Last Sunday, I gave a message at church, and I talked about the phrase from Psalm 23:3: “He renews my life.”
“Renews” is a word that can translated many ways: “restore” (ESV), “refresh” (NIV), but most often is translated “bring back” or “return” in the Old Testament.
Different words are used here in this passage, and of course, the New Testament is written in Greek, not Hebrew like the Old Testament. But we still see similar ideas in this passage. The strength in the lame man’s legs were restored (7). The people were called to repent and return to God (19). When Jesus comes back, all things will be restored to the way God created it. (21)
But it’s verses 19-20 that really strike me today.
Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…
If we want our souls to be refreshed, we won’t find it from living our own way, and seeking the things of this world.
We need to repent of our sins, and turn back to God.
David wrote this in Psalm 32.
When I kept silent (about my sin), my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained, as in the summer’s heat.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:4-5)
That picture of having your strength drained as in the summer heat is very interesting in that the word “refreshing” in Acts 23:20 is the picture of cooling or reviving with fresh air.
When we sin, God does bring discipline in our lives, and life can get pretty “hot.” But when we confess our sins and ask for his forgiveness, he blots out our sins, and our souls are refreshed; they are renewed.
A couple of weeks ago, our pastor suggested that we take some time during the day to be quiet before the Lord. One thing I’m doing just before that is praying, “God, is there any sin in my heart from the day. Search my heart. Let me know if there’s anything wrong in my heart.”
And in my time of quiet, I’m letting God show me my sin. But in doing that, I’m also finding the refreshing wind of his forgiveness and grace as I repent.
Let’s all take the time to be quiet before God. Let him search our hearts. Let us repent. And let us feel the refreshing wind of his forgiveness and grace blow through our souls.