Friday, September 17, 2010

Catch the Wind of Heaven: Confess Your Ways

Set Your SailPsalm 119:25-32
We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.” - G. Campbell Morgan.
Yesterday I began to write about revival. Many Christians would love to see a true revival in our nation and world. I would too. But as I wrote in my last post, revival begins with the individual. Personal spiritual revival must precede any corporate revival. As we saw in Psalm 119:25, the real prayer we need to pray is, “Revive me!”  
Revival, no matter how great or small in its ultimate scope, always begins with individual believers whose hearts are desperate for God, and who are willing to pay the price to meet Him”. - Del Fehsenfeld Jr.
What does revival according to God’s Word look like? How do we set our sails to catch the wind of Heaven? I believe Psalm 119:25-32 answers that question. Four things are included in a personal spiritual revival. The first is:
1. Declaration of Sin and Our Need for God. (119:25-26)
My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.
 I have declared my ways, and You answered me; Teach me Your statutes
When a nation is in moral recession as ours appears to be, the tendency of many Christians is to bemoan the evils of our society. You can find plenty of Christians who spend a lot of time pointing out how wicked the world is. I don’t think this is especially helpful for revival. Real revival begins when we are more concerned with the evil in our own hearts, when we see our great need. The psalmist was concern with his own deadened spiritual state and the problem of his own sinful ways.
 “I have declared my ways,” (Ps. 119:26). This is open confession before an all-knowing God. Telling God “all our ways” includes our sinful ways. When I confess my sin I do not do it make God know my sin; He already knows it. I confess to make me know my sin. Declaring my ways shows that I am aware of my sad spiritual state. Confession is one way to set our sails to catch the wind of heaven.
But I think declaring our ways may mean more than just confessing our sin. It is also the unloading of all our heart; in all our ways acknowledging Him. 1 Peter 5 says to “cast all your cares upon Jesus because He cares for you.” All of our cares and concerns, all of our ways, should be declared to the Lord. He cares about every area of your life.
I don’t know exactly what the difficulties were in the life of this writer and I don’t know what difficulties today you face in your life. But I know this: if I am living in sin, or refusing to declare my ways to God, my misery will increase until I confess that sin; call it what it is; and come to Christ for forgiveness. This is where personal revival starts, instead of cleaving to this world and clinging to sin—confess it, renounce anything you hold onto more than Christ, and come humbly for mercy, saying “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to your cross I cling.”
God’s promise is that He will answer when we declare our ways. That’s what we need, an answer from God—and Jesus Christ is that answer. “Revival is ultimately Christ Himself, seen, felt, heard, living, active, moving in and through His body on earth,” - Stephen Olford.
How honest are you with yourself and God about your ways?
(In my next post I will share the second indicator of personal revival: Devotion to God’s Word).

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