Revive Us Again

Psalm 85
  /  December 31, 2023
Speaker: Jonathon Slagenweit

Would you bow your head with me this morning? Father, that’s my desire for my life and for us as a church, that our worship would be acceptable to you. And yet, father, I’m reminded throughout scripture that not all worship pleases you. When our heart is not right before you and we go through motions, but inside we’re empty and dead, and all of our worship is just motion, and revive us and refresh us so that our praise and our worship would stem from a heart that is full of delight and full of joy in you.

I pray in these next few moments as we consider your word that you would rekindle in us, hearts that are, fresh with passion for you, delighting in you, and enjoying to stir our hearts afresh and anew, I pray, in Jesus name. Want the Lord to be delighted with my praise, Don’t you? It only happens when our praise flows from hearts that are right with them. And may the Lord help us to have that kind of a heart. Old Scottish preacher George Morrison once made the observation.

He said, the victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings. Sure how I altogether feel about that. Almost sounds like there’s a lot of death and renew in a victorious Christian. But I think he touches on a point that is, that is important. We’re in the winter season right now.

Right. And most of the trees are bare. Now, I kind of enjoy that because from my back deck, when the trees are void of their leaves, I actually have some nice views to the If you get in the right spot, you can see table And so there’s times that I kind of like that. No leaves. I thought maybe it’d be really nice if on some violent stormy night, the trees in my neighbor’s yard would mysteriously tumble over so that I would have better views to the mountains.

But I’ve never been able to justify how that could really happen. But you know, in just a couple of months, all of those trees And this period of time when everything is a little drab, there’s there’s new buds that begin to form are going to start pushing through the ground again to new life. When I think about that, there’s an element of truth to that in the spiritual sense. Truth to that in the spiritual sense. Over and over in scripture, predominantly in the Old Testament, authors from the old testament that encourage the people of God to new beginning. What we talk about as revival. We’re at the end of a year that just began last week, right?

And if anybody feel like 2023 was just a I know that is because I’m getting It’s the older you get, the faster the years go. Thought that has just been pressed upon my heart to share for us. And I believe there’s an element of it for us personally on a personal level, but also corporate as a d and it’s expressed through us, and that’s the subject of revival or being revived. If you look at the body, the human body, when an element of the human body suffers, If you’ve ever had lower back pain, then you you under stand just a little bit how lower back pain affects everything about your physical being. And what may have started as just a twinge in your lower back, all of a sudden, you begin to walk with a little bit of a limp.

And as you walk with a limp, then all of a sudden, your hip begins to hurt. And because you’re favoring one leg, then your knee starts to hurt. And then the muscles begin to You know what I’m talking about? And then the muscles begin to begin to draw and about. You know, the same principle is true in the spiritual realm and in the the spiritual realm and in the church.

And each of us individually go through things that are challenges to us or painful to us, it impacts the entire body. What happens to 1 impacts all of us. I’ve been drawn to the book of Psalms again this morning for our scripture reading, particularly Psalm 85. I’ve wrestled with how to preach this particular whichever hermeneutics teacher you would follow, there are some that would say, you always preach the text from the beginning to the end in order. And then, you have some hermeneutics guys that would say, no.

You can go to the end and preach from the end of it backwards. That I want to just But I want to just tell you right up, the storm in some ways is in essence, it gives us the final goal, tells us how to get it tells us the means whereby that comes. And so I thought about starting at the end, the means whereby we get to what we need so that we can accomplish our final goal. But we’re going to work through it in its order. I’m going to invite you to stand with me as we read this psalm together.

So Gonna invite you to stand with me as we read this Somm to draw has been favorable unto the taken away all thy wrath. Thou hast stured thyself from the fierceness of thine. And cause thine anger toward us. It’s not be angry with us forever. Wilt thou draw out thine anger draw generations?

Wilt thou not revive us again that thy people may rejoice and show us thy mercy, oh Lord, and grant us thy fall. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear that glory may dwell in our land. Travesty. Truth shall spring out of the earth and righteousness shall look down from heaven. The Lord shall give that which is good and our land shall yield her increase.

Righteousness shall go before him and shall set us in the way of his steps. You may be seated. This particular and it’s opening notes gives us a little understanding of its background. If you have a bible this morning that gives you, at the beginning of the Psalms, some information about those som, then you will know a little detail about the som, some of those details that you discover at the outset of the som, who is the of Psalm 85 are the sons of men who would have been and they’re writing this particular 2 som, and here are these group of worship leaders more than likely was theme of this particular som is revival or reviving. And he’s taken some time.

He’s reflected on some things. And then it calls for reviving, and then he asks the Lord to do something. Give us ears to hear a new A new and I come into this new year, As you and I come into this new year, this has been my heart’s cry for us as a church, for me personally, but also for us as a church. Lord, would you revive us a new will you refresh us a new will you refresh us a new our a among us. And the things that I discover every is the second law of thermodynamics.

Some of you know that law, whether you realize it or not. Now, Brother Armstrong knows nothing of this because he doesn’t drink coffee. Bless us. He and keep it on that warmer if you have a bun warmer, if you have one of those little, insulated, coffee holders. What is it called?

A curve? Then then it’ll it’ll keep it warm, but you pour that out into your cup. And it’s not long until now, I I confess, I don’t like my coffee so hot that it burns your throat the whole way down. I don’t like that. I get my cup of coffee and I start drinking at about 20 to 30 minutes.

But the time that I get done with it, it’s usually it’s called the natural laws of thermo or second law of thermodynamics states that everything is in a state of I would suggest to us this morning that even within the natural laws of and the natural danger for our spiritual lives is that we grow, get caught up in the hustle and the bustle of life and we active about all of our daily activities. Are there are times in the spirit in our spiritual lives where we need a I believe that’s a part and I believe that’s a and Morison was talking about with the idea victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings There are times that we need the fresh outpouring of the spirit of God on our hearts to revive us and refresh. This morning, Psalm 85, maybe a little background would help us. Appear. This was written in the period of time after Israel has come back from their 70 years of captivity and and seeing the mighty hand of the Lord who has raised up some men who have led Israel out of Babylon, back into out of Babylon back into like Nehemiah and if you study this period of Israel’s history, you, you destroy drifts back into a pattern of idor.

And there’s a cooling that has happened in is They’ve experienced some setbacks along the way walls. They need a fresh outpouring of the spirit of the spirit of the fresh outpouring of the spirit of their spiritual lives have cooled off. It appears that this som, in a time when they’re experiencing some of what Ezekiel talked about. The reality of. Seeing the valley of dry something fresh.

They they saw and provides for us some vital perspectives about our need and our approach. Being revived and refreshed in the order. But I think you’re going to notice that as we work through, the words that the psalmist began this som, it’s all about praise. Look at it. You showed favor to your You showed favor to your and favor to the land of Israel.

He’s taken them out of their 70 years of captivity. He’s brought them back into their land. You restored the captivity of Jacob. They’re no longer under the bondage of the Babylonians, but they are back in their, and stolen away from them as being and you forgave the inequity of your In other words, you’ve forgiven us of our. All of our sins.

You’ve taken our sins and you’ve cast them as far as the east is from the west, never to be remembered against us again. The right for the right for the sons of Korah as they’re writing this, they’re reflecting You showed us mercy. Praise is a choice to reflect on God’s past goodness and not to dwell on present circumstances. Amen? We get caught up in our present circumstances.

And when we get caught up in the present circumstances, all we can see is what’s right here. And there are moments that you and I need to step back and see the bigger picture of what God has done. And and see the bigger picture of what God has done. Because whenever we step back to look at the goodness of God, present circumstances that were And so you and I need a fresh spirit of praise. Astrid, just stop to reflect back over your life and the goodness of God in your your taken time just to, just to pause and look over what God has done in your life.

Now, there’s a difference. Let me just, let me be and Right? That, longing to go back to the days that you used to Reflecting back is that time where you just step back and you begin to over the landscape of your life and see the goodness of and through the book of Exodus, one period of and was going through a particularly just dry season in Justice, chapter 8, Moses, encourages the people of Israel to and and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me and what he was doing in me. And what he was doing in And what he was doing that moment of just pausing to reflect back, refreshed my spirit for new refreshed my spirit for a to the Lord glory for what he was doing in my There are times that you and I need to pause and take a look at the goodness of God and what he has done in the past so that it can change our present circumstance.

Times. I just reflect over my life. I see the hand of the Lord in my life. I see the hand of the Lord in my life. Life.

And it’s a fresh reminder that he’s worthy of praise for all of the good things that tenor of of the the then a force for there’s this abrupt and you guys here would have an interesting classic corpse. And if you think you don’t, number of years ago when I was a teenager, Number of years ago, when I was a teenager, there was a fellow that I was connected with his family. Body man, did a lot of body work. And they had purchased a 1968 Ford Mustang. As my memory serves me, and this fella and his dad took that car and they begin to work with that car and they begin to work with that car and they begin to work with that car and they begin to work with that car and they begin to work with that car.

Car and they begin to work with that car, 2 89 and murder, repaired all the rust areas, murder, all the rust areas, painted that thing, Hunter Green, put new leather interior in it. And we used to beg him. His name was Mugsy. And we used to beg him. His name was Mugsy.

Don’t know why his parents named him Mugsy, but they named him Mugsy. To us for a ride. Take us for a ride. Of something to be done about their current circumstances. Lord, you need to revive us.

We need to experience a fresh grace in our lives. We need to be brought into the body shop, and we need restoration. To pop the hood and do some work on the we need you to work on some the the the the the the our spiritual lives and renew us. Us this morning that you won’t experience fresh grace until you acknowledge that your current graces staure. So often, revival is stifled because of 1 or 2.

Reviving in our spirit. And until we humble ourselves to say, Lord, we need fresh grace, We’re the second reason that Or the second reason that revival is stifled is because of our spiritual reflecting. We just want to go back to the old days. You know what I’m talking about? Let me just let me just pause here for some of you that are little older than what I am.

Trying to do? Some of your older folks know what it you don’t like change. You know, like everything just to stay the same way it always is. I’m starting to get old enough where it’s like, you know, I just I’m okay with things just being the way they are. Do you know, the danger is for some of us to reflect back on the way things used to be, and say, boy, I wish it was like that.

Pray for the old days. Stands square where you are and make the present better than any past is based all of on your relationship to God and go forward and presently, you will find that what is emerging is infinitely better than the past ever was. You know, than the past ever was. You know, when I read that, I said, he’s exactly right. Want to get nostalgic and look back at the way things used to be.

And boy, if we could just go back to the good old days, and I just say there were no good old days. And I just say there were no good old days. And I just say there were no good old days. And I just say there were no good old can I just say there were no good old days? God has never been a god of the good old days.

God has always been about what he’s doing in the present and what he’s doing and is coming to hope. We recall what God has done in the and to live between memory and hope. We recall what God has done in the Again, the And the the for us is that we not live in either one of those. And whenever we get a fresh spirit of praise remembering what God has done, it can transform what’s going on right here and right now. The other danger is, is that we just we’re always looking ahead.

Always. And then we hit 13. We’re like, oh, and then, oh, I can’t wait until I’m 18, and I can go to I can’t wait. And then we kind of stop. And Most of us are Most of us aren’t saying, I can’t wait until I die.

What will come, what will come, what will come. And we’re always we’re waiting for the vacation to come. We’re waiting break to come. We’re waiting for this. We’re waiting for the And we fail to realize that God wants to do something for us right now.

Things that he’s doing in the future and he’s preparing for in the future, but God wants to refresh us right. I’m intrigued by what the Psalmist says, revival will says revival will do. Look at it. If you have your bible still open, it says in verse verse 6 that your people may rejoice in you. What should revival do for us?

Hap, and we come to church, and we fill us. So what makes us regular attenders at Oh, I hope what revival does for us is it gives us a heart that rejoices And who drives In fact, if you go to verse 10, it says that the nation would bring glory to God. My prayer is, God, would you refresh us so that the joy of the Lord fills our hearts. Your spirit, it’s really easy to praise, isn’t it? When you’re rejoicing in something, it’s easy for praise to just flow.

And so the psalmist is praying, Lord, revive us. Revive us. This is a period of time in Israel’s history that many believe that they had they had they had began to slip back into some of the old patterns and some of the idles fact. The idols of this present world begin to bring us greater satisfaction. For us to look forward to that vacation rather than it is for us to look forward to the opportunity that we have to share the good news of Jesus Christ was so for us to get caught up in the projects that were working, and saying, how can I serve the Lord?

Then say, how can I serve the Lord? It’s easier for us to get caught up, and say, and how can I give so that the kingdom of things that we can do to fill up our time rather than saying, Lord, how can I use my time that you’ve given to me that’s really your time? How can I use it for your glory? Do you see what I’m saying this morning? There are times that you and I need to just pause and say, rais, so and so and survival comes, it banishes every idol and captures, cry striper, and I say, Lord, revive us.

A and I swear, a and a worked our way backwards because the psalmist ends the catalyst to all of this. Look at verse 8. I will hear what God the Lord will say. Do you know how our hearts are revived anew and I need our ears to be tuned afresh and anew to hear the word of the The Bible is always The beautiful things about the Bible tells us of itself that it is sharper than any two edged sword. And it is.

That means that this word is constantly speaking forth truth to us, always. Build up of earwax sometimes take a probe in there and they’ll clean out all of that build up of whacks that is that is hindering your and the Oh, Lord, I want to hear your word. My prayer for us is, is Lord give us to hear your to hear your. And in our world, we’re drowning out the And it’s easy for, for the hearing of the word of God to become news organization that did a chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they chose, they set up cameras in the children’s rooms, and then they set off the fire alarms. No.

So they set up cameras and they set off the and they voided their responses. Not a single one of those children, tried of the you know what they did. They took the voice of the parents prerecorded, voice of their mother or their father saying and saying there’s a fire in the house. You need to get up and you need to leave. They discovered in that every single one of those children responded to the voice of their every single one of those children responded to the voice of their every single one of those children responded to the voice of their to the voice of their.

Every one of them that had ignored the sound of the fire. Danger, there’s a fire you need to get up, you need to respond, you need to get out of the house, you need to get out right now. Every one of those children responded. 1 of them responded within The Lord wants to call each one of us by name. The The Lord wants to call each one of us by name.

He’s calling us to his word, to hear his voice, praise. Psalmist words and verse 10, loving, kindness, and truth have met together, righteous and traitors just stand on the portals of heaven and just just blare this siren to us. No, what did he do? We just celebrated the hear my grace that is for you so that your heart can be filled with new brah burden this morning is that God would do something fresh and new for us to and for us collective, and for us, collective, and for us, collective, and for us, collective, and for us, collective, and for us, it’s easy sometimes for us to look around and say It doesn’t work like you used to work. And it’s true.

And to a pastor who was telling me about some things that God’s been doing in his church over the last couple of And how number of, number of months ago, they had seen some new people come to the church and they got saved. And so they had a baptismal service. He said, no, we have a portable baptistry. And so we had set it up, baptized those that had recently been converted, took the Baptist Trai. The only way I can express it is that God sent a revival batched.

And he said, we batched. And all of a sudden, I realized there’s no point in taking the and the span of just a couple of It was somewhere over 40. And And he said, we just took the baptistry down. Right? Right after I apt So he’s we’re going to put the back and before they left the service, they said, we want to be and close or anything, any changes of clothes or anything.

Just wanted to be and say, Lord, you’re still working in our world. Amen? It you’re still working in our world. It’s easy for us sometimes to look and say, yeah, God’s doing things in different parts of the world. And you go to different areas where you’re seeing the moving of God.

But I’m telling us, God is reviving us in America today. God doesn’t want us to live in the past and he doesn’t want us to just look to the future and he doesn’t want us to look to foreign countries. He wants us to say, Lord, do something new among us right here. Right? And that’s and Let’s stand together as we draw.

For us as a congregation, my prayer for my heart is, did you give us fresh ears to hear your word in my life so that you can help revive, for us as a church, that you would give us fresh ears to hear your word, saying, Lord, we need something fresh and anew in our Lord, may out of our hearts flow a fresh praise to you. Lord, you are worthy of glory and crescendo of praise that rises. We’re living in days where we need a fresh outpouring of your spirit loud and would be you are worthy of praise. You’re doing things in our world today, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right South Carolina and in easily Bible Methodist. I’m saying, Lord, we’re candidates for a fresh outpouring of your spirit.

My heart says, Lord, would you revive us? My heart says, Lord, would you revive us? Says, Lord, would you revive us? It says, Lord, would you give us fresh grace? I want to see the moving of your spirit among us.

Flaming passion for you, you would give to us new converts and, to us, people who are coming in and seeing the grace of God, a a their hearts would be filled afresh and anew with your goodness and your grace and weird goodness and your grace and weird, and we would draw this morning to look unto you the author and the perfecter, us a fresh and anew, I pray, in jesus name. Amen. The Lord bless you. You were just And the Lord bless you.

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