I was reading from Psalm 119 this week, and the cry of the heart: “Quicken Me” WAS HEARD as I read throughout this single chapter, with these particular words being “illuminated” by the Spirit of God. It was a cry within my own heart, true… and yet, it was as if I could hear believers everywhere, across the land, crying out, maybe unspoken or even unidentified, these same “personal” words: “Quicken Me!”
So before we look at the scripture, let’s take a peek at the definition of Quicken:
- Make or become faster or quicker: “she quickened her pace, desperate to escape”; “I felt my pulse quicken”.
- Spring to life; become animated: “her interest quickened”; “he looked with quickening curiosity through the smoke”.
- Spiritual meaning: Make me with living energy to pursue the way marked out by Thee. Revive me from the death of spiritual helplessness!
Being “worn down by the enemy”…an onslaught of fears, apathy, lethargy, despair, anxiety, and a wondering of “what’s the use?” seem to paralyze even the most committed Believers in Christ in this hour. Perhaps we have our focus on our own woeful situations, or that of others around us…be it disasters, unrest of nations, weather’s destruction, financial hardships, relationship issues, the state of the church, or the crisis in one’s own country, the antichrist spirit pervading all, or the perceived advancement of the Kingdom of Darkness on every front. We feel a bit helpless. Maybe even believe we are in a state of helplessness, corporately, where nothing we do matters at this point… YET deep inside we know, by the Holy Spirit, that with the Lord, the situations and circumstances are NOT hopeless!
I am here to declare: We are sometimes Helpless, but never Hopeless! Hopeless means “without hope” and it can also mean, “beyond ability to change”. We are neither!
As believers, we simply need to cry out to the Lord. He is the Almighty! Nothing is impossible! Even us, personally, to change! To be quickened. To come “to life”! Hopeful – full of faith and power, energy and drive – Able to advance!
And what do we then cry?
When I think of this cry of heart, I also think of the dry bones, and Ezekiel going to the valley full of them. (Ezekiel 37). “Can these dry bones live?” asked God. “Only you know, Lord.” replied Ezekiel. Yet then God said “Speak to the dry bones!” As Ezekiel then did this, and obeyed the voice of the Almighty, he used the words (vs 4-6): “Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!”“Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” The Almighty had the ability to bring from lifelessness, a QUICKENING, and life came…bones, the sinews, muscles, tissue, skin, and this great army came TO LIFE. Hmm… this is not a fairy tale. This actually took place. God brought back that which was completely lifeless. Verse 10 says, “breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.” So, too, HE IS ABLE to quicken you and I. Isn’t He?
I venture to say, just as the bones came to life one man at a time, yet corporately the whole army stood on their feet together, so too, will be the QUICKENING that we Believers in Christ cry out for in this hour.
What is our part? And what is God’s part? to BE QUICKENED in our spirit, soul, and body?
Let’s talk about that. All I speak of will come from David, the Psalmist, recorded in Psalm 119. Feel free to grab your own bible to mark these verses, as we go along. I used the KJV.
First let’s look at Psalm 119: 25, 86-88
25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust:
Quicken thou me according to thy word.
86 All thy commandments are faithful:
they persecute me wrongfully;
Help thou me.
87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.
88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness;
so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
89 Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.
From the underlined phrases, you will note that David, in this psalm, was declaring WHY he, himself, needed to be quickened. It appears he was being persecuted, for some reason… a wrongful reason, and his soul (mind-will-emotions) were exhausted, and that this oppression from all that was going on had almost consumed him. In short, his mental and physical health, his vitality, was almost exhausted to the state of dying! His suffering is leading him to feeling quite helpless. Yet he is knowing within himself that he has not parted from the Lord, nor deserved this treatment, though there has been persecution and torment of his soul.
No wonder he prayed QUICKEN ME!
Along with his prayer to be quickened, he is declaring a few things. First he says that all God’s commands are faithful…meaning they can be depended upon. Then he says that, though persecuted and nearly consumed, He KEPT the precepts of God. In other words, he was obedient to all he knew to be God’s will. He goes on to say that WHEN he IS “quickened” (Indeed, he was praying in faith), he will keep the testimony of God’s mouth. In other words, he will continue to follow hard after the Lord when he is energized. And his final declaration is: FOREVER the Lord’s Word is settled in heaven… implying that it is his only remaining “constant”, his firm foundation, and that forever he will follow it, no matter what!
So, when he pleads with God, QUICKEN ME… he acknowledges HIS WORD, and its ability to indeed quicken him. Verse 25’s “according to thy word” indicates this is his understanding.
Again, he pleads with God, QUICKEN ME, and we notice in verse 88…he acknowledges the Lord’s LOVING KINDNESS.
I believe this indeed a key to being quickened, because it is necessary to BELIEVE IN our Lord’s LOVING KINDNESS, in order to not be discouraged or downtrodden ourselves, as His Judgments come upon the wicked; or we view the reapings of unrepentant sinners; see the enemy about us robbing, killing, and destroying; or even deal with our own sin-consciousness due to our own erring from The Truth. Remember David also spoke the words of Psalm 27:13, which read: “I would have fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
David knew that God was full of goodness and loving kindness… or else he would have fainted—GIVEN UP! But he didn’t! and neither should we! Our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He remains a good and loving and kind God, and WILL RESPOND to our cry: Quicken Me!
From this set of verses alone we can see that our part is to believe and adhere to THE WORD, and to believe in God’s goodness and loving kindness. So what can we then KNOW is God’s Part: THE QUICKENING! ASK and RECEIVE BY FAITH – YOUR OWN QUICKENING!
Sometimes we have to realize we are either asleep, or nearly dead, without energy, or drive (I’m talking spiritually here) before we can even realize we need to ask to be quickened. Right? And, as a rule, almost always to GET HELP, first one must recognize their need for it, and then ask for it. So be thinking of your own personal self, as you continue to read, for it may be God is meeting a need you don’t even know yet, that you have (smile). The need to be quickened, yourself…
SO, NOW, while still in Psalm 119… let’s look at other scriptures that cry out: QUICKEN ME!
Psalm 119:40 says,
“Behold, I have longed after your precepts: Quicken me in your righteousness.”
Here we see again, that David longs after God’s ways… and this time he pleads the Lord’s righteousness.
We therefore, know, that David is acknowledging that it is not something he is going to earn or deserve. Just as our salvation was a gift – and the Lord’s righteousness given to us at time of conversion… any “quickening” that will take place, will also be because of the Lord’s righteousness, and not our own.
Well, so far we are in! (smile) We can ask, Quicken Me! …whilst believing in God’s loving kindness and in his righteousness. Let’s focus on our Lord, as we pray. Not on our need, but on his ability. We must acknowledge both, actually… but faith IS FAITH when who God is, becomes BIGGER in the eyes of our heart than the thing we are praying about.
Now let’s look at yet another verse in Psalm 119, which cries out: QUICKEN ME!
“Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.”
We definitely have an “our part” mentioned in this verse: turn our eyes away from beholding vanity!
The words “in thy way” make it perfectly clear that it is NOT God’s way for our eyes to be beholding vanity. Now what does this mean for you and I?
Barnes Notes on the Bible describes vanity as:
Vain things are wicked things; things which would be likely to lead you and I astray from what is real and true. Make my eyes to pass rapidly from such objects, that I may not look at them, may not contemplate them, may not dwell upon them. There is danger in looking on sin steadily; in surveying its features; in returning to contemplate it. An ugly object loses much of its deformity when we look often upon it; and this is a benevolent law, lest we should be miserable when we are under a necessity of looking on it. Sin follows this general law, and is to be avoided altogether, even in its contemplation, if we would be safe. A man should be thankful in this world that he has eyelids; and as he can close his eyes, so he should often do it.
When I personally read this, conviction comes by the Spirit, that vanity includes all other things I trust in other than God: pleasures, riches, idols, human power, jobs, even people. And certainly this includes anything that activates covetousness in me: a wanting after something I do not have. When our wants rob our haves from being enjoyed, we are beholding vanity.
Thus far we can conclude, then, that a way to be quickened spiritually is to turn our eyes away from vanity… and instead, focus anew upon our Lord: his word, his loving kindness, his righteousness, and his way.
Now we see another cry to Quicken Me, in Psalm 119:107
“I am afflicted very much: Quicken me, O LORD, according to your word.”
Once again, why the need to be quickened is addressed. David is suffering! He is in acknowledging his need. He IS afflicted. It does not infer this is physical as much as emotional suffering. A tormenting is going on within him due to his feeling spiritually helpless amidst others oppressing him! Just because a torment is not in the physical realm, as in sickness or disease, does not mean it is not intense suffering! I personally was afflicted during a time in my life with spiritual verbal abuse, and it affected my physical health. I was indeed to the point of despair. I remember well that I would cry within, with “unspoken” words, what the Psalmist David speaks out loud in expression.
I am here to speak it to you, my brother or sister. GOD KNOWS YOU NEED TO BE QUICKENED…and yes, right now! SO ASK HIM! CRY OUT “QUICKEN ME”!!! He will hear you, and He will answer.
You can be just like David, who, in Psalm 119:149, cried:
“Hear my voice according to your loving kindness: O LORD, quicken me according to your judgment.”
David appeals first to God’s loving kindness, right? Yet he goes on to plead, according to His judgment, as well.
David is essentially saying to God, “Revive my heart according to those principles of justice, founded on your own nature, and revealed in your law, which specially sets forth that mercy is to given to the humble, as well as, justice given to the wicked.”
David acknowledges that God is just – he sees and hears all – he knows hearts, hears tongues, weighs motives, and His judgments are pure and right. He is fully aware of those who are turning toward him, versus those who are turning away from him. As long as you are in the posture of turning toward God, you can cry out QUICKEN ME! That’s our simple part. Then God does the doing of the quickening….bringing us to life! (smile)
We know this is how David is thinking, because once again, he appeals to God’s ability to show mercies to those who come toward Him, and to bring judgments against those whose posture is away from Him. This is his judgment. He sees all sides. Before he brings then his judgments.
Let’s now look at Psalm 119:156
Great are your tender mercies, O LORD: Quicken me according to your judgments.
Here, he appeals to tender mercies…not just the loving kindness. What is the difference? This appeal for tender mercies is revealing that David walks in the reverential fear of the Lord. Mercies are extended toward “the undeserved”. Mercy is, after all, defined as: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. David adds this, for within he may hear The Accuser tell him he is really not deserving of God quickening him, so in light of this, still humble before God, he is pleading “mercy”…saying “Quicken me… even if it is purest mercy…which I know it is, deep down.” An awareness of our deserving punishment is simply humility, i.e. agreeing with God and how he might look at our sin. Yet still “according to your judgments” infers that God is also aware of David’s good heart toward him, and desire to please, and the keeping of His Commands that he does do, according to the love of God that is within him.
Okay, my friend… I think us looking at the couple verses prior to that mercies plea, may help us all fully see, that we can cry out: QUICKEN ME!
“Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.
If we are crying out TO GOD, can we not reason together that God will plead our cause and bring us deliverance? Clearly as The Word says, Salvation is far from the wicked, but listen… you wouldn’t be crying out to God, or desiring to live according to His Word, if you were “the wicked”. You may have stumbled, surely… but then Jesus, your advocate, will plead your case, and rest assured God will quicken you, in response to your asking.
David’s last plea for quickening comes in Verse 159:
“Consider how I love your precepts: Quicken me, O LORD, according to your loving kindness.”
Let’s pause a moment. This “quickening” prayer occurs here in this same chapter now for the ninth time, showing a deep sense of frailty on David’s part. He is longing for God, pleading with him to step in and strengthen him.
This time he is pleading: “Please, consider how I love your precepts.”
I looked up the word “precept” and it means “a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought.” So, in modern words, David is saying to the Lord: “I love for you to tell me how I am to act and what I am to think! I am not rebellious toward your ruling and reigning over me! I want you to give me sovereign rule. I love your precepts! Please don’t categorize me with those who are in rebellion toward you. I am not!”
In one chapter, Psalm 119, we discover David’s crying out “QUICKEN ME”.
And you, as a believer, are invited to cry out right now, today, this same prayer to the Lord: “QUICKEN ME!”
God wants you to, so He may answer.
He is ready to have all of us, in his army, have our “dry bones LIVE”. He is desiring for us to TURN TOWARD HIM with a cry in our heart… even though exhausted and afflicted, discouraged, or feeling pretty helpless… Just a cry! (some of you may not even have enough life in yourself to express anything but an unspoken cry). It is enough…just plead within then: QUICKEN ME, LORD.
HE WILL HEAR.
Just as the psalmist begs for God’s reviving, quickening grace…. Let us! We need it Church! If you don’t need quickening, personally… then cry out for your brothers and sisters, His Church, that THEY BE QUICKENED!
I am personally crying out. I admit it. I am crying out for the Church too, to be quickened. This is why I write this, as a scribe… for the Lord. He is telling me what to speak in writing, with these articles of late. He is wanting those in His Army to activate, everywhere, who have a desire to…whatever your gift or calling, or job or talent, or circumstance or bondage. GOD CAN QUICKEN YOU!
But He wants you to cry out and ask!
Not sure how to ask? I cut/paste…so let’s just pray the words of David, together, shall we? Then we know that we are praying in the will of God, right?
Quicken thou me according to thy word. Quicken me after thy loving kindness. Quicken me in your righteousness. Quicken thou me in thy way. Quicken me, O LORD, according to your word. Quicken me, O LORD, according to your loving kindness. O LORD, Quicken me according to your judgment. Quicken me according to thy word. Quicken me according to your judgments. Quicken me, O LORD, according to your loving kindness.
– I will continue in the longing for and loving your precepts, keeping them…
– I will turn away my eyes from beholding vanity, renewing my focus on you!
– Plead my cause, and deliver me, for great are your tender mercies.
Your loving kindness is toward me
I BELIEVE YOU HEAR – AS I MAKE MY PLEA:
Written by Elizabeth Norland, November 1, 2012