Spiritual Revival and Restoration
When I hear the word "spiritual revival," I immediately think of a big Christian movement involving a large congregation of some sort. These words come to mind: dynamic, animated, exuberant, explosive, extraordinary, and so on. Being revived definitely means "being made alive." Well, I have experienced "being made alive," everyone. I don't know about you but as a God-seeker, sometimes I would come to the point of feeling dry and numb within. I mean outwardly, I would still read the Bible, pray, fellowship with other Christians, serve in the church, shepherd others, but inwardly, I would have this sense of numbness that's rather difficult to describe. Strange, right?
That happened to me recently. I did not know exactly why such feeling lodged in my heart since I was actively participating in different spiritual activities, church services, you name it. I tried to ignore the way I felt inside, but as time went by, the feeling accentuated. Until one morning, I came across chapter 80 of the Book of Psalms, and I read verse 3:
"Turn us again, O God, and cause Thy face to shine, and we will be saved."
I had to deliberately sit in my chair and stop all of my activities. I realized that I longed for a restoration. I wanted to be restored to the joy of His salvation, to be saved from my dullness. I sat before the Lord. With my whole heart, I prayed that verse, word for word, to Him. Guess what, my entire inner being was truly restored and revived.
Today I read Psalm 80 again. In several versions of the Holy Bible, including NIV and ESV, the phrase "turn us again" is actually translated "restore us." Then I came to a realization what had happened to me before. No matter how involved I was outwardly with spiritual activities, my inward being was turned away from God. I did not give Him the preeminence in my being. I forgot that He did not care for the outward things. I forgot that He's a living Person inside of me. It was like doing things that I thought would please Him, without ever personally asking Him what He really wanted.
The last three verses of Psalm 80 read:
"Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.
Then we shall not turn back from You;
Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.
O LORD God of hosts, restore us;
Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved."
Christ is the man of God's right hand (see Acts 2:32-33). When we give Christ the preeminence in our being, we shall not turn back from God. When we exalt Christ, we will be revived, restored, and saved. Lord Jesus, You are at the right hand of God. You have the preeminence in my private life, family life, and church life.