In the time before boarding an airplane and takeoff, there is a moment where the flight attendants share important safety information with the passengers. They tell you that if the cabin ever loses pressure, oxygen masks will drop down from overhead. One of the things they emphasize is the importance of placing your own mask on first before assisting others. This is an important point because our natural tendency might be to assist others first, but our usefulness to others actually depends on ensuring our own ability to breathe first.
This is a helpful analogy when it comes to our walk with God. We want to serve others, help others, and bless others. Despite the best intentions, if we’re not careful we can neglect our own spiritual health while we are busy helping others. Doing so only ultimately diminishes our effectiveness.
At the beginning of this week of prayer and fasting, let’s take some time to “put our own mask on first.” That is to say, let us take some time to seek God for personal spiritual renewal. Personal spiritual renewal or revival is a recurring theme in Psalm 119. The word “revive” shows up 9 times in this Psalm. Take a moment to read through the following verses and let their impact sink in as you listen to the words of the Psalmist.
Psa. 119:25 My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word.
Psa. 119:37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.
Psa. 119:40 Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me in Your righteousness.
Psa. 119:88 Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.
Psa. 119:107 I am afflicted very much; revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.
Psa. 119:149 Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; O LORD, revive me according to Your justice.
Psa. 119:154 Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to Your word.
Psa. 119:156 Great are Your tender mercies, O LORD; revive me according to Your judgments.
Psa. 119:159 Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.
Very clearly, the Psalmist recognizes his need for God to “revive” him. Life in a fallen world takes a toll on us. Worldwide pandemics take a toll on us. Opposition from the world, the flesh and the devil take a toll on us. But the good news is that God has the power to revive us. He has the power to give us fresh spiritual rejuvenation.
May we, like the Psalmist, recognize our need for God’s reviving work in our lives. May we, like the Psalmist cry out for God to revive us according to his Word. May he give us a new spiritual vitality as we head into this new year. May he awaken us to the glory of all that is ours in Christ. May he grant us a greater hunger for his Word, a greater passion for Jesus, and a greater compassion for people. Take some time in prayer today to ask God for personal spiritual renewal.