Most Christians would agree with this statement: we need revival. But if I ask, “Where do we need revival most?” there will be a plurality of answers. Many would say, “We need revival in our country!” Others would say, “In our schools!” Some would think, “On Capitol Hill.” Yet others might say, “In our churches.”
Psalm 85 tells us where revival must happen first. The Psalmist says, Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? If revival is to happen, it will not start in our country. It will not start in our government, and certainly not in our places of education. The writer understood that a prayer for revival is a personal prayer, and the plea for revival is a personal plea. It isn’t for someone else to be revived. It isn’t for another institution. It isn’t at another location. It’s right here, where I am standing. It’s me, it’s me, it’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer for revival.
Do you long to see revival in our country? I do. Do you long to see revival in our community, and in our churches? I do as well. Revival will happen when it begins within you and me, as children of God. How then can I begin to see revival in my heart? We find further insight in this chapter. Moses gives us principles for personal revival.
Ask for mercy. The verse following the Psalmist’s request for revival says, “Shew us thy mercy, O Lord.” Has there been a time when my walk was sweeter than it was this morning? Have I allowed sensual thoughts to take up residence in my soul? Do my entertainment choices (like TV, music, social media, Internet) grieve the Holy Spirit? Have I allowed pride to creep in and make me judgmental and condescending? Am I the witness and testimony the Lord wants me to be? Is it something else? If so, I need God’s mercy for personal revival. This kind of repentance—turning toward God’s mercy and away from my sin—always foreshadows revival.
Hear the Word. Verse seven says, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak.” Hearing the Word of God always precedes revival. If we want to see personal revival, we must get back to the Book. We must hear it. We must read it. We must meditate on it. And we must be willing to obey when it speaks to us.
Righteous living. How will I know that revival has begun? Is it shown in a two-hour altar call at the end of a camp meeting? Is it testimonies of those who have been “revived?” According to this chapter, revival is evidenced in righteous living. Three times in four verses, righteousness, fear of God, peace, and holiness are a result. I will know that revival has begun when I begin to live more like Christ— righteously.
The glory of God. Yes, we were created for God’s glory and pleasure, and this is the ultimate purpose for revival. But this chapter shows us that when God’s glory is known, good things happen to us as well! There’s blessing when revival happens. There’s guidance from the Lord when revival happens. God’s goodness is given when revival happens.
Do you want to see revival? I do. Revival must start with “us.” Let’s ask the Lord to search our hearts and reveal where we need His mercy. Let’s get into the Book and allow it to convict our souls and produce righteous living in us. Then, God’s glory will be evident through our lives, and it can’t help but make a difference in our realm of influence—our family, our church, our community, our country. Revival is personal. And it starts with me.
How can we follow through and see God do a great work in and through our lives?
As it made sense for the One who was the Word of God to follow the Word of God, so too does it make sense for His followers to do the same.