There has been for many years and across numerous generations a confusion concerning the spiritual life of the Christian.
In my own experience there have been periods of great joy, boldness to witness for the gospel, and extraordinary awareness of God’s cleansing me of all sin. However, there have also been times of confusion, doubt, and sadness.
The first six years following my initial repentance and faith in Jesus Chris, there began within me a keen sense of God’s presence. With no doubt to hold me back, victory over sin became possible like never before.
Eventually however, resisting the temptations of sin, having no godly accountability in my life or a solid handle on biblical truth, victory could not last forever. It is true the Christian does not stop sinning this side of heaven, nevertheless, there is a definite difference between unintentional and intentional sins (Leviticus 4 & 5). This sin brought so much guilt upon my soul that I contemplated suicide. Upon confession of sin and turning from it, I was revived again in my soul, received a knowledge God like nothing previously with great joy.
So it is that the Psalmist explains.
“O Lord, You didst show favor to Your land; You did restore the captivity of Jacob. You didst forgive the iniquity of Your people; You didst cover all their sin. Selah (Think on that). You did withdraw all Your fury; You did turn away from Your burning anger. Revive us, O God of our salvation, and cause Thine indignation toward us to cease. Wilt You be angry with us forever? Wilt You prolong Your anger to all generations? Wilt You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your loving-kindness, O LORD, and grant us Your salvation.” (Psalm 85:1-7)
The word revive, stated in the text before us, means to live or to come to life. It becomes clear that the Psalmist refers to a saved and forgiven people who cry out for new life. They do not cry out for feelings or knowledge but for life.
What Christian’s need today is what we always need – the life of Christ poured into our souls for the forgiveness of our sins, so that we would turn from them and be filled with joy.
During periods of revival God steps down, revives His own people, and revives many who are languishing and in need of what only God can give. However, it has been many years since such a time of revival has occurred. I am not speaking about a falsified or fraudulent revival.
In times of revival guilt of sin becomes acute, worship is powerful, focus is upon God is not mere entertainment for self gratification, and fellowship makes brothers highly accountable to one another.
To be separated from the church is to be like a branch separated from the tree. That’s for another blog.
Don’t forget to check out my new book, THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW.