Summary: A PSALM OF RENEWAL AND REVIVAL
A PSALM OF RENEWAL AND REVIVAL
On the Sunday evening before special services dedicated to
renewal and revival, it is good to turn to one of the Prayers of David
and let him help us express and focus our need and our desire.
This Psalm speaks both of "waiting" and of "seeking."
It is good and right to actively seek God, and most of the time
way we well may know how to go about seeking Him. But even when we
are seeking God, we need to admit that in reality God is the active
party in any genuine renewal. Before we sought God, He was seeking
us! Before we were thinking of Him, He was thinking of us! Our
renewal always begins when we decide to listen, to be quiet, to wait
for God, Who is already speaking.
David tells us that he waited patiently for the LORD; and God
turned and heard him. This Psalm is full of certainty and praise!
Incidentally David tells us what every believer needs to receive:
I. THE NEED FOR A FIRM PLACE TO STAND . . .
(2)"He ... gave me a firm place to stand." "He set my feet upon a
There are some things that we know that do not need to be proved. But
in the profusion of learning, and the explosion of knowledge in our
day, many people have lost their spiritual certainty. And then they
cannot regain it by listening to the same people that introduced them
to God, because they are listening to human explanations, or
obscurantism, or anything except listening to God!
Still, however it is lost, it is a tragic thing to lose
spiritual certainty! It is a tragedy when all you have is a slippery
slope or a miry pit of destruction when you need solid rock on which
to stand! I’M TALKING ABOUT SPIRITUAL CERTAINTY! KNOW-SO SALVATION!
IS IT STILL POSSIBLE IN 1990?
I don’t know quite how to say this: I alluded to it in the
sermon this morning, in that Rev. Tom Nees says he never has to prove
God’s existence or the reality of sin in the ghetto. We would say in
our arrogance that the reason is because they are not as educated or
sophisticated as we are. ’If they knew all that we know, etc. ’
I’m glad for the study of epistemology, that study of how we
know. It is humbling to realize that even in the common ideas of life,
we hardly ever all see things the same, and probably none of us is
ever "right" about the details of the facts.
What this means is when I talk to you about GOD, and explain Him,
I can never be sure that (1) I am right, or (2) that you hear what I
say the way I meant it; or (3) that if you do what I say it will make
any difference in your life.
But there is all the difference in the world when God talks to
you through me, or by any means that He has at His disposal-- and you
are listening-- and when God gets through to you. When God speaks,
and you hear-- you can take it to the bank!
People who have been "talked into" cheap grace, and who never
"wait patiently for God" may wonder about the "knowing" aspect of
salvation. Call it a witness. or call it assurance, we need to know
God, and know that we know God. It is possible today! But we have to
get this firm place to stand on God’s terms!
II. THE NEED FOR A NEW SONG TO SING . . .
(3)"He put a new song in my mouth"
A "revival" that simply beats us around the ears with new
"oughts" and "shoulds" is something I can do without. I can recall
many times as a lad when all I got out of revival was the scare of my
life. And I even remember a few since I have been pastor where I
wondered if anyone else felt as guilty as I did.
But I would like to remember the joy of first love of God; I
would like to do more than stand against the evils of our day, I would
like to be so full of the love of God that "Many will see and fear and
put their trust in God."
I suppose (I think) that cheerless and dull gray religion is
better than none at all, especially if there is any spiritual life at
all in it. But somehow the very first casualty in the process of
slipping away from God is genuine JOY!
We do not have any lack of religious excitement, or interesting
seminars, or things to do to keep busy for the Lord. But David says