Recently in our discipleship groups here on the field, we read through Psalm 119. I was struck as I read it in my NASB Bible how often the word “revive” was used. I only started circling it about halfway, so I can’t tell you the exact amount of times it appears—but if it is significant enough for me to notice it without trying, it must be a lot.
As I looked at the frequent usage, I also saw what it was linked to. The cases I noticed fell into the following categories:
“Revive me according to your word” (vs. 107).
“Revive me according to your ordinances (or precepts or way)” (vs. 156).
“Revive me according to your lovingkindness” (vs. 159).
Those verse references are just a few places where “revive” is used in the psalm, but several of these phrases were repeated multiple times.
When I think of the word “revive,” I think of fresh, cool water on a hot day. What comes to my mind is either jumping into that water, revitalizing my hot skin and sweaty self, or drinking that water, rehydrating my insides. That water is what I long for when I feel too hot to go on during awful summer days.
But God’s word, and his ordinances and lovingkindness shown through his word, are like water for the sweaty, hot, dehydrated soul.
I don’t know about you, but precepts and ordinances are not usually what I think my soul needs when I am feeling at the end of my rope. Instead, I want to disengage from the world, get lost in books or movies or work or whatever will distract me. I think that maybe if I get lost enough, I will be revived. Even though I know the truth, somehow I think this will help. Really, it only numbs me and draws me deeper into whatever I am wallowing in.
It is only when I immerse myself in the Lord that healing, change, and growth begin to happen again in my life. When I turn in obedience to him once more and reorient myself in the disciplines that draw me closer to communion with him, he really does revive me.
Just as jumping into cold water on a hot summer day is a little bit painful, while also refreshing, diving back into God’s word when far from him can feel uncomfortable at first. It can feel like you don’t deserve to be there, like you can’t hear him. But as you press in, as I press in, his revival is imminent. Your soul wakes up and you begin to see the world again through his eyes.
Maybe you are in a season when you need revival. I encourage you to press in and drink from the well of living water. Only he can revive you.