I have been feeling like I lost it, that close, intimate connection with God. Of course, it was totally my fault, I put other priorities in the way, usually my phone and social media and reading novels. We do not even have a tv so I thought I was safe from distractions. Surely my dismal failure had gotten God’s attention and He was miffed, at least that is how I was feeling and the isolation of being alone so much did nothing to detract these thoughts.
I have been trying to discern the “word” for 2024, usually God gives me some kind of reference point to start the year with. Today, God finally got the word through my thick skull and I realize I had been hearing the same word for a while now. It was not that God was not talking, it was that I was not listening, either because I thought He would push me aside or because I was not hearing. Turns out none of that was true.
My being used by God has nothing to do with me! I do not have to be good enough to be used by God. I just have to show up. Did you get that? Oh, for sure I can say yes or no to Him, but in reality we can read all about Jonah when he tried to do the same thing. God ran right after him and got his attention in the belly of a whale. God does not need me to be “in the right place, at the right time, or even in the right mood.” God is God and He is perfectly capable of getting His message through regardless of my situation. It is quite proudful to think I need to be “right” or “perfect” to be used by God. The entire Bible is made up of stories of “unperfect” people and even some downright awful people, that God used, it appears we are in good company.
The word for 2024 is “Restore/Restoration”. Start listening for it, because when God shares His word, it is a worldwide word.
I need to remember that God’s version of restore is so much different than mine. God’s attention is always “worldwide”, it is not that He does not come to us individually, He does, but even then, God’s version of “restore” is the restoration of God to man. Takes us right back to Genesis and walking in the garden of Eden. God personally walked with Adam and Eve.
Such a huge area, where do we even start?
I think firstly that we much acknowledge that we all, you and I, have in some ways, at some points in our lives, been broken. We are all broken people. Usually we head on back to our childhood and point a finger at someone’s fault, someone’s shortcomings and make the declaration of “it is their fault.” More often than not it is Mom or Dad who gets the finger waved at them or equally as common, a “spouse.”
Interesting that the start of restore happens in the Garden of Eden and it was there that the first finger pointing began – it was her fault, it was his fault, it was satan’s fault….. no where does it ever show that Adam or Eve or the serpent said: “you are correct, it was totally my fault, my bad….” That would be a sign of maturity and it is not found there. Adult people, but no maturity.
Listen – adult people are classified as “God’s children”. Children are not held to a higher standard because they have not been taught of shown the way yet. Life for a child is a life of learning, growing and hopefully becoming mature along the way.
Brian is a case in point, I love to point out his silly behaviour at times and use the age old sermon of “grow up”, Brian almost always comes back with – “We are all kids in God’s eyes.” Brian is correct.
The Bible says: “You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.” 2 Timothy 3:1-3
What does this have to do with restoration? Everything. God is head of everything and if we are busy pointing fingers at others for our shortcomings, it proves that we actually believe that God made a mistake in who He gave us to raise us. It maligns our relationship to God and stalls restoration.
I have heard 3 times in the past 6 months about a book that is making the rounds in the “younger” generation: “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents” by Lindsay C. Gibson.
I actually started to giggle when I heard the title because it was so bizarre to me, seriously, when have parents ever been mature?
We start out as children, grow into teenagers, who do believe they are mature, perhaps the only ones who think so in the lifespan of people. Then we need to find a job or occupation, this creates all kinds of conflict because most of us have never done an occupation before and have no idea what we want to be when we grow up. That would require experience to actually know and mature at it.
Along the way, we may find a significant other and get married. We find, usually within the first year, that the significant other comes with some significant ways that are different from ours AND would you believe there is not one instruction manual attached to them, so we have no clue how to navigate! We try our best, emotionally, physically and spiritually to figure out this life curve, but in no way would we call ourselves at this stage emotionally mature. After 50 years of marriage there still can be surprises!
Now comes the kicker, bring on a baby. That sweet and angelic sleeping child, also comes with no instruction manual and as we find out as they grow and become totally different personalities, there is not one hint of instructions attached to them either. We have to learn as we go and grow… emotional learning and maturing at it’s finest.
If someone says to me that their parents “did that to them” (I am not talking about child abuse here), I am talking about parents who do not have a clue on how to raise children because they have never done it before, those kind of people. Of course they were emotionally immature – they have never done it before. I have yet to meet a parent who knew exactly what to do every time, who was able to understand the workings of babies and children. We have to grow into maturity and since my children will always be my children, I will be learning their ways until the day I die. This would make me emotionally immature because I have not gone this way before and I know that I did not do child raising right. There was lots of trial and error, lots of anger, lots of pain on all our counts, but I did the best I could with what I knew.
After all the childhood pain and growing we are left as adults, all of us, with holes, wounds and scars that we are not sure what to do with. Pointing fingers does not help, ever. I have learned that the only hole filler, the only scar eraser and the only wound healer is God. I kind of think He planned it that way, ingenious really. God created an environment where as parents we would cry out for help, because we were not sure what we were doing. Children would become children who would need some healing and again, He is the only One who can heal on the level we need it.
When this healing comes, we have what we could classify as “restoration.” The God of our body, souls and spirits has been brought into our life to show us, that we could not help ourselves, sometimes we could not help our children and as much as parents want to fix everything so their childs life is “easy”, it is not. Life happens to all of us, molding, shaping and hopefully pushing us to our Creator. The only One who knows what we exactly need for what we are facing. Not Mom and Dad, but our Heavenly Father, the one who created us in our mothers womb, who knew our name before we were created and knows the plans He has for your life.
I believe that 2024 is the year of Restoration in a huge and astronomically big way, yet it brings a caution. In order for people to know they need “restored”, they need to understand they are broken. They need to know they need fixed, not with things, money, doctors, or drugs, we have tried many of these things each of us and we are left wanting, the hole perhaps filled momentarily, but the void came back.
Restoration: God and man. As it was in the beginning, God is wanting to bring heaven to earth. He sent His Son, Jesus as proof. Now He has poured His Holy Spirit out into believers who are to now be God’s hands and feet in helping the other broken people get back up and whole. All around us are broken people, I get a vision of people laying all over the ground and Christians running towards the open door of Gods Kingdom, stepping over and around the people laying on the ground. When they get to the door they are relieved they made it. They are met by God at the door who asks and points to the people on the ground, “what about them?”
We shake our heads as we survey the broken people laying there, assuming that they are a “God sized” problem, not ours. God shakes His head and says, “No one gets left behind, you cannot come in, unless you bring some others with you.” (this is in my vision I got).
Incredulous, you have to walk away from the “open door” and back into the land of the sick, broken, dying people all around you. You, you, are the hands and feet of God. You are needed for restoration and healing. So many other people depend on you. How many are you bringing with you?
It reminds of me of when God asked Ezekiel in a burial field, if the bones he saw could come back to life.
“…. Can these bones live? I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ezekiel 37:1-10
This is the meaning of “restore”. God knows how broken and how “dead” you are feeling, He knows that about all the people around the world, about the countries and nations fighting and tearing each other down, and He says, “No one is too far gone for Me!”
God says: “I will breathe on you, with My Holy Spirit and you will come to life again, you will rise up, you will be healed, I will repair you and cause you to see again! Ask Me and I will come to you, seek Me and you will find Me, Come!”
It is not dependent on Jane’s mood, or Janes behaviour, it is my responsibility as a child of God, to bring others with me. There is predicted in the Bible a huge revival coming, a billion soul harvest, can you imagine? Many Christians are sitting back and watching the sky as they believe God will do some miraculous thing and the revival will fall from the heavens.
Revivals start when one or two or three believers start being the hands and feet of God. Proclaiming and declaring the word of God and expecting God to show up and restore broken lives. He does, I have seen it, I have seen miracles, healings, and yesterday I heard about a lady who had been dead for hours who came back to life here in the Peace Country. God is at work, all over the world doing incredible and miraculous things. He is restoring that which is broken.
Won’t you join Him by becoming His hands and feet. You do not have to be “good enough” just willing to go offer a cup of water or a helping hand in His name.