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Week of April 3, 2011
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12
God purposed His only begotten Son to reconcile us to Him and to do a complete work of restoration. What an amazing gift of love this is, and it's available to all who will receive.
When we first accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are born again in the spirit, elated with joy. All we want to do is to please God and shout to the world how wonderful this amazing transformation is.
But as we step back into the world to work and interact, we can be tempted to slip back into old patterns. However, God loves us so much that even when we behave in ways that hurt His heart, if we repent, He is quick to forgive. He restores us, just as He did for the Israelites so many times throughout the Bible.
Usually, we see the restoration of God manifest after we have suffered for a “little” while (I Peter 5:10). Our definition of “little” and God’s definition usually varies. He will allow us to suffer consequences to discipline us (Heb. 12: 4-11). If the consequences weren’t painful, we probably wouldn’t learn the lesson and would repeat cycles of destruction.
The quickest path to restoration is immediate repentance and diligence in seeking God's heart and face, praising Him in the midst of our suffering.
It is also important to remember that God did not cause our pain. We must take accountability, forgiving anyone who may have caused us to stumble and also forgiving ourselves. Remember, God forgives those who forgives others (Matt. 6:14). The quicker we let the issue go and turn our focus to God, the quicker we move through the restoration process.
We must also ask the Holy Spirit to check our attitudes and search our hearts to privately reveal to us any hidden sins, so that we may be confessed and in right standing. Often, we cannot see our own issues, but God always sees everything. And so we must rely upon the Holy Spirit to help us, remembering that which is not confessed privately, will be exposed publically. Unconfessed sin doesn't just go away. It must be confronted.
Restoration often extends beyond us into past, present and future generations (Deut. 30:2-3). When iniquity, or generational sins, enter a family tree (Ex. 20:5-6), it can take years for God to restore us and our family members. This is because there has been so much repetitive sin over time.
Still, God is patient with us, and He is kind. He extends His infinite mercy and amazing grace to us in the journey as we declare Joel 2:25, Job 42:10 and Haggai 2:9.
Generational restoration is often a process that begins with forgiving our forefathers for their iniquities, repenting for walking in the same sins as they and asking God to help us walk in new ways. This process usually occurs in layers, as in peeling an onion. Sometimes, there is so much that is wrong, if God revealed all of our issues to us all at once, we wouldn't be able to cope. However, God can accelerate the restoration process by using ministries that specialize in this area or by miraculous touches from Him.
God will give us restoration breakthroughs as we journey. These usually involve divine revelations and spiritual deliverance that release us into a new level of understanding and freedom. And sometimes, these breakthroughs occur in the form of creative miracles or physical healings, like those we read about in the Bible.
God is indeed the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). He still heals today as He did during Biblical times. He is sovereign, and He does not change. He loves us no matter what. But remember, even those who experienced “sudden” miracles suffered for a “little” while, which may have felt like an eternity to them.
God’s restoration offers us liberty from oppression and the freedom to reach our divine destiny in divinely appointed times. The more baggage we overcome and the more hurts and injustices we process God's way, the more space we make available within ourselves to receive His love. The more space we offer God to reflect His love through us, the more ways He can use us to share His love in the marketplace, just like Jesus did. This honors God.
God has much in store for those who will submit to His restoration process (Rev. 2:26). But what will we choose? Will we hold onto our familiar wounds and bondages and limit the hand of God from working in us and through us? Will we close out many of His finest blessings? Or will we choose to exercise a willing spirit and return to His joy of salvation?
If you would like help in your restoration journey, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you. Only He knows what and how much you are ready to deal with. Some restoration ministries I can recommend are Healing House, Shiloh Place, Family Foundations International, Healing Rooms and Restoring Waters.