Recently, the Lord has said much to me, Spirit-to-spirit, about restoration. He’s even painted me a picture – a living, red-gold picture. A young oak whose leaves have turned a deep red looks far different from the beleaguered tree of a year ago. Alas, the wire used to stake and stabilize the young tree was left in place too long and threatened to strangle the oak. The leaves fell off early and, through the winter, the outlook for the tree seemed bleak. But in spring, the oak budded again. In summer, it thrived. And now, it’s putting on a color show.
During this last year, the trunk has grown out around the strangling wire. So now, we see a beautiful tree, disfigured just enough to speak profoundly of resilience and restoration.
The Word on restoration
Numerous Scriptures speak of restoration. Among them:
“Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return” (Lam. 5:21).
“Restore us, O God, our savior … Won’t you restore our lives again so that your people may find joy in you?” (Ps 85:4,6 GW)
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Ps. 51:12).
“Turn to freedom our captivity and restore our fortunes, O Lord” (Ps. 126:4 AMP).
“If you repent, I will restore you” (Jer. 15:19).
“I will restore you to health and heal your wounds” (Jer. 30:17).
“I will restore to you the years that the locusts ate” (Joel 2:25 CJB).
“God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives” (Titus 3:7 MSG).
“He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Ps. 23:3 NASU).
“Our prayer is that you may be fully restored” (2 Cor. 13:9).
“You will have to suffer only a little while; after that, God, who is full of grace, the one who called you to his eternal glory in union with the Messiah, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you and make you firm” (1 Peter 5:10 CJB).
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration” (2 Cor. 13:11).
With those Scriptures in mind, here’s a little of what I’m learning about restoration, excerpted from chapter 6 of The Elijah Blessing: An Undivided Heart.
For your sake, Lord, restore!
To restore is to revolutionize. It’s vigorously to make right. Restoration:
- brings back into existence;
- brings back to an original condition;
- brings back to a state of health, soundness or vigor;
- puts back in a former position or rank.
When God restores, he puts things back the way he created – only better. He takes what has been twisted by sin and brings it back into beautiful alignment with his kingdom and himself. Miraculously, God restores health. He restores joy. He restores the soul. He restores the land. He restores relationships. He restores the call of a person who has denied him and then turned again. He restores repentant people from captivity. He restores the kingdom to the rightful king.
We open ourselves to all these types of restoration – and more! – in direct proportion to our willingness to be restored to right relationship with the Lord. He who created us and gave himself to redeem us initiates restoration. We choose whether and to what extent we will respond.
“Therefore, thus says the Lord, ‘If you return, then I will restore you’” (Jer. 15:19 NASU).
O God, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved …
O God of hosts, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved …
O Lord God of hosts, restore us; cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved (Ps. 80:3, 7, 19 NASU).
On Mt. Carmel, Elijah prayed for a miracle of restoration, beginning with the restoration of God’s uncontested place in his people’s hearts: “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make known today that you are God in Israel and that I’m your servant and have done all these things by your instructions. Answer me, Lord! Answer me! Then these people will know that you, Lord, are God and that you are winning back their hearts” (1K 18:36-37 GW).
The Lord wants you to care deeply about others and to cry to him to restore all that the enemy has taken from them. Above all, he wants you to cry, from your innermost being, for his name to be magnified, especially in his people’s hearts. That’s the great miracle for which we so often fail to ask. Yet it’s the miracle most important to God and most crucial to us.
The Elijah Blessing: An Undivided Heart, © 2012 by Deborah P. Brunt. All rights reserved.