The Process Of Restoration
01.02.2017, Chuck D. Pierce
We Need the Power of Restoration in our Life!
God truly is a God of restoration, and He has a plan for the restoration of the human race. Through His Son, we are now able to return to intimate fellowship with God, renewed innocence and the promise of eternal life. Restoration is the very nature of God. Acts 3:19-21 says, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” The moment Adam sinned, God set the process of restoration in motion. Throughout the ages He spoke to His prophets about this holy reversal. Some of these prophecies have been fulfilled. Others, including the second coming of Christ, will be fulfilled in the future. We are in the midst of seeing the greatest plan of restoration the world will ever know unfold right before us!
Restoration and Judgment
The simple truth is that God is more interested in restoration than in judgment! Even in His judgment, God has a plan to restore. We see time and time again how God judged the nation of Israel for its wickedness and disobedience. Yet each time, God restored Israel to Himself. God’s nature and purpose in an individual’s life is no different. Though we may experience judgment for what we or those in generations before us have done, be assured that somewhere in all our suffering, God has a plan to bring restoration and to get us back on course so that we might receive our inheritance and fulfill our intended destinies.
The restoration Plan of God
To restore means to revive and return to life, or to bring back to a former or original condition. This definition, however, falls short of all that restoration in God means. God intends to do more than bring us back to a former or original condition. He intends to multiply and increase us beyond that point. He longs for our latter days to be greater than our former days. God’s plan for you is restoration!
The Holy Spirit … The Agent of Restoration!
The Holy Spirit is the agent of restoration. He is the only restrainer in the Earth of evil. He fills you and causes you to rise to a place of triumph in your life. The Holy Spirit is the person of the Godhead who is serving as the restorative agent here on earth. God the Father is the author of our restoration plan. He manifested Himself on earth through His son, Jesus. Jesus carried within Him that plan and, consequently, our future. He took the sin that would stop our personal future and let it be crucified on the Cross with Him. This act insured our restoration and future success. Jesus then said to His disciples, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. . . . All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:7,15). Only when we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us do we have the power to live a victorious Christian life. And it is He, the Holy Spirit, who does the work of restoring the fragmented, scattered pieces of our lives to something that is far greater than its former state. When we receive the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, and yield to His direction, we have access to all that the Father desires for us. The restoration process can begin.
The Role of the Holy Spirit on Earth
In the Earth realm, the Holy Spirit has the essential role in the life of every believer. He is available to fill your spirit man and cause you to rise above your enemies. He has a vast job description. Some Christians only associate the filling of the Holy Spirit with those things that are considered “charismatic,” such as tongues, and therefore prefer to ignore His function and life within them. They limit themselves to a very narrow view of the One whom Jesus called our Helper. The word “helper” in Greek is parakletos, meaning intercessor, counselor, advocate or comforter. What a beautiful promise of a constant help. Stop now and ask the Holy Spirit to Help YOU! Here are some of the descriptions of the Holy Spirit. He can HELP YOU in any or all of the areas below:
Breath of Life (Revelation. 11:11)
A Dove (Mark 1:10)
The Finger of God (Luke 11:20)
The Guarantee of Our Inheritance (Ephesians 1:14; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:5)
The Oil of Gladness (Psalm 45:7; Hebrews 1:9)
The Rivers of Living Water (John 7:38)
The Spirit of . . . Promise (Ephesians 1:13)
The Spirit of Adoption (Romans 8:15)
Counselor (Isaiah 11:2)
The Fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2)
Glory (1 Peter 4:14)
Grace (Zechariah 12:10; Heb. 10:29)
Holiness (Romans 1:4)
Judgment (Isaiah 4:4)
Knowledge (Isaiah 11:2)
Life (Romans 8:2)
Love (2 Timothy 1:7)
Power (2 Timothy 1:7)
The Spirit of Prophecy (Revelation 19:10)
Revelation (Ephesians 1:17)
Sound Mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
Supplication (Zechariah 12:10)
Truth (John 14:17)
Understanding (Isaiah 11:2)
Wisdom (Exodus 28:3; Deuteronomy 34:9)
The Process of Removal will make you Become New!
In the restorative process, God takes what is there, no matter how damaged, and makes something new. He wants to remake your vessel and pour within you a new wine filled with joy, strength, glory and faith. To make your present wineskin new, He wants to soaks you in the water of the Word and rub you with the anointing. Rubbing in the oil is the part of the process that makes you flexible for the future. Those hard things we go through are the oil that He rubs into us. And that oil also contains a new anointing. As we allow the Holy Spirit to take us through the process of rubbing, we not only become more flexible so that we can handle all God desires to pour into us, but we also become able to pour out in a greater measure. There is a process of removal before restoration occurs.
The Remove of Legalism
One of the things the LORD removes is legalism. Most Christians would be greatly surprised to learn how many legalistic structures they have embraced. Simply put, legalism is narrowing all of our mind processes down to the point that we can’t receive the mind of God. Rather than having a mindset that is saturated in His grace and love, legalism is a mindset that is steeped in man’s judgment and control. Legalism always leads to pride and unbelief. In Galatians, legalism is even equated with witchcraft. Paul reminds the Galatians that they were doing great. They were having a good time, growing in the Lord and walking in faith. Then he asks who has bewitched them? In other words, who narrowed their minds down to such a degree that they were no longer able to receive the grace of God? Who brought legalism into their midst?
Don't lock God in a Box!
Our restoration cannot be released while God is tightly locked in a box. We must allow the Lord to remove our legalistic, religiously rigid mindsets. For example, is there a situation in your life, in your family or in your city that seems completely unchangeable? Are behavioral patterns so deeply entrenched that nothing could shake them loose? If the answer is yes, then you are dealing with a legalistic mindset. We say nothing is impossible with God, but do we really believe nothing is impossible with God? In every area where we do not have this heartfelt assurance, we have a legalistic, bewitching structure that narrows God. Ask the Lord to reveal hidden places of legalism in your mind, and then be willing to let those old structures fall to the ground. Allow new faith to rise up within you. This is a key to becoming flexible wineskins.
The Remove of Condemnation
The LORD also removes condemnation. Satan is a liar and a thief. He lies to us about our position with God in order to steal the restoration God has for us. One of his favorite tactics is to bombard believers with reminders of personal failures or failures in their generations to the point where they wear around a sticky garment of condemnation and guilt. They say things such as, “God can’t restore me because I . . . am divorced, had an abortion, had an affair, lied about a friend, took what was not mine, (fill in the blank).” These are lies! You don’t have to wear that old garment. The cycle of the past can end. Getting right with God and then forgiving yourself will break the schemes the devil intended to use to keep you draped in a shroud of guilt, no matter what you’ve done. Jack Hayford writes, “And once your relationship with God is restored, your guilt has served its purpose and no longer has any place in your life. Let it go. And refuse its argument to regain any place in tormenting your mind or your feelings.” Let the Holy Spirit soak you in His cleansing waters of forgiveness and renewal. This is another key to renewing the wineskin that will hold the wine of restoration.
The Remove of Judgmentalism
The LORD removes judgmentalism. Just as we must put away our own condemnation, so must we put away condemning others through judgmentalism. Because of the law of sowing and reaping, we really can’t fully do one without the other. If we condemn others, we will be condemned. And what’s worse, the Bible says that we too become dangerously susceptible to falling into the same sin we accuse others of. Don’t be fooled. We are not to sit in judgment. Judgmentalism has serious spiritual ramifications and has the power to keep us from entering into restoration. Isaiah 58 says that if you will pray and fast, and let God determine the fast for you (don’t do it religiously), and if you’ll put away the pointing of that finger and looking outward, He will begin to break forth your light and your healing will spring up. Allow that process of God to bring you into the fullness He has for you. This, too, is part of making the wineskin clean and ready for the new wine.
Let Him Draw You Near!
Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:7.8). We hate the word submission. However, the word is not a bad word. The meaning is “to stand under”. You can never stand against your enemy until you submit. God has absolute authorities and delegated authorities. We must learn submission. No greater faith have I see in all of Israel than the one who understood authority (Matthew 8). In the process of our restoration and renewal, certain things must be restored to us in order to make the process complete.
Three Key Factors toward Restoration
Here are three key factors that move us toward restoration:
1. Restoration of the Intimate Relationship
God restores intimate contact with Himself and others. Relationship is difficult for many Christians simply because our society breeds fear of intimacy. We protect ourselves. We don’t want to get hurt. We don’t want to allow our emotions to be seen. And to complicate matters, those who have experienced broken relationships in the past don’t want to chance future intimacy. But the simple fact is that we need one another. We need God. Without one or the other, we will never enter into the fullness of restoration. We must begin to allow God to make us intimate communicators with Himself and then each other.
We need to begin by embracing an intimate relationship with God. The classic analogy is Mary and Martha (see Luke 10:38-42). We get so caught up in what we are to do that we forget what we are about. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus until she knew her destiny. Once she knew the purpose of her life, then she could go do the dishes with Martha, or anything else that needed to be done. She did not neglect the task. Through intimacy, Mary simply gained what she needed for her life and then tended to the business of the house. God is calling us into a new intimate place. From this intimate place, we gain our new strategies for moving ahead. But the intimacy is not for ourselves alone. Just as God wants to restore us as individuals, He is equally interested in restoring us as the Bride of Christ. For that reason, we must allow Him to bring us into intimate relationships with one another that will thrust us forward into our biblical destiny.
2. The Restoration of the Father/ Child Relationship
God begins to restore our Father/child relationship. When we do not know God as Abba Father and have not yet come into the spirit of adoption that God has for us, we really do not have the relationship needed to grasp our restoration and the inheritance that comes with it. This is important to understand. Many times God starts by dealing with our earthly father and authority issues in order to restore the Father/child relationship that we have with Him. In cases where our fathers have abused their authority, or did not take their proper role in the family, God must restructure our thinking, but we must let Him. He is neither an abusive Father nor an absent Father. He is a loving Father who cares deeply for us—so much so that He has a plan of restoration for our lives. We need to allow Him to bring us to that understanding. Once those issues are in order, the word of the Lord over our lives can begin to spring forth.
3. The Restoration of the Childlike Faith
God restores our childlike faith. God sees all the war and wilderness places that we have been in. Through those times, He begins to increase our measure of faith. As this childlike faith begins to arise, the glory of God rests upon us.
Ask the Lord to create a scenario for you to ask Him for something simple. Ask, believe and watch Him restore your faith.
Grief, the Biggest Enemy of Restoration
When the Holy Spirit begins a process of restoration, He has placed us in a new season with new revelation and new life: a new wine. Most of us are familiar with the passage in Matthew 9:17 that says, “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” However, one of the biggest enemies of restoration is grief resulting from past loss.
The Two Instances, that blockading the Process of Restoration
There are two instances in which grief can keep us from moving toward restoration.
1. The not completed Cycle of Grief
Deep hurts require deep healing. And the healing process is usually longer and more strenuous than we ever expect. In fact, counselors will often refer to a person in the midst of recovering from loss as doing “grief work.” This is a term used to describe a conscious decision to experience the emotions of grief as they come—no matter how uncomfortable they may be—and to see those emotions through to the end. The theory behind grief work is that as we allow ourselves to grieve through the ebb and flow of natural emotion, healing can begin to penetrate the pain. If we do not allow ourselves to heal and instead deny our emotions, the grief will fester and often manifest later in various harmful ways such as addictions, chronic depression, fits of anger or even physical illness.
We must also remember that we have an enemy who seizes our times of loss as opportunities to prey upon us. Unless we allow the Lord to take us through our seasons of grief and see them to the end, Satan can use our denial to create a stronghold of grief within our lives. It is often this kind of deeply embedded grief that keeps us from coming into restoration.
2. The ongoing cycle of grief
When the cycle of grief goes on too long. As necessary as grief may be, and as important as it is to see the process through, we can choose to grieve too long. Like the widow we just described, many people caught in the throws of pain can’t see that there is a time to cast off mourning. Even the great prophet-priest Samuel fell into this comfortable grief trap as we see in 1 Samuel 16:1: “Now the Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul?’ ”
God’s appointed season of grieving for Samuel over Saul’s removal from power had reached its limit. It was time for Samuel to either move on, or to miss the next move of God through David.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us, “There is . . . a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
Just as Satan can use denial to afflict us, he is equally adept at prolonging our seasons of grief far beyond what God intends. By keeping us feeling as though we are in a state of perpetual mourning, Satan knows that we cannot move into the abundant life God has for us beyond our loss. Grief robs us of strength—often the very strength we need to move into a season of life that is far greater than we had before the loss. During an appropriate season of grief, God’s grace covers our lack of natural strength. But when the Lord is ready to move us on, that grace lifts. If we do not move with God, we can be left in a vulnerable and weak place, unable to cross over into our inheritance. God asked Samuel concerning the loss of Saul’s kingship, “How long are you going to grieve over Saul. Fill your horn with oil and go!” (see 1 Samuel 16)
Joshua's Time to Finish with Grief
Joshua was a great leader in Israel. He was the one who actually led the children of Israel across the Jordan into Canaan and spearheaded the military campaigns that allowed the Israelites to possess the land God had promised. But what if Joshua had allowed his grief over the death of Moses to extend beyond the appointed season? Deuteronomy 34:8 says, “And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended.” But what if the days of weeping and mourning had not ended? Very simply, Joshua would not have crossed over into God’s inheritance for His people. His grief would have consumed the strength he needed for that vital hour in history. Instead, Joshua mourned appropriately, regained his strength, and moved on when the strategic time came.
End your days of grief and enter into a new level of restoration!
Chuck D. Pierce