Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Classic Restoration

Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth. Hosea 6:1-3
When I hear the word restoration I think of something old being made new again…like a car.  Old cars are often the object of a restoration project. There are many steps and a lot of work involved but the payoff is great.  When you are restoring a car, or any old object, you have to strip away the old completely.  The inside needs to be stripped and cleaned meticulously and thoroughly.  Then the inside may need new upholstering, seats, gauges, radio, mirrors, and floor mats.  The most important part of course, is the engine.  The engine is the heart of the vehicle and needs careful attention.  You will want authentic parts to replace the old ones you are getting rid of and you will need the right tools for the process as well.  Restoring an old vehicle is a long, involved process that takes time.
A Holy Restoration

God is also in the restoration business.  Much like we restore an old car to make it like new, He can perform a spiritual restoration on us.  When we turn away from God and “break down”, He doesn’t turn away from us.  He waits, inviting restoration, no matter how far we turn from Him.  But we have to recognize the need to return and accept His standing invitation.  There are steps to spiritual restoration that are similar to the restoration of an old car.

·      Use the Right Tools.  Read your Bible and pray.  Seek God and His guidance and humble yourself before Him to know His will for your life.
·      The old needs to be stripped away.  Change has to occur for restoration to begin.  Ask God to show you the things in your life that are wrong and He will help you turn away from them and turn back to Him.  He stands ready to receive you and offer forgiveness and grace.  Commit yourself to Him again.  Repent and truly turn from the things that are keeping you from God.  Romans 12:2 describes repentance as the renewing of our minds:  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. The renewing of our mind helps us turn from our “wicked ways”.  Change has to occur for restoration to happen.  If we want our lives to be changed – restored – we have to be willing to turn away from sin and back to Him. 
·      Clean out the inside.  Repent and receive His holy cleansing.  Let Him clean all the old junk out and fill you with newness.  A completely new interior is available to restore us from the inside out.  If we only restore the outside and leave the inside the same, we have not been restored.
·      Allow Jesus to overhaul your heartIf the engine on the car doesn’t run, the car is not of much use.  Just like and engine overhaul may be the most important part of restoring a car, allowing God to change our hearts is essential to spiritual restoration.  Our hearts are supposed to be Jesus’ home.  If we truly want to be fully restored, we need to surrender our whole heart and life, every area inside and out, to Him.  When we turn away from God, we tend to let other things take His place.  We may be hesitant to let Jesus back in because we are ashamed; but He doesn’t see our sin when we come asking forgiveness.  He sees us cleansed by the sacrifice He made which then makes us clean.  Let Jesus back in and give Him reign over your heart and life.  

We can have full restoration with God no matter what we have done or how far we have run from Him.  There is no amount of sin so great that He will not welcome you back. He is always waiting with open arms and a desire to restore your relationship and life with Him. 
Scripture to Claim:Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.   II Corinthians 5:17

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