Saturday, November 10, 2012

A lifetime of restoration

Adam and Eve WALKED WITH God in the garden of Eden.  They lived in harmony with His creation and with Him.  Life was perfect.  Satan couldn't stand it... such intimacy between man and Holiness.  And he entered into the picture, lied, tempted, and stole.  Sin was birthed and left it's ugliest mark... separation between God and man.  But a lifetime of restoration was set in place.

Restoration: a bringing back to a former position or condition.  What was the former condition?  Perfect relationship with God.  All of time, until Christ returns, is a bringing back to our former position.  Whether we are in need of restoration in our marriages, in our relationships with family members, with our churches, with our friends and loved ones, with our children, with anything... it ultimately gets back to restoration with God.  If we are restored with God, if we are in right relationship with Him, everything... everything else will fall into place.

Restoration is one of the main themes of scripture.  All throughout the Old Testament, we see God in a constant attempts to bring His chosen people back to Him.  They walk with Him, they turn away from Him, they come back to Him, they fall away from Him, they repent and come back to Him again, they rebel against Him again.  Over and over and over this plays out.  I am ALWAYS AMAZED at His patience, His love, His mercy, His faithfulness, and His forgiving nature.  And I am also struck with the intensity of His discipline.  Even in His nature of LOVE, real, true, unconditional love, He can deliver a smack down when they rebel.  One of the biggest of those smacks being His scattering of 10 of the 12 tribes.  You might say, God said, "I've had it... go have at it."

Scripture tells us that God divorced His people.  THAT is pretty powerful.  He refers to His people as a whore.  THAT is pretty powerful.  And yet... His love can not keep Him away from her forever.  Isaiah is a beautiful book that captures this as is Hosea.  God wants His people back.  His love is too strong.  It's who He is... love.  According to scripture... that He set into place... when a "woman" is divorced, she can remarry only after her first husband dies.  God came in the flesh, as Jesus Christ, to restore His people.  And He died... fulfilling the law set against her... and He is gathering His bride, whom He scattered, and will marry her again!  The Bridegroom cometh.

In the New Testament, Christ is sent as the Redeemer.  He is sent as the Restorer.  He offers restoration to God in Himself.  Through Christ we are restored to God.  Yet Paul shows us over and over in his writings that man STILL falls away, still steps off the path, and still needs restoration from time to time... to time.  "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted."  Galatians 6:1~

Over and over Paul writes to churches who are not walking in the restoration they have accepted.  They are prideful, they are preaching other doctrines, they are participating in sins of the flesh, they are twisting the truth, they are participating in traditions of the pagans... they are in need of restoration. In the first few chapters of Revelations, we see churches in need of restoration.  They have lots of things right but God wants them to get it all right.  Very powerful scriptures with an important message... don't become complacent.

Restoration is something I seek often... actually... almost daily.  My salvation is in the Lord.  My salvation is secure.  But my personal, intimate "walking with" God can get off path.  I like "walking with" God.  I love intimacy with Him.  And I hate it when Satan comes to try and steal it.

We will be walking through praying for restoration for the next few days.  I am so glad you are here.  I can not even tell you how glad.  You encourage me just with your presence here.  Your emails and private messages have encouraged me so so much as you walk in a prayerful November with me.  

Start praying today that the Holy Spirit will bring to your mind areas in your life where you may need some restoring.  One that comes to my mind FAST is my personal time with Him.  I KNOW how vital it is to DRINK from His fountain and to FEAST on His Word... and yet I can go for days without doing so... leaving myself half starved, weak prey to the always stalking enemy, and depleted and not so great for my family.    
Pray He might bring people to mind you need restoration with and write them down... on a slip of paper... a post it note... or in your journal and commit to praying for that person and your relationship for the next five days.

One of the things I take away from "watching" Israel in the Old Testament is how faithful God is to take them back... over and over and over.  I find so much encouragement in that.  He IS THE RESTORER of our soul... we need just ask.

"He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."  Psalm 23:3

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