Tuesday 24 September 2013

Isaiah 57:18 “I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.”

Isaiah 58:12 “Those who shall be of you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”

God sees everything there is to see.  There is nothing we can do in hidden places where His eyes will not be able to see us.  God saw all the sin of Israel.  And yet He said, I will heal him. I will restore comforts to him.  The word here translated as comfort can also be interpreted as repentance.  God does not seek to simply console us in the midst of our sin.  He wants to change us!

The ministry that we all have received from God is a ministry of reconciliation.  As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Whereas we are called of God to judge the fruit of someone’s life, we are never called to condemn someone’s convictions.  The word that God entrusted to us is a word of reconciliation and NOT a word of judgment.

God wants us to be known in the world as a people of restoration. Because of our justified abhorance to the modern decadence that fills our western cultures, Christians have been labeled just about everything except reconciliatory.  However, dear friend, as bad as our culture is, we are still not at the place that the apostle Paul knew during the first century.  And it was in that moral environment that God gave to His people a ministry of reconciliation and restoration.

God wants us to go and rebuild the foundations of many generations.  First and foremost, I sincerely believe this is a specific reference to our day when the non-Jewish believers in Messiah Jesus rebuild the foundations of the church which go back to Abraham.

But I also believe it speaks of looking in our own particular national history to find those moments when God manifested His mercy to our ancestors.  These are moments of divine mercy, and as spiritual descendants we must call to rememberance what God has done in our land.  We are to be a multi-generational people.  We honor those who went before us; and we prepare for those who will follow.

But the ultimate call from God today is to get our eyes off of ourselves, and go forth and bring restoration to others.  We must stop spending all our faith and energy just trying to get God to meet our own personal needs.  The plan of God is much bigger than our personal problems and our personal goals.

Decide today that, before the end of this fast, you will receive from God a fresh call to be a restorer of paths to dwell in.  Write down that call.  Embrace it.  Commit yourself to it.


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