Being summertime, we will unfortunately have news reports of individual’s falling victim to the tragedy of drowning.  Some, it will be reported, will respond to the actions of emergency personnel and will be revived from their brush with death.  This is perhaps the best illustration for defining the word revival, and this is something David prayed for in Psalm 85:6 “Will you not yourself revive us again…”

Our study brought out some things that should be of interest to those seeking to follow the will of God.  First of all David’s plea for revival presents the situation as extremely serious.  They were dying! No, not physically, but spiritually, as the surrounding text deals with salvation.  The people of Israel were failing to maintain a positive relationship with God and as a result their salvation was in jeopardy!  Christians of today should heed that plea made by David, evaluating their own relationship with God.  We too can find ourselves dying and in need of revival.

David’s plea for revival was directed to God.  He knew that just as God is the source of physical and spiritual life, He is also the source of reviving that life.  All too often we believe that we can take whatever steps are necessary for renewal, but the truth is that God must be involved in providing the revival we regularly need.

While a cursory reading of the text may not be immediately apparent, it cannot be denied that David included himself in his plea.  His words were ‘revive us’.  That can’t be!  We have all heard the character of David as “a man after God’s own heart” and may be surprised by his inclusion.  If David considered himself as needing revival how can we look at ourselves as without need.  It may not be now.  It may not be tomorrow.  But we should be aware that just as our physical life has strong and weak times, so does our spiritual life.  But the doctor that treats our physical weaknesses cannot help.  We must turn to the “Great Physician.”  We must turn to God Himself!  Just how is your spiritual life today?  Do you need revival?

Copyright © 2003, Nolan P. Rutter

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