January 1, 2024

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”—Isaiah 45:18-19 (NIV)

I Need Oxygen!

My crutches—a result of a 300 lb. steer falling on my leg—had me hobbling across the Cabo San Lucas seaside parking lot to the beach. Once there, the sand offered a greater challenge.

I can do this.

But would I be able to get into the water to snorkel? Eyeballing high waves pounding the shore, I questioned the wisdom of this undertaking. However, I reasoned, once in the water my legs would move freely.

I hobbled to the water’s edge. There, I sat while my husband fit my feet with flippers. I scooched backward into the salty brine. Before I could place the mask on my face, the tide reached like a giant claw and scooped me into its clutches, the undertow putting distance between me and my hubby.

Yikes! I rolled over and over. My arms and legs flailed, unable to gain purchase of anything to bring me up out of the pounding surf. My lungs quickly emptied of air. Again and again, whitecaps thrashed me about.

Suddenly, a strong hand hooked onto my bathing suit and dragged me to shore. Sand and gravel scraped against my skin and jam-packed my suit. At last, my rescuer-husband dropped me onto the beach.

Finally, OXYGEN!

Sweet Revival!

When you read the word “revival” what image comes to mind? A large, white tent over people gathered to praise God in anticipation of being lit a-fire? Indeed, that is one reality, mostly from the past before mega churches came into being.

Can revival only come about in such a venue? Is God’s power limited to working amidst a crowd? Certainly He does pour out His love and might when more than two or three are gathered, but He created us as unique individuals, so His relationship with each of us is matchless and exceptionally blessed. When God sees us “dying on the vine,” His desire is to resuscitate, to revitalize, to revive us.

Types of Revival

Revival comes in many forms, in a myriad of different ways, and for countless situations.

There is physical revival, such as I needed in Mexico. There is emotional, mental, and of course spiritual revival.

Where do you need revival?

  • In something from the past holding you down?
  • Are torrents of anxiety, depression, or guilt depriving you of life-giving sustenance?
  • What waves suck you under, rendering you weak . . . worry, unexpected losses?
  • Are there circumstances robbing you of joy, peace and hope . . . relationships gone south (or are ho hum at best), an unfulfilling job?

Regardless of where you are with any of these, every day calls for a new beginning, which means letting go of those things keeping you stuck.

The One Source for All Revival

“. . . you are precious and honored in my sight, . . . I love you.”—Isaiah 43:4

God promised this to His people in Israel, but first they needed to come to Him. Without that, there was no restoration. (verses 5-21)

Seeds to Sow for Revival

  • Revival must begin with you
  • The first step is to draw near to God
  • Next, surrender to Him
  • Finally, embrace His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His strength, and receive the reviving life He breathes into you

Then you will be filled with that new thing He is doing inside you, that thing springing up as streams in a wasteland. (Isaiah 45:18-19)

Rejuvenation in 2024

This year ahead is a time for new beginnings, bringing with it new hope and promise of a fresh start. Put behind you those things dragging you down, sweeping you out into the depths. Begin each new day in anticipation of what God has in store for you now. Breathe in His life-giving power and forge ahead!

“But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 3:13-14

Prayer:  I am here, Lord, forgetting what is past as You encourage me to do in Your Word. I lay each of those hindrances in your loving hands. Now free from their heaviness, I breathe in Your reviving Spirit this day, this year. Amen.

Thought for the Day: “Every revival in history seems to be the result of a few people becoming so hungry for God that they wanted Him more than oxygen.”—Rick Joyner