One of the reasons that we began this year of daily blogs on ‘thanksgiving’, was that we had a sense, like many others, that the Lord is preparing His church for revival. The word ‘revive’ simply means ‘to come back to consciousness, existence or to life’. Our word revive is from the same route as the French word ‘vivre’- ‘life’, and yesterday we quoted the statement, from Proverbs 18:21, that ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue’. What we speak has the power to bring us spiritual life or death……. Sounds a bit dramatic? but not if we truly believe that we live by ‘every word that comes from the mouth of God’. Matthew 4:4.
God speaks, as He did in creation, (have a look at Genesis 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26), and when God speaks things come alive. As we ‘hear’ we too come alive. Our spiritual life comes from hearing, receiving and believing God’s Word, because His words are ‘TRUTH’ through and through. So just as our initial ‘Life in Christ’ comes from hearing His Word and responding, so our ongoing ‘Life’ thrives as we feed on His Word, the truths that He tells us. Therefore any personal ‘revival’ is also going to come as we take hold of His word, and agree with it fully. (As we suggested yesterday)
I was reading Psalm 81 this morning where God has been speaking to the children of Israel about their sin of going after other Gods. He calls on them to listen to Him and using the ‘feeding’ metaphor He says ‘open your mouth wide and I will fill it’. He is offering to feed them to give them spiritual ‘life’, but then sadly because they don’t respond He has to say ‘If my people would listen to me ….how quickly I would subdue their enemies.’
So often, like the Israelites, when we are feeling a bit ‘oppressed’ by life, or bythe enemy, we can be tempted to think that God isn’t listening. Here it would seem that God is saying to the Israelites, “No it’s you who aren’t listening!” They weren’t really ‘hearing’ His words to them. They weren’t feeding on His words to them, and so they were being defeated by their enemies. Sometimes we are praying for God to ‘do’ something for us, and it can feel like He is not listening, when He is in fact saying “I am hearing you, but have you heard what I have already said?”
In The Passion Translation Psalm 81:10 is translated ’Open your mouth now with a mighty decree and I will fulfill it now, you’ll see! The words that you speak, so shall it be.’ The implication being that when God puts His words in our mouths, and we agree with them and speak them out as ‘a mighty decree’, our enemies are defeated. As we speak out God’s words to us, we will have ‘life’.
The psalm ends with the words “But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Psalm 81:16. Or again, from The Passion Translation we read, “But I will feed you with my spiritual bread. You will feast and be satisfied with me, feeding on my revelation truth like honey dripping from the cliffs of the high places.”
It seems to me that from this psalm we can gather that there is a great connection between; listening to God’s words, agreeing, believing, and feasting on His words, declaring our faith, and our spiritual life. We have here a key to personal revival; Listening to God, hearing what God says, agreeing with it in our hearts and then declaring it, speaking it out. When we believe and speak out the words that God has spoken, we are using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:17.
Smith Wigglesworth spoke out prophetically before he died saying that he believed that ‘When the Word and the Spirit come together there would be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed, the world has ever seen.’ In response we can pray and wait eagerly for those churches with an emphasis on the Word to come together with those that have an emphasis on the Spirit, but that can put the ball in someone elses court. Today however, I am thinking that if I am looking for personal revival, I can take those words and apply them to myself. I can bring the word and the Spirit together for ‘me’, in my life.
With thanksgiving in my heart I can ask the Holy Spirit to bring to my mind God’s Word, those ‘truths’ that I need to agree with. Then I want the Holy Spirit to renew my mind as I confess those truths and so start eroding my doubts and unbelief. I can then, with a heart of thanksgiving, and in faith speak out those truths as my ‘mighty decree’. I believe personal revival will come to us as, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we take God at His Word and give him thanks.