Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me in your righteousness. Psalms 119:40
First we looked at being revived by surrendering to God’s word (here), second we considered being revived in the journey of our lives as we follow his ways (here). Next we turn to a little deeper realm. Revive me in Your righteousness. Sin is like an onion in that there are layers that much be peeled away. When we turn to God we generally repent of the obvious outward sins. Repentance means to turn around and go the opposite direction. All who have turned to Christ and are on the way of following the Lord still experience issues with sin. The cry for righteous is a cry to be free of the baggage deep within us.
Establish you word to your servant. Turn away my reproach which I dread. Psalms 119:38
There is a tendency to get trapped in a vicious cycles. First is the mountain top experience often at a conference, extended meetings, or a special environment. Upon returning to “normal” life, the mountain top experience fades and old habits or patterns return. This is followed by guilt, shame, discouragement. The valley is a place we come to were we turn back to trying harder to follow God again. Keith Green expressed this well in a song with the words “I’m not living up to your expectations, I’ve got to do better than this, no excuses, no explanations, I’ve just got to do better than this.” I’m sure many of us like Keith deeply and genuinely expressed this desire back to God, but I believe there is a better way.
Behold, I long for Your precepts.
Behold means to gaze upon, stare, and concentrate. In Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” How quickly our eyes get off of him and onto ourselves, especially when we fail. We try with great effort to put to death the flesh, but fail because our fleshly religious efforts cannot defeat our fleshly sinful lifestyle. It can possibly modify it a little, but we can only reform ourselves from a worldly sinner to a religious sinner. It is only when we behold the mercy and grace of God that we can walk free of sin. It is only when we are no longer surprised at our failures, that we can begin to rest in His grace and live receiving mercy.