout the Scriptures that discuss the Word of God and the benefits of studying it and applying the truths found within the pages of Scripture. But I found it particularly interesting that the passages listed above, along with the benefits, naturally lead to a sort of revival! Think about it - if Christ Followers saturate themselves in the Word of God, then according to Psalm 119 they will be living pure, sinless lives, their hearts will be filled with delight, they will have a renewed sense of worship, and they will experience wisdom and understanding in life's many situations. I don't know about you, but to me that seems like a pretty great description of spiritual revival!
I think when planning and praying for revival many churches forget the importance and necessity for Christ Followers to be saturating themselves in the Word of God. This is an individual necessity. I know it is easy for me to forget how essential it is for me to study the Bible. I must remember that without the Word of God, there can be no revival.