Restoration

bird-328544_640Isaiah 52:8: The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion.

When sin redefined the relationship of God with the earth after the mishap of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, if the issue of sin is was resolved then there can be no restoration of a lost relationship with the Lord. Jesus in his sacrifice for sin was the way (John 14:6) to that restoration. Restoration is in the mind of God. It is bringing people into full realisation of the will of God.

In the parable of the pearl in which Jesus said that a man found a pearl of great price and sold all he had to get it (Matthew 13:45-46). That pearl of great price is relationship with God, which is life (John 17:23). And Jesus is life. The problem came when the devil told lies to Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:1-2), but Jesus is truth, to restore what we lost to the lie of the devil.

In that parable of the pearl, Jesus gave a description of the kingdom of God. That is a picture of the value we should place on the kingdom, what it takes to lay hold of Christ, the king in that kingdom- the one who is the pearl of great price. He is the definition of relationship with God.

Jesus said that if you are not willing to leave all, give up everything, hate everything that competes with him in our hearts, and follow him, you are not worthy to be his disciple, not ready to experience the kingdom (Luke 9:23-26). He later said that if we obey him then he and the father will come and make their dwelling in our hearts (John 14:23).

Paul was committed to relationship with God, to knowing God. He said that for the priceless value of knowing Christ, he will forget what is behind and press on to more and more of that knowledge. That is his goal (Philippians 3:7-12).

That needs a high level of focus and correct sense of valuation. He refused to be disobedient to the heavenly calling to be the best for God, to realise the fullness of his grace in his life, to be one with Christ in the resurrection experience even though still alive in this world. That was the reality that Adam walked in, the fullness of the experience of God in his true knowledge, and now in Jesus we get to experience that level of life, we get to experience spiritual life, through his restorative work in our lives (utter).

Rather than seek things that do not satisfy, things with mere ephemeral value, we should seek things of spiritual value. We should seek what is above not what is beneath, we should seek to run after an higher calling and not distracted by the lower pursuits.

Paul said that we should set our hearts on things in heaven and not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-4), because up there is where Jesus is seated and he is our life. He is the meaning of restoration, after the death-experience derived from the sin of Adam (Romans 5:12-21).

He said at the tomb of Lazarus that he is the resurrection and life (John 11:25). He gives meaning to who we are because we are the bone of his bones and the flesh of his flesh (Ephesians 5:30); we are members of his body. We are part of him, we are expressions of who he is; he outflows through us.

He is our life. Because of him we are changed, we have new life; we become new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17), partakers of heavenly opportunities, partakers of the divine nature (2Peter 1:4). He represents our higher calling, the means and the end of our transformation process.

In the time of Samuel it was said that the word of God was scarce and there was no open vision (1Samuel 1, 3). There was no overt expression of the presence of God. At that time, God raised him up Samuel, a prophet in Israel and the bible says his word does not fall to the ground. His word, spoken as a prophet was sure. That was why King Saul was desperate to have him say something when he was going to his final battle against the Philistines so much that he sought him in the place of the death (he had died at this time) through a medium, a spiritist (1Samuel 28:5-16). Without the true prophetic, you will have the satanists.

His birth was mediated by the spoken word, just as the one of Jesus was. His mother cried in prayer to God but the high priest, someone regarded to be of spiritual standing in those days, thought she was drunk. After she explained her situation to him, he said God would grant her request. A year later she came with Samuel after she had been barren for many years; and endured being mocked by her rival Peninnah.

Samuel was the harbinger of restoration of the word of God to Israel; it was in his time that we have the company of prophets developing in Israel (1Samuel 10:5), the prophetic flow flourished in his time.

And the bible says that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). Any prophecy that does not have the glorification of Jesus at the centre is not true. The restoration work of God always has to do with the spirit of prophecy. Amos says that God does nothing except he tells his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). And restoration is the work of God. The bible says: the Lord gave the word, great was the company of those who proclaim it (Psalm 68:11).

At a valley filled with dry, very dry bones, God asked Ezekiel: can these bones live (Ezekiel 37:1-14)? He said only God knows, and at the end of it, the bones stood up a mighty army. God asked Ezekiel to prophecy to the bones, and the force of restoration was released by those words. (If he did not say the right words, the right things will not have happened.) This was much like it happened in the first chapter in the bible where over the darkness in the world, God said let there be light, and he declared some other things and they were established.

That is the call of the prophets, to be the mouthpiece of God through which his creativity will be released. Paul said that everyone should desire to prophesy (1Corinthians 14:1), with that we would unleash the force of restoration on the earth. Though not all can be prophets all can prophesy.

The spirit of prophecy manifests the tangible presence of Christ. It witnessed to the power of Christ, through that the secrets of men’s heart were revealed, causing them to fall face down in repentance before God (1Corinthians 14:23-25).

God sent Ananias to Saul (before he was called Paul) with a prophetic word. When he prayed for him, the scales on his eyes fell and he experienced spiritual restoration (Acts 8). He received the Holy Spirit and became a force of restoration in the world. He was given the mission to open the eyes of the gentiles to experience restoration to truth. He moved into regions and places where the name of Christ has not been mentioned and brought the force of restoration to bear in their lives. We have the baton now.

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