Psalm 69:32 (Amp)
“The humble shall see it and be glad; you who seek God, inquiring for and requiring Him [as your first need], let your hearts revive and live!.”
“…as your first need.” As your first love. We should be placing God as our priority above anything or anyone else in our lives. We need to go back to our first love. When we first met Jesus.
How do we fall in love with Jesus? If we are the Bride of Christ, shouldn’t we be in love with our Groom? Shouldn’t we show our love to our Groom? Psalms 91 really sheds some needed light on spending time with the Lord.
Psalms 91:1–16 (NKJV)
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My Salvation.”
The New King James Bible states, “He who “dwells” in the secret place,” which is emphasizing a time spent with. It shows a habitation, or a living or abiding in the secret place. What is the secret place? It is that place you spend time with God in. It is God Himself. If we wait and dwell in the secret place, we shall behold Him. It takes time.
It takes time to develop a relationship. Quality time spent with someone brings much reward. We can’t expect to have a close intimate relationship with our spouse if we never spend time with them. I know first hand as my husband and I can drift apart a little when we don’t spend time together. We end up going through the motions of marriage and being in love, but the intimacy is lacking. We don’t share in each others joys or connect with each other emotionally and physically. When we take the time to not only notice each other, but to actually show affection towards one another, it brings a bond that no one can sever. It brings a close intimacy that is very personal and rewarding. It brings security and acceptance. It is fulfilling. This is the same with our relationship with Christ. He is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him. “But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that he re wards everyone who searches for him.” (Hebrews 11:6) One of the rewards of seeking and spending time with Him is feeling loved by an all knowing, all loving God.
Revival of our hearts will bring a deeper love for our God.
“The human heart was made for passion. It was created for relationship.It was designed to experience the fullness of God.”
We are designed and created to receive all that God has for us. We were created for intimacy with God. It is a natural thing to desire a close relationship with God. This is filling the hole, the spot all humans try to fill in life. Some fill it with drugs or alcohol; others fill it with work or business, while others try to fill it with pleasures or riches. The only thing that can fill it is a relationship with God Himself.
Now, knowing that we were created for a relationship with God, we can pursue that relationship with all passion and fervor. Sometimes we might find indifference in our spirit about being with God. We might feel complacent or in a rut.
Sin Can Cause Indifference
If we settle for less than a passionate relationship with God, we will start to die and eventually fall into a rut or a pit. We become “grave tenders” of our lives instead of living life to its fullest. We see other people living life and enjoying it, yet in our own lives we are dead. We tend our very own grave, and often times we fight or force others to stay away from our grave. A. W. Tozer states in “Rut, Rot, or Revival” that we are in a “circular grave” when sin has entered our hearts. Sin will separate us from God. This is a fact.
A circular grave has no ending and no beginning. In other words, you can’t remember when or how you got in the mess you are in, and you can’t find a way out on your own. You are dead inside. You see no hope, and no way of escape. A dead corpse has no way of reviving it self. A dead corpse needs intervention from a living source to bring life back. Don’t fool yourself by thinking you can get out of this circular grave on your own. Allow the Giver of life to breathe new life back into your dead places in your heart. Allow God to show and direct you out of your circular grave and bring you on solid ground to stand boldly in Him. It will cost you your control. It will cost you your pride, but it is well worth having new reviving life back into your spirit again.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, sot hat He will not hear.”
We all have sinned and need a Savior. Receiving Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord is the first step to a revival in your heart, but there is more to repentance then just receiving Christ in your heart. If one is truly repentant they will turn 180° in the opposite direction of their sin.
Satan will try and trip us up in sin. This causes bondage in our hearts and spirit, and a barrier preventing our hearts to be revived. Being aware that sin separates us from God helps us to do our best to stay away and even run from the appearance of evil. The more you fall in love with God the more you want to obey Him and do what pleases His heart.
“Since only sin offends God, and sin is extremely deceitful, it can be present doing its deadly work while the people may not be aware of it at all until it is called to their attention.”
A. W. Tozar (Rut, Rot, or Revival)
Once you realize the sin that is causing you to feel separated from God, immediately repent and ask God to forgive you. The short term pleasure of sin is not worth the long term separation from God. The after affects of sin is not worth the pleasures of pleasing God and being close to him. It is natural to be a better person when we are closer to God. It is natural to experience more of God and His love when sin is not in the picture. Allow God to show you right now if you have sin in your life that is separating you from Him. Take the time to repent and walk away from the debilitating and crippling sinful action.
Romans 8:15 (MSG)
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, “grave tending” life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, “What’s next Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirit and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us an unbelievable inheritance!”
Nothing is worth missing out on our inheritance from God. No sin is so good that it overshadows what we receive from God. No earthly pleasure is more pleasurable then getting closer to God and experiencing His joy and abundant life He has for us. The sacrifice of leaving our sin behind is nothing compared to the relationship we gain with God.
God’s Little Surprises
God likes to give little surprises or gifts daily to his children. If we look we will see them. He loves us. When someone loves another it is natural to give gifts to them. I remember one Valentine’s day, before my husband and I were married, I was living with my mom at the time. My “Soon-to-be-husband” got up early and drove over to my house and left a huge Valentines box on my front porch. He had taken the time to decorate it and cover up what the original contents was. In it was all sorts of candy and chocolate. I was thrilled when I stumbled on it as I walked out of my house to go to work. It made my day. All day long I couldn’t wait to get home and start devouring the sweet treats left for me by someone who cared.
I have found God will do the same thing with us. Out of the blue I will stumble onto something or receive something unexpected. It might be a loving verse in the Bible, or hearing from a long time friend. It might be something simple as walking outside and hearing the birds singing. I like to think God directed them to sing to me His love songs. It might be news of some organization wanting some of my writings. I remember one day I was walking in Wal-Mart with my two daughters. My cell phone rang and on the other line was someone representing an agent of Zondervan. They asked me for permission to use a quote from my book, “The Garbage Man Always Comes On Fridays” in their new “Today’s Devotional Bible” that was to be published several months later. At first I thought it was someone trying to play a joke on me. I asked them to send me an email stating what they would like, and the quote they wanted to use. Sure enough, when I arrived home in my email in box was their email. I felt so thrilled and loved all at the same time. To imagine God bringing this about in my life was tremendous as I knew why I wrote the book. I wrote the book mainly for my healing, and to hopefully help others going through a mistake in their life. God knows all about us and wants to show how much He cares by giving us personal gifts that only He can give.
Be open to surprises from God because they are always there. In turn, I like to give gifts to God. It might be taking the time to stop and thank Him for my life, or to worship Him for who He is. He is my life! It might be helping someone or giving to someone in need as the scripture states, “And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me” Matthew 25:40 (Amplified Bible).
The Lover of Your Soul
My relationship with the Lover of my soul is precious. He takes my breath away. I wake up in the morning and know I am going into my prayer time. I am excited and filled with love for the One I will be spending time with.
Every time I think about God, deep inside of me, I sense a love and respect for Him. What a joy, what a life to have a personal love relationship with the Creator of the universe. He desires intimacy with all of us. Our Creator longs to spend time with us like a lover should.
When we give God our whole heart, and treat Him like a Lover, it revives us. Our loneliness vanishes and is replaced with an awareness of His constant presence abiding every second of every day.
We are not alone. We have the assurance of knowing Jesus is always with us. This gives us hope. This gives us strength. You feel like you can conquer anything be cause the King of Kings is with you.
This is the conclusion of Part 1 of “Revival of Our Hearts” be looking for part 2 soon!
Pastor Kris Belfils