August 20, 2019
by Ken Sprinkle
Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself. Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. - Psalm 80:17-19 (NIV)
In preparation for this devotional, I reviewed five different passages of Scripture. (The references are posted at the below) They had one element in common: judgment is sure. There were very few verses that offered hope. Much like the verses I chose above, even the thought of repentance seemed to be conditional on God doing all the work: “revive us, and we will call upon your name,” not “we call upon your name so that you may revive us.”
That does lead to a question about Prevenient Grace: Does God revive us so that we will call upon His Name, or do we repent by calling out to Him, so that we may be revived?
In my studies of historical revivals (including some in the recent past), they seem to be preceded by intense prayer. Not just a “prayer meeting” where requests were taken, grouped together in a blanket prayer, and then the rest of the time was spent in a teaching session. Intense prayer, where people stayed on their faces before God for hours. Repeated over months.
I had a professor in seminary who said a prayer meeting should last a minimum of three hours. (Selah – think on that!) It takes the first hour for a person’s body to get present, the second hour for their mind to be engaged, and finally in the third hour their spirit is able to connect with God in prayer. He was right.
Well, back to the Scripture. We need the hand of God on us through the Son of Man (Jesus) that God raised up for himself. “16And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him…."20A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," declares the LORD.” Isaiah 59:16, 20 (NASB) “25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)
Jesus is our Intercessor. We need his help so that we may be revived. Oh, wait! Maybe he has given help, but we have failed to draw up that source. “16I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;” John 14:16 (NASB) “26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:26-28 (NASB)
Intercession is hard work. Mostly because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We need help. “Revive us again, and we will call upon your name.”
Scriptures for this day: Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19. Isaiah 3:1-17. Hebrews 10:32-39.
Alternate: Psalm 82. 1 Samuel 5:1-12. Hebrews 10:32-39