This is part four of Destination RESToration. If you have not read the first three segments, I encourage you to do so before you move on to this section. Destination RESToration, DR Restored to Our Original Purpose, DR Preparing for Restoration.
Why do we need restoration in our communion with?
Because we are walking in the flesh
Because we don’t guard our hearts
Because we try to do God’s work in our own power
Because we take our eyes off of Jesus
Why might you need restoration?
Steps to Restoration
Recognize the Need
When I brought home an old worn out table that was bound for the trash, the first thing I did was sand a little corner and wipe it down with water to see what it would look like after the restoration process was finished. It was beautiful. But I recognized that there was work ahead. It NEEDED restoration. It might be messy, but it was going to be so worth it!
Most of us know the story of David. He is the great-grandson of Ruth and Boaz, the great, great-grandson of Rehab the prostitute. He is an ancestor of Jesus and is considered a man after God’s own heart. But man was he a mess! He was only a young man when he was anointed to be King of Israel.
It would be years before he ascended to the throne. Before he became king, he killed a lion, a bear, and Goliath all in the name of the Lord. He was a mighty warrior, killing tens of thousands of the enemy.
Then he became king. He had the world by its tail. He was successful. He had friends. He ruled the whole nation. But he let his earthly position start to rot his spiritual station. From the palace he looked down and lusted after Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, took her in to his home as a ‘wife,’ got her pregnant, had Uriah killed and didn’t see a thing wrong with it.
He didn’t recognize his repulsive sin until Nathan told him this story:
2 Samuel 12 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”
David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!
Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!
Sometimes we are oblivious to the “yuck” the sin in our lives. The first step in the restoration process is to recognize the sin and the responsibility for it.
Repentance is the next step to restored communion with God.
In Psalms 51 we can start to see why David is considered a man after God’s heart. He humbles himself and recognizes his depravity and repents of his sin.
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal (right) spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
When I start feeling irritated and grumbly, when I am feeling like I need restoration, verse ten is the prayer my soul whispers. Like David, I have a tendency to take my eyes off of God and look at my surroundings, other people, their success, their families, their homes. That is how my soul gets run down and weary. When I start to feel like a worn out, dilapidated, used up dwelling. This is my first prayer. “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me.”
Verse twelve tells us that the reward of repentance is the Joy of Salvation.
Repentance is not an easy task. It takes humility, forgiveness, and trust. It takes digging into the cracks and crevices of our hearts. It is like the Krud Kutter, the toxic chemicals, and the sandpaper, taking away the messes that we have made on our beautifully and wonderfully made lives.
When we have gotten rid of the rot and crud in our lives, we are prepared to do his good work and to be His masterpiece (See Ephesians 4)
Sometimes we need humble ourselves and ask for help from someone who has more wisdom than we do. Sometimes we need to confess our sins to another human being in order to be held accountable. James 5:16 (NIV)says:
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. – and we are made righteous through his sacrifice on the cross.
Is there someone in your life you trust enough to tell you, “you are that man” as Nathan did for David? What is your response when they do? Do you see why it is important to recognize our need for restoration and go through the seemingly arduous, yet simple steps?
I encourage you to pray as David did:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24
I would love to hear from you any thoughts on the idea of restoration to communion with God. You can leave them here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week for “Destination RESToration: Call the Carpenter.”
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Destination RESToration: Restored Communion with God.