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Friday, May 6, 2011

Come and be Revived

1 “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains,
   like the spring rains that water the earth.”
(Hosea 6:1-3)

Two actions are presented for us to take and two are promised that God will take in response to our actions.  The first action for us to take is to "come" - to move toward God, approaching him with the specific purpose of returning to our first love.  It is easy to lose our focus - to get distracted by the stuff of the day and to not be as attentive as we had once been in our Christian walk.  The call is to return.

The second action for us to take is to return.  You cannot return to some place you have not been.  So, this message is to believers - those who have an established relationship with Christ.  This implies that it is indeed possible to drift in our attentiveness.  There is a call to refocus thoughts and the processes we undertake to keep our thoughts fixed on him.  This is more than a mental assent though - there is action required.  There is a change in focus and in position.  Since focus determines our position, it is natural to see that our position has been affected by being inattentive to the things that build us up and make us strong in our Christian walk.

God has some steps he promises to take in response to our return - he will revive and restore us.  Similar concepts, but uniquely different.  When the promise is to revive us, it is not something we do for ourselves in just changing our focus.  That change of focus moves the heart of God to reach out to us afresh, with restoration, re-animation, and remembrance.

Restoration involves affecting us in such a way that our depression is removed, our actions are invigorated, and our lack of usefulness for him is reignited.  Revival opens us up to the awareness of growth and the production of fruit.  In sin - our only consciousness is of that sin.  While in a sinful state, our ability and desire to fellowship with God goes into a dormant, unused stated - we wander away.  With our return, God promises re-animation of our spirit - bringing a reawakening of our desire for fellowship.

Re-animation is the process God takes in helping to make our spirit alive and well.  There is a renewed ability to move and be active - as God would have us to be.  Re-animation gives us a zest for life - it invigorates us.  When God is at work animating us, we are vivacious!

Renewal involves bringing to remembrance the things God has previously spoken into our lives.  When we drift into complacency, we lose touch with the promises of God, the depth of his love, and the assurance of his care for us.  The process of renewal brings restoration of memory - we turn our mind's eye to him and take our eyes of those things that attracted us away from him in the first place.

He revives and he restores - putting that which has become useless into a place of usefulness once again.  There is no greater place to be than in the hands of the skilled craftsman - being formed into the image of his vision.  We can try as we might, but what we produce with our lives outside of his skilled hand crafting us, we will never produce the thing of beauty that he intends.

The call is to come - to return.  Allow God to reignite the passions of your heart toward him once again.  No matter how closely we think we may be following him, there is always opportunity for his fire to burn a little "hotter" in the recesses of our heart!