Revival Begins with Confession

“Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.

Ps 106:6

Revival begins with confession. The psalmist confesses his sins along with the nation’s, repenting, not to seek his glory, but the Lord’s glory. 

Repentance is not easy, it is humbling, but if we want to accomplish our purpose in life, which is to glorify God, we must be willing to admit our sin.

Richard Lovelace in his book Dynamics of Spiritual Life says,

Luther was right: the root behind all other manifestations of sin is compulsive unbelief—our voluntary darkness concerning God, ourselves, his relationship to the fallen world and his redemptive purpose. For this reason the entrance and growth of new spiritual life involves the shattering of our sphere of darkness by repentant faith in redemptive truth. If the Fall occurred through the embracing of lies, the recovery process of salvation must center on faith in truth, reversing this condition.

Lovelace, Richard F., Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal, Expanded Edition (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1979), p. 90

Those who are willing to humble themselves in repentance will not be forsaken by the Lord. The psalmist, in today’s Psalm, makes it clear that the Lord is not out to get us. Instead, His steadfast love endures forever.

“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Ps 106:1

John also makes it clear that those who repent will experience healing when he says,

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 Jn 1:8–10

Because of the gospel, we can turn to the Lord. We can admit our sin. That is exactly what we must do if we want to experience revival. We must turn to the Lord in repentance.

When we turn to the Lord in repentance, we are seeking His glory over our own. We accomplish our purpose in life when we seek God’s glory because we were created to glorify God. When we seek to align ourselves with His will by humbly admitting our failures, our sin, and turning from sin towards God, we glorify Him.

Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and experience His steadfast love today! 

Rest, your sins are really forgiven

as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Ps 103:12

Our God is a God who forgives. He does not hold our sins against us. If you are in Christ, you do not need to pay for your past sins, your current sin, or your future sins. God has forgiven you, not on the basis of your works. You are clearly sinful and need forgiveness. Rather, He has forgiven you based on Jesus’ work.

God’s forgiveness is not universal. It is, as the Psalmist goes on to say in the next verse:

as a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

Ps 103:13

In order to receive forgiveness, we must fear the Lord. Fear does not solely refer to fear of judgment, though God is our Judge. Fears primary use in this context is that of reverence for the Lord. To revere the Lord, we must recognize Him for who He is — our Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Judge, Lord, all wise, loving, caring Father who shows steadfast love, but does not pardon the guilty.

Those who revere God desire to honor and glorify Him with their life by living according to His wisdom and purposes. They turn from self to God, understanding salvation is found in Him alone. Only Jesus could die in our place as our substitutionary sacrifice. Only Jesus could atone for our sins, repairing our relationship with the Father. Only Jesus could allow the Father to remain holy while He forgives our sins, not holding them against us, separating them from us as far as the East is from the West.

Do you fear the Lord? Or are you attempting to pay for your sins with your own works?

The Blessing of God’s Word

Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law,

Psalm 94:12

Paul, in the New Testament, echoes the Psalmist when he tells Timothy to stick with God’s Word, not to move on from it or add anything alongside it. He tells Timothy to stick with the sacred writings (Scripture) because God’s Word is given to teach, reprove, correct, and train in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16-17).

With Paul’s thought in mind, if we return to the Psalmist, we learn that we are blessed for being taught and even disciplined by God’s Word. Certainly, Paul might have had this Scripture in mind when he penned his words to Timothy.

Why are we blessed when taught and disciplined by the Word of God?

We are blessed because God’s Word points us to God’s will and design for how we are to live in the world in which He created. When we live according to God’s will not pressing against the fabric of His design but flowing with it, things go well for us. The book of Proverbs is an excellent example. Following the wisdom of the world is folly, but following the wisdom of God is righteousness.

Of course, it is Proverbs, you have to balance it out with Ecclesiastes, which teaches us the righteous don’t always succeed in this world. But even if the righteous don’t succeed, they can experience joy even in the midst of trial if they are seeking God’s will in His Word (see James 1:2-4).

Church, allow God’s Word to teach, reprove, correct, and train you. It may be painful at times, but it is what is best. For God’s discipline through His Word is a blessing.