The second step on the road to revival is the Renewal of Our Commitment. In 2 Chronicles 29:10, Hezekiah said, “I intend to make a covenant with the Lord.” Understand, making a covenant, or a commitment, is not a bargaining process. Hezekiah wasn’t saying, “now God if you will remove our problems, we will clean up the Temple and start serving you again.” Listen, we cannot expect God to forgive us and deliver us until we learn that our commitment is imperative in this process. We must make a commitment. Hezekiah said, “I will make a covenant with God and then He will turn His wrath from us.” Lest you misunderstand, we don’t make a commitment to God to avoid punishment. Many people think they can walk the aisle and be baptized so they won’t go to hell. My friend, that isn’t commitment. That is wishful thinking. Neither is promising God something in order that He will do something for you. That is trying to strike a bargain. The only commitment that God honors is that which begins with a desire to be rightly related to Him, and to be rightly related to Him means coming on His conditions.
What we desperately need is what the prophet Jeremiah called for in Lamentations 5:21. “Turn us back to you, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old.” Jeremiah was talking about personal renewal – turning back to God. That kind of renewal begins with the mind. The apostle Paul said, “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal (by the renovation) of your mind” (Romans 12:1, 2). The word “renewal” comes from the root word for “restore.” It speaks of “renovation.” It’s all about tearing out the old and replacing it with the new. The new mind that replaces the old mind is the mind of Christ that takes us from being at total enmity with God – completely separated from Him – to being at total peace with Him. And my friend, you cannot know true peace until you know God’s peace. But that takes a total commitment to be rightly related to Him.
When you pray, what do you pray for? Do you pray as a child before bedtime that God will care for you through the night? What about your waking hours? Do you talk to him about what you have done with the day He has given you? Do you go over your life with Him? Do you let His full light shine over your life, illuminating not only your faithfulness but also your failures? This is where our failure to experience revival begins ‑‑ lack of prayer. Lack of laying out our lives before God, lack of giving praise to God for what He has done, lack of asking guidance in our lives and submission to His will. Without prayer, we cannot experience revival because without prayer, we cannot be rightly related to God.
King David said in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” The King James Version says, “renew a right spirit.” That was King David’s desire. He had always been a man after God’s own heart. He wanted to always be faithful to God and to His ways. But one day, as he took a little break from his kingly duties, he saw a beautiful young woman named Bathsheba, and he lusted after her. Not only was lusting after her a major sin, but also, Bathsheba was a married woman. However, that’s no problem when you are the king. At least, that is what David thought. He took her anyway, and soon she became pregnant. You see, the old saying is true. Be sure your sins will find you out. Again, David thought, no problem. He tried to cover his sin with trickery, but it did not work. Then came deception, but it did not work. Finally, he resorted to murder only to find out that God knew what he had done, and nothing else mattered. That’s when the powerful hand of God’s conviction came upon King David, and in repentance he cried out, “Have mercy on me, O God.” You see, as a child of God, you cannot be happy living in sin. He confessed his sin to God. He asked for cleansing, and just as the Bible promises in 1 John 1:8, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
But what we need is a commitment to turn back to God. The problem is that this is something that we cannot do on our own. For King David, it took a confrontation by Nathan the prophet. Even then he had to pray for God to create in him a clean heart and to renew in him a right spirit because there are some things that only God can do. Creating life, both physical and spiritual, fall into that category. Sin has so destroyed us that only God can fix us, and the way that He does that is to create in us a clean heart. So, today would you begin this second step on the road to revival by asking God to create in you a clean heart and to renew within you a right spirit today?