Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Lord Will Restore

The Lord Will Restore
March 16, 2015
Joel 2:25  "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm -- my great army that I sent among you."

We've all experienced physical loss while on this earth.  We've lost family, friends, finances, security, and serenity.  Sometimes those losses are for reasons beyond our control.  Sometimes those losses are a direct result of our stupidity and stubbornness.  Nonetheless, the Lord is in the restoration business.  First and foremost, the Lord cares about your soul being restored to His side.  With this in mind, everything that happens in life is secondary and submissive to His main goal.  If loss is required to restore you to Him, then the Lord will allow it.  I know I've lost a thing or two in this life and I wonder how much of it was for my spiritual benefit.  I would suggest any and all loss I experienced has been for my spiritual benefit, simply based on the sovereignty of the Lord.

But sometimes I'm tempted to want it back, the things stolen from me (family, friends, finances, security, and serenity).  Most of those items can be good, yet can also be harmful.  The Lord isn't interested in us having them back if they are a stumbling block to our spiritual growth.  Even still, the Lord promises in Joel to restore what the locusts have eaten.  It is important to understand the book of Joel as prophecy, words spoken by the Lord for the future, not just the immediate future but the on-going future of things to occur on the earth before the end of times.  And in that prophecy contains a promise by the Lord to restore what the locusts have eaten.  Look closely at the locusts, though, in the verse of prophecy.  There were several different kinds of locusts, all intended to inflict loss, AND they were sent by the Lord.

Anyone who suggests the Lord doesn't inflict loss, causing bad things to happen, has not read the Bible in its entirety.  The Lord sent the locusts for a purpose, a physical loss so the Lord's Children would experience spiritual restoration and growth.  The Lord wants to work in your life and mine, but sometimes He must strip away physical hindrances to that spiritual work.  He allows and even causes loss in our lives so His work can prevail in our lives and the lives of those around us.  If you doubt this, then read the book of Job.  The Lord was in control of the losses Job experienced, all so you and I can read about faith in the Lord in the face of suffering.  The Lord restored to Job what the locusts had eaten, once the work of the Lord and the spiritual success was accomplished.

If you've experienced physical loss and you're tempted to want it back, first and foremost you must make sure the spiritual work of the Lord is being accomplished in and through your life.  The Lord is able to restore what the locusts have eaten but wants to make sure the spiritual success is present in your life.  If you've experienced loss, your job is to work on your spiritual growth and let the Lord worry about the restoration.  It isn't for you to take back what the enemy has stolen, since the Lord was in control the entire time.  The Lord restored to Job after his losses and the Lord will restore to you.  I firmly believe the Church Body is entering a time of restoration but I challenge each and every one of you to ensure the spiritual success is there.  The Lord is not willing to restore your losses if His work is not being accomplished.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Job 41:10-11, Job 42:10, Jer 30:17, Joel 2:25-32, Matt 19:29

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