March 23, 2020
Our God Is A God of Restoration!
I am not a prophet and the Lord has not given me any specifics about what it looks like going forward. But I believe that I sense His heartbeat, and I long to be in harmony and rhythm with Him. I know Him as my loving Father, in ways that demonstrate His exalted nature and mercy towards me, one who is so undeserving of such deep love and compassion.
I know how much the human race has disappointed Him and that He would have every legal right to bring judgment upon the world. But while judgment against Evil will be His ultimate act, He measures His verdict against His children through loving discipline. And then He always restores those who respond to Him in repentance and obedience.
So, I believe hard times are forthcoming. But I refuse to become a doomsday forecaster. I do not lay this virus, our economic woes, or the state of the world at the feet of God. It is time to be sober and vigilant, because our adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour. And we must own up to the part we have played in this mess, and then humbly seek His face and His will for our lives from this moment on. God has not abandoned us! And I choose to focus on His promises of RESTORATION.
Therefore, I have spent the morning combing through Scripture, noting all the ways that God has brought restoration in the lives of people in the Bible. And since He never changes, and Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and just as He will be tomorrow, we can expect that it is Their will to restore us, as well.
First, there are numerous accounts of God restoring flesh and lives. As the fear of coronavirus sweeps the land, we can rest in the knowledge that just as God exhibited His power to restore Moses' hand in Exodus 4:7, He can restore our bodies back to health from this virus. In fact, we can take much comfort from Psalm 41:3, When they are sick, God will restore them, lying upon their bed of suffering. He will raise them up again and restore them back to health. And here is a prayer to declare over yourself and loved ones: Lord, it is because of these things [Your kindness, mercy, acts of love, goodness of God], that life is given. It is in You that my spirit lives. Now restore my health and give me life again! And let us not forget that Jesus restored the lame, the blind, and the mute. Plus Peter was able to restore the lives of Aeneas, who was paralyzed, and the disciple Dorcas, who had died. It is inevitable that sickness and death will visit this nation and some of our homes. But we do not have to sit back and give in to their threats. We are sons and daughters of the King and citizens of the Kingdom. We can use our power and authority to bring the Light into this darkness and demonstrate the power of God to defeat the tactics of Satan and restore our health.
We have also watched the wild fluctuations of the stock market over the last couple of weeks, and millions of Americans are worried about their finances. Restaurants are closed down, small businesses are suffering, and untold numbers of Americans are out of work. But the Word tells us that God restores fortunes. Job stands out among those who lost much in the Bible. Scripture tells us "he was the greatest of all the people of the east". Then Satan decided to test the hedge of protection around Job, and it cost this righteous man his wealth and his family, and he is ridiculed by his friends for not renouncing God for his losses. And when Job questions the justice of all that has happened to him, God reminds him of His majesty and His greatness; and then He rebukes Job's friends for misrepresenting Him and blaming Him for the works of the devil. Job confesses that he uttered what he did not understand and repents for blaming God. And the Bible says, And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10).
We must not fall into the trap Job did, of listening to the temptations of Satan to blame God for what befalls us. And we would do well to believe in the promise of the Lord to the captives in Babylon, given through the prophet Jeremiah: For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not harm you; plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
We know that God restores land and nations and cities and thrones. Throughout the Bible He continued to restore Israel to their homeland, and we are still seeing that coming to fruition today in the Middle East. God is good to give us a picture of the restoration of righteousness in the New Jerusalem, as in Isaiah 1:26: I will restore deliverers [righteous judges] as in former times and your wise counselors as at the beginning. Only then will you be called the Righteous City and the Faithful City! And I rejoice in the hope provided in Acts 15:16, that the true Church will rise up in the knowledge that soon, Jesus will return, and He will rebuild the tabernacle of David that has fallen; He will rebuild its ruins, and He will restore it... that we will experience the intimacy and the trust and the relationship that David experienced with the Father; that we will come out of these difficult circumstances and identify as David, " a man after God's own heart". I want to be real with God, just as David was; feeling free to express my worries and my disappointments; and shouting His praises as He surprises me with miracles in the midst of darkness.
And there is perhaps no other verse that speaks to my spirit more than Psalm 23:3 ... He restores my soul. I need and want a reset of my soul -- my mind, my free will, and my emotions. I pray that this time of separation from the world will result in a repair and renewal of any wrong thinking on my part. Like Job, I want to believe in my mind and my heart that God can do all things and no purpose of His can be thwarted. I want to question Him, and have Him make His counsel known to me. I don't just want to hear Him; I want to see Him. And I want my will to always reflect His, and my feelings to align with His.
So, here's what I do know as we head into this unknown territory ... God restores all things and all things are made new in Him. He showed me that this last Friday, during what will probably be the last "in-person" Inner Healing session Mark and I will do until we get on the other side of this quarantine. A beautiful couple came to us in the midst of the pain from adultery. Both were reeling from the betrayal and breach of trust, and it looked dismal for any chance of reconciliation. As always, we explained that we are not marriage counselors. Our purpose was to show them what Jesus desired. I will tell you it didn't look good when they first sat down. But throughout the session Jesus made His presence and His desire for them known; and when they heard His voice declare that "restoration was already beginning", He showered them with Living Water, washing away all the guilt and condemnation. They left with a vision of a renewed marriage; beginning again and casting away all efforts of the Enemy to destroy what Jesus pronounced as "clean". Mark and I spent the rest of the night praising Him for building something new and beautiful out of the ashes of loss and failure.
I believe He can do that on a much bigger scale with millions of people in the world. This virus is designed to defeat us. But Jesus and the Father have declared victory and success over us! Believe in Them and trust Them! Talk to the Holy Spirit; know that He and Jesus are interceding for you every day! We are going to face some difficult times ahead, and no one knows for how long. We can choose to curl up in a ball out of fear and despair. Or we can walk as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, ministering to others in need, and interceding in prayer for all those suffering on the earth. And above all else, we can walk in confidence in our identity in Christ and believe that RESTORATION is in our future!
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.