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Monday, May 2, 2011

Carpe diem!

 50 Your promise revives me;
      it comforts me in all my troubles.
(Psalm 119:50)

We have spent several days looking at the topic of revival - the process of being renewed in our inner man.  We will continue today along that line, looking at what it is that helps us to experience revival in our minds, souls, and emotions.  The most important thing we can see is that revival involves putting into practice what we have received.  We are constantly getting input into our minds - through what we see, hear, and sense around us.  This input is run through filters we have created over the years - sets of values we have formed, beliefs we adhere to, knowledge we have amassed.  In turn, we either reject or accept that input as good, bad, or indifferent.

God often brings things into our lives that will lead us into times of revival (refreshing) that are not immediately interpreted as "good" or "enjoyable".  In fact, we might think that God is really being "unfair" in what he is allowing to occur around us or within us.  We interpret the "thing" that is happening as "not good" and therefore, we often reject it as not from God.  In turn, we may never really see the value in the bad stuff we go through.  I am not saying God brings bad stuff all the time, but it is even possible that the bad stuff in life becomes a means of God's refreshing - it is in the interpretation of that event that we see the value of the event.

Revival is a result of setting our minds, will, and emotions on seeing God's purpose in the moments we are experiencing.  Life is a series of "moments" - all strung together to produce minutes, days, and years.  In the course of looking back over "moments" that have gone by, I have realized that certain "moments" created life-long influences in my life.  My life was deeply affected by the moment.  We often miss out on the blessing of the moment because we are so focused on the big picture of the life-long journey.  Revival begins with one moment - one tiny slice of life, one presented opportunity, one little break in the fray of the day.

Revival also involves learning to love the right things - an eagerness of heart, mind, will, and emotions to love what God loves.  God is a God of peace - therefore, he is all about what produces peace in not only our hearts, but those of others.  God is a God of love - so he delights in showing us how deeply he loves us and wants us to do the same in the lives of those around us.  God is a God of possibilities - so he creates moments in which we can see what looks impossible in order to show how he opens up possibilities in his plan and purpose.

Revival involves reassurance and abandonment.  These terms seem contradictory to each other - abandonment is seldom equated to be a reassuring thing.  Yet, it is in the abandonment of ourselves (and the things we hold so near and dear to our hearts) to the touch of our Lord that we are made new - that good things will result.  We want to know that when we abandon the things we have held dear and nurtured in our lives (even if we have nurtured some of the wrong stuff), that God will replace them with things more precious, more valuable, more creative.  It is easier to abandon the stuff we know is not good for us - like going from eating potato chips to snacking on fruit.  It is quite another thing to abandon something that we don't fully recognize as bringing harm to our lives.

To abandon means to lay down - to cease to take something up over and over again.  We actually cease to use that thought process, that method of solving the problem, etc.  We leave behind the old - never to return to it again.  This is tough!  Yet, renewal involves God placing his goodness deep within the freshly plowed ground of our mind, will, and emotions.  In that process, he makes those "abandoned" things less appealing and less rewarding.  Revival involves a hope for growth - it is a sense of a new beginning.  No other place is as "uncertain" as beginning something anew - yet, no other place has as much reward as new beginnings!

Whatever the moment is for you today - don't neglect it.  The moment may only pass but this one time - seize the moment.