Friday, August 16, 2013

Return, revive, restore

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 80:1-19

TO CHEW ON: "Return, we beseech you, O God of hosts;
Look down from heaven and see
And visit this vine." Psalm 80:14

Cries for spiritual revival and restoration echo across the centuries. That's because over the years we haven't changed much. Our hearts get distracted. Our love grows tepid. We easily wander, stray, rebel, stare God down with a defiant eye: I will live my own way!

Then comes the day when we have a change of heart. We want to go back. Is there a way? Yes.

"Return, we beseech you, O God of hosts;
Look down from heaven and see,
And visit this vine
And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted
And the branch that You made strong for Yourself." Psalm 80:14-15

1. God needs to come to us. "Return...visit...revive...restore," begs Asaph. God draws us back to Himself. The desire we have to come back shows He is drawing and tugging. Life is stirring.

2. We also play a part in our own revival. Like a plant needs to take in the water required to perk it up, we need to eat spiritual food and drink spiritual water. That is found in God's life-giving words. We read the Gospels and fall in love with Jesus again. We read the Psalms and feel the pulse of spiritual response. We read the epistles and come away amazed at the depth and breadth of His plan. We memorize so that these life-giving words are always at the top of our minds and the tip of our tongues. We put ourselves "under His shadow," that is, allow Him to work the repentance, healing and restoration that comes with revival.

3. And He breathes life back into us.
When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Colossians 2:13 (Message)

PRAYER: Dear God, I find myself readily going out to eat and drink. Please revive in me a deep hunger and thirst for You. I want to be like the tree in Psalm 1.

MORE: Revival stories

Often revivals take the form of mass moves of God where hundreds and thousands of people are impacted in life-changing ways. Read some of the stories of revival from recent history.

1727 Saxony revival

1857-1860 New York revival

1860s Hull (England) revival

1904 Welsh revival

1905 Edinburgh revival

1949-53 Hebrides revival

Ripples of the 1971 Saskatoon revival

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