If every believer has been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), why do we still long for Biblical revival? Why do we desire that work of God's Sovereign Spirit upon us, His people? What is it that we want?
David sang from deep desires in his heart with the following words:
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 NASB)
Imagine that you are in the middle of the desert, weakened by dehydration, and thirsty for water. That is the experience which David used to describe his spiritual experience.
It is quite possible for God's people to be in such a spiritual state, that they have an intense longing for God. A Christian's awareness of his/her spiritual condition may drive him/her to such an earnest and diligent seeking after God. A believer's soul, his/her inner beings, his/her mind and heart, may have such a fervent desire for God's presence that nothing else matters. A child of God may find himself/herself yearning and longing for the Lord in a way he/she had never known before. Does this describe our desire for God? Is this what fuels our desire for revival?
David's prayer was not necessarily a prayer for revival. But it was a prayer rooted in a passion for God. Some wonder why David was in such a state, asking "why is there such a desire for God? Why is it that, at such a time as this, David yearned for the presence of the Lord? Doesn't David already have a relationship with God? What was this experience about? Where were these expressions of intense emotions coming from?" We must understand that when David was in the wilderness of Judah, he was going through a very difficult time in his life. Perhaps it was during his distress over the rebellion of his son, Absalom, that David wrote the words to this song. The struggles, trials and difficulties of God's people are used by God in a redemptive manner, bringing us to the end of ourselves, granting us a humbling, painful awareness of our spiritual declension. Mercifully, David turned to God. When God makes us aware of our need of Him, how do we respond? Like David, do we long for the Lord's presence? What is it about the Lord that David calls to mind? What does David need from God? What do we need from God?
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. (Psalm 63:2-5)
A person's experience of conversion is characterized by a disappointment with the things of this world and a new and deep longing to know God. But it is during a genuine revival, there is a heightening of these senses, a growing desire to separate oneself from the world, having been set apart for God, and an excitement and eagerness to understand God's character, God's absolute sovereignty over all things, God's majesty and greatness, and God's faithful love for His people. It is the praise of God that the believer sings. Have we recognized that only God can truly satisfy the deep longings of our heart? Do we continually long to behold His glory?
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