Summary: A revival sermon for believers
“SURVIVAL VS. REVIVAL”
If you haven’t noticed, TV has gotten quite “real” recently. There has been a boom of what they are calling “reality TV” shows. Each of the shows is unique and attempts to take the viewer into the lives of those on the screen. Perhaps the most popular show of this type is “Survivor.” If I am not mistaken, they now have three seasons of this particular show. It features a cast of everyday people out in the wilderness, and their job is to survive. They must survive the harsh living conditions, the events played each show, and being voted off the show. Survival is the name of the game. “Survival” is what they would have us believe, is the point. I submit to you this evening that the point is not survival, but revival.
READ PSALMS 143:1-12
I. HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE DAVID? (V. 1-4)
David describes for us exactly what he is feeling. He describes for us his life circumstances. He describes for us the spiritual battles that are raging inside of him and their affects on his daily life. Perhaps you have felt like this one time or another in your life. Perhaps you are feeling this way now.
David begins with the spiritual battles raging inside him and around him. He says that “the enemy has persecuted his soul.” The reason I say this is a spiritual battle is because there is only one enemy that can attack us down to the very depths of our soul. David was dealing with Satan! He was dealing with temptation! He was dealing with guilt, sadness, and all the other flaming arrows Satan was shooting at him. The tones of his words seem weary, tired, frustrated, and defeated. Do any of those words describe you… weary, tired, frustrated, or defeated?
But David does not stop with his spiritual battles. These spiritual battles have also affected his life and its circumstances. His life is “smitten down to the ground.” I cannot help but compare David, in this passage, to Cain. I realize that Cain’s situation was a result of killing his brother, but the judgment against Cain brought his life crashing down around him. He lost his family, his way of life, and was forced to wander. His words to the Lord were, “My punishment is more than I can bear.” It sounds very similar to what David is saying. “My life is more than I can bear.” I also compare David, to what happened to Job. Job was a man whose life was smitten to the ground. He lost his family, home, money, health, and everything he valued.
David felt like he was walking around in darkness. Everywhere he went and everything he did, he stumbled. He was overwhelmed. He felt as though his heart was a desert wasteland. It seems like to me that David is in “Survival mode.” He was just getting by day by day. He was taking one day at a time and hoping that the next day would bring a little sunshine into his life.
Have you ever been in this position?
· Just living life day to day
· Feel overwhelmed by life and its circumstances
· Walking around in the dark
· At the end of the day you are weary, tired, frustrated, and defeated?
Yet, in all of this, David knew something that I want to communicate to you this
evening. David knew that life was not about surviving. Life is more than living day to day doing your best. Not for a child of God! Not for someone who has a God who is faithful and righteous. Life is not about survival, but revival.
II. WHAT CAN WE DO? (V. 5-7)
You say to me, ‘all right pastor, I agree with you. Life is not about survival its about revival. So how do we get there? How do we get to revival in our lives and in our families and in our churches? How?’ I am so glad you asked!
David continues in this Psalm by telling us what he did to get out of “survival mode” and get into “revival mode.”
First, he says that he meditated on God’s works. He recounted all that the Lord had done for his people. He remembered Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and all the works God did for his people. He recounted all that the Lord had done for him. He remembered safety while he watched the flocks, victory over Goliath, dealing with Saul, and all the blessings he had received. He pondered their meaning and their significance in his life and in the lives around him. God is faithful. God is good. God is kind. God is righteous.
Second, he stretches his hands toward Heaven and prays. You cannot have revival without prayer. He cried out to the Lord and cast all his burdens onto God. He prays to the Lord to save his failing spirit. He is able to let go and let God. Prayer is essential to lift our spirits. Prayer is essential to become more like Christ.