Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness.
TAKING IT IN
Are you tired of dealing with sin? I am.
If living in a fallen world doesn’t wear us down, the battle with our flesh causes us at times to cry out like Paul:
Oh, what a miserable person I am!
Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
(Romans 7:24 NLT)
Like the psalmist, I want God to know and see that I long for His Word and His will in my life. Yet so often I fall short in my good intentions.
Christian musician and songwriter, Keith Green, understood spiritual frustration well when he said,
“Meeting Jesus was one thing, becoming more like Him was another.”
He wrote these words in a moment of failure:
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.
After striving for years to measure up to God’s holiness, at times even questioning his own salvation, Keith Green came into a deeper understanding of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross — both to forgive his sins, and to clothe him in His righteousness.
Notice that the psalmist does not pray to be revived in his own righteousness – he cries out to be revived in the righteousness of God. Our cry for righteousness reaches to the One who is righteous.
Righteousness is one of the most interesting words in Scripture. In Greek the word is dikaiosune, which literally means equity of character. Equity of character is to possess all good qualities in perfection and perfect balance. The qualities of God are the attributes of God. His communicable attributes are love, justice, holiness, truth, mercy, wisdom and power. He alone possesses these qualities or attributes in perfection and perfect balance. Therefore only God is righteous.
Yet as Christ came to die for our sins and pay our ransom, God’s righteousness now becomes ours. We take hold of His righteousness by faith with great gratitude for what Jesus accomplished at the cross. Christ took on our filthy rags that we might be clothed in the robes of His righteousness.
MAKING IT MEANINGFUL
It was Charles Spurgeon who pointed out that your life will generally tend to move along the line of your strongest desires. He wrote:
“Where our longings are, there are we in the sight of God.”
Jesus has something to say to us about inconsolable longing. He has something to say about the insatiable hunger of the human heart, and about the relentless thirst of our soul.
Matthew 5:6 turns the key and unlocks a precious truth as we journey to be revived in His righteousness.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
THEY SHALL BE FILLED…
They shall be satisfied as a hungry man is when supplied with food or a thirsty man when supplied with drink. Those who are perishing for a want of righteousness, those who recognize they are lost sinners and strongly desire to be holy, will be filled, satisfied. Never was there a desire to be holy which God was not willing to gratify.
WORKING IT INTO MY HEART
The struggle lies in identifying the longing for righteousness.
This week’s news of the man who murdered 12 innocent people in a movie theatre leaves us shocked and saddened. The darkness of the world covers us like a cloud. It is easy to become discouraged and depressed. But what we need to do at times like this is recognize our “hunger”.
What our hearts long for is a “rightness” in the world, that good would overcome evil and justice would reign. We hunger for God who holds all these attributes in His perfect character. As we draw closer to God, our recognition of our own sin causes us to cry out like the Psalmist,
REVIVE ME IN YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS!
What we don’t want to miss is this — if our hearts have a longing to do what God commands of us in His word, our longing will not go unfulfilled. We have the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ and Matthew 5:6.
The answer to our spiritual hunger, our desire for righteousness lies in the psalmist’s short but specific prayer,
“Revive me in Your righteousness”.
Oh how we need to be revived in this way. As the days grow darker, we must not grow discouraged, but allow God to stir up His righteousness in us – that we would love what He loves, hate what He hates and live as light in this dark world. The world needs Jesus! The world needs to see us living righteously; they need to know the end of the story — that good truly does overcome evil!
This good work that God started in us, He will be faithful to complete but we must remember the righteous live by faith – we are not those who shrink back but move forward in the victory that Christ has won for us!
The day of victory is coming my friends and our righteous One will come riding on a white horse and we will be right behind Him! May you take these verses into your week with you and may you be revived in His righteousness!
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.
Take a moment now to remember that He became sin who knew no sin that you might become His righteousness! Live in that truth and put all your hope in Him!