“RESTORE MY SPIRIT, LORD”
1. Driving across north Arkansas: trees everywhere damaged and scarred by an ice storm, but a countryside coming to life with budding green and blossoming colors.
2. There are seasons in people’s lives when they pray for that kind of renewal:
“Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!”
(Psalm 80:3; repeated in v. 7 and 19, with increasing emphasis)
3. This is a good time for us to think along the lines of these lines.
a. It is Spring; we’re ready for light, warmth, and new life.
b. Our “Love More, Sin Less” series is just ahead, and it deserves the support of hearts that are ready for it.
c. These three Sundays we’ll make the requests from “Restore My Soul” our own. The first is:
“Restore my spirit, Lord, I need restored;
My heart is weary, please help me, dear Lord.
I stand in need of more strength from Your Word.
Renew my love, rebuild my faith, O restore my soul.”
1. The Blessing Requested
a. What ‘restore’ means
i. The O.T. term is literally ‘to return’ and it’s used in the sense of bringing back or refreshing.
ii. The N.T. word means ‘to complete’ or ‘put into proper condition.’
b. The images of restoration
i. A vine which has been trampled or burned (Ps. 80:7,12-13,16)
ii. A people who have been defeated and are alone (Ps. 60:1)
iii. A net which is coming apart (Mk. 1:19)
c. But what if that which needs restoring is your spirit?
i. The inward you, the hidden person, the part of you which enlivens your body and survives it
ii. Defeated and downcast, alienated and alone, burdened and broken
2. The Need Existing
a. When the spirit is wayward
i. Lamentations 5:16,19,21 – “The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!...But you, O LORD, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations....Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old...”
ii. Psalm 85:1-2 – “LORD, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin.”
iii. Psalm 51:10-12 – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
(1) When he was in sin his whole spirit was wrong – he was without God; he was lost, lonely, guilt-ridden, and had no purpose.
(2) But restoration meant forgiveness, a clean heart, living once again within God’s fellowship, with a sense of security and well-being.
b. When the spirit is weary
i. Nahum 2:2 – “For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for plunderers have plundered them and ruined their branches.”
ii. Psalm 126:4 – “Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb!” (Which are bone dry in the summer, until the winter rains restore them)
iii. 1 Peter 5:10 – “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
(1) The N.T. word for “restore” was often used of repairing ships after a battle or a storm
(2) When it’s used of the weary spirit, it means assurance where that heart has been uncertain and anxious with life, strength where it has been worn out and overwhelmed with responsibility, and enthusiasm where it has been disheartened by work and downcast in outlook.
3. The God Who Restores
a. Restoring the spirit is God’s work.
i. Think again of Psalm 80:3...”The prayer relies wholly on what God can do: He only can restore His people....He only can welcome them back with shining face, significant of His pleasure in them...” (New Bib. Com. 502). And only God can provide fresh life to one who has no strength of his own.
ii. Psalm 23:1-3 – “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
iii. 2 Corinthians 4:15 – “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.”
b. God uses tools to do his restoring work.
i. He uses His word. Psalm 19:7 – “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul...”
ii. He uses His family. Galatians 6:1 – “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness...”
iii. He uses our own commitment to Him. Romans 12:1-2 – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
1. I hope we can be tools for restoring spirits over these next few weeks. But remember, before there can be “Restore our spirit” there must be “Restore my spirit.”
2. “Renew my love, rebuild my faith, O restore my soul” is a prayer that can be granted...
a. Where there has been life to be restored.
b. Where there is a longing within that which is to be restored for it to be restored.
c. Where there is trusting, obedient reliance upon the Restorer.