Reading Psalm 51 (entire chapter, with focus on vs 10-12)
Psalm 51 is a beautiful prayer of repentance. In it we see an example of how to beseech the Lord to start a revival within us. The order of the prayer is as follows:
1.A cry for God's mercy - "Have mercy on me, O God"...(vs1)
2.Confession of guilt - " Against you, you only, have I sinned"...(vs 4)
3. Pursuit of Revival - "Create in me a pure heart, O God..." (vs 10-12)
4. Alignment with the heart of God - "Then I will teach transgressors your ways..." (vs 13)
Of particular interest to me within this Psalm were verses 10-12 because they struck a nerve in my life. The idea of a steadfast spirit- consistency; the idea of the joy of salvation - loving God with the whole heart, were both ideas that I needed to ponder. In my own life there have been ebbs and flows with regard to this. Especially when God wanted to propel me further in Him, I would fall prey to distractions and end up having to go through the paces of repentance as mapped out in this Psalm. However, the "joy of salvation" and a "steadfast spirit" both speak of the kind of relationship with God that is built up and strong and could withstand constant attacks. Most of all, "joy" sounds like fun, and I was losing that joy in God because of how many times I felt like I disappointed Him. Guilt and shame were stalking me. Like the Psalmist, I cried out for personal revival.
The beauty of personal revival is that when God fixes us on the inside, then He empowers us to bring others to Him. As a blogger and a person otherwise involved in ministry, sometimes I find myself tempted to convince myself that I am growing, or that things are right with me and God by keeping myself busy bringing people to Christ in my own strength. I say "in my own strength" because if MY JOY is missing, or if MY SPIRIT isn't steadfast, then whatever comes out of me is counterfeit. That realization is both sobering and frightening.
This Psalm gives me hope that my spirit can be renewed and realigned with God so that God allows me to first fall in love with Him, and then to introduce others to that love.
Are you in need of personal revival?