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Restoration 4

Has it appeared you have been spiraling downwards for a long, long time? Have you  done the best you know how in life and still the downward slippery slope continues? Are you beginning to feel helpless or hopeless? Well, today I have some good news for you! God has given promises throughout His word that He will restore everything that you’ve lost and give you more than you had before!

Yes, after we’ve suffered for a while, God says in His word that He will restore the years that the locusts and the cankerworms and anything else has taken from us. In order to see this, we must return to Him with our whole heart, mind, body and soul. (Joel 2)

Do we have to go through sufferings in life? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It honestly depends on whether these are allowed by God or come as a result by our own actions.

Let’s take a look at the lives of two people we are all familiar with. Let’s see the struggles endured, the promise of restoration given, and restoration actually taking place.

Joseph’s story

You’ve read and heard Joseph’s story countless times. You’ve heard how he went from the pit to the palace. You’ve read and been told of his struggles for many years. The betrayals, the false accusations made against him, people promising to remember him and then only to be forgotten until later.

Joseph was CHOSEN! The things that happened in his life were not mere coincidences nor a series of bad luck. No, they were planned and orchestrated before he was even born. God knew what would happen before it took place and allowed all of this.

The end of the story is Joseph reigned and ruled just as God had promised him. He was totally restored and placed into a position of power.

Job’s story

Job, in the bible, was depicted as perfect and upright; a man who feared God and eschewed evil; a man of great wealth with a large family and possessions and stated to be the greatest man in all men of the east. Yet Job’s life changed and took a downward spiral which lasted for a long time.

His friends and the people thought surely he was not the man of God who he professed to be. His wife even had the audacity to suggest that he curse God and die after losing their children and possessions and even the decline in his health, but Job remained steadfast.

Unbeknown to Job, Satan had gone to God asking permission to touch Job’s life and God allowed it.

If you read to the end of the story, you will see that after a season of testing, trials, and tribulations, God restored EVERYTHING the enemy had stolen from him and gave him more than he had before.

Jeremiah the Prophet

Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, was anointed as a prophet to the nations before he was even formed in the womb. (Jeremiah 1:5). When the word of the Lord came to him, the first thing he began to do what to tell God what he could not do. God had already chosen him and it was a done deal.

Jeremiah went later proclaiming the word of God, sharing with the people what the Lord told him to share. Was he embraced and welcomed for sharing nothing but the word of God? Oh no! Instead some plotted to kill him. Yet, because of his calling, he continued to do as God led him to do.

The people forsook God. The people turned away and began to worship false idols. Jeremiah continually reminded them of their need to turn back to their first love as he was led by the Lord

Even through drought, famine, and other disastrous acts taking place, the people continued to rebel.

Let’s fast forward to Jeremiah 33 where God gives His promise of restoration.. Jeremiah tells the people that God merely says “Call to me and I will answer and show you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

God gave a promise that He would bring health and healing but there were conditions attached: Return to Him! Read Jeremiah 33 Did these ever manifest?

In the first two cases, we see where after the sufferings took place and because of their steadfastness, the promises of God manifested and restoration took place. The prophet Jeremiah was mentioned in these writings only to show that even through his obedience to God in merely telling the people what God had spoken to him to share, the people rebelled and insisted on doing it their way. You know the story.

God has given us promises of restoration through His Rhema and written word; promises of restoration. God has given many of us spoken promises of where He is taking us. As John Hagee stated, first comes the promise, then the problems, and finally the provisions.

The truth and nothing but the truth is, if He spoke it to you, it was already done. The process of going through is an often painful one, but God knows and often speaks the end at the beginning.

The questions I want to leave you with are: Has God spoken anything to you as to where He wants you to go? Have or did you answer the call? Has your life turned upside-down since hearing, receiving, and answering the call? Has your faith been tried and tested over and over again? Do you trust God in the good and the bad? Do you believe that ALL things are working together for your good? Are you swift to obey Him and His leadings or do you give lip service? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

The GOOD NEWS is GOD is FAITHFUL and after you have suffered a while, after you have endured the tests, after you’ve stood for what you believe that God has given you, day in and day out, God will SUDDENLY restore absolutely everything the enemy took from you and give you more for your trouble!

The drought and famine is ending! Only believe and obey.

Keep standing! Once delivered, be not entangled in the bondage again. Keep standing and holding to the promises of God. Your time of restoration is on the way!

Galatians 5:1King James Version (KJV)
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

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god-speaks

On yesterday, I was interviewed on a radio broadcast, “N I’ve Got Something to Say” by Dr. Netreia Carroll. The question was asked: How can one tell when God is speaking? I pondered that over and over last night and felt led to share my thoughts on the subject.

Before I go into how we know that God is speaking to us and it’s not we ourselves, Satan, or others that’s leading, guiding, directing, and ordering our steps, allow me to share with you a small portion of my experience.

Back in August 1999, while laid flat on my back after having surgery, I heard an inner voice say to me, “I am breaking you to build you up”. Lying flat on my back, home alone (or so I thought), I was puzzled. I kept saying or rather asking–“Who is this? What is this?” I would be lying if I didn’t say it scared the dickens out of me. However, the voice continued to speak some other things to me as well.

Being new to hearing from God, I blabbed to everyone what I constantly heard in my spirit. This set off a long chain of negatives for many years. Hurtful things were said about me. I was labeled as insane. People distanced themselves from me and I wondered why.

Prior to this Damascus road experience, I thought myself to be a good person.(I was not persecuting the church but call it that just to be clear) I looked the part: had a great job,  dressed well, attended church every Sunday and Wednesdays, taught Sunday School classes, Vacation Bible School, served on this board and that one, went out with the church ministering to those in nursing homes, and sang in the choir.

Prior to my “experience” or encounter with hearing from God, I looked in the natural like I had it together. I was a giver and still am today. I love to give. Imagine my surprise when God said to ME that He was breaking me to build me up. I didn’t need breaking, or so I thought. My life was a total mess. If you haven’t read my book: To God be the Glory: From Brokenness to Wholeness, I encourage you to get it. You may just see yourself in the writings. Many have.

So how do I know when God is speaking and it’s not the enemy? Honestly, a part of my breaking period, God allowed Satan to speak to me. It took me a while to recognize when God was speaking and when it was the enemy. Satan disguises himself so well. God’s sheep learn to hear His voice and know Him and follow Him. (John 10:27)

In order to know that it is God that’s speaking we must:

  1. Establish and maintain a relationship with Him through reading and studying His word. The bible is full of what God’s will for our lives is.
  2. After doing that on a daily basis, we must get still and listen to hear what He is speaking to us. Shut off the TV or any other distractions and listen.
  3. We must ask God what it is He wants us to do. The bible says we have not because we ask not.
  4. We must expect Him to lead, guide, direct and order our steps.
  5. I cannot emphasize this enough: Listening is key. We must be willing to listen and obey.
  6. God’s spoken word does not contradict His written word.
  7. God will often confirm His word through people. Get Godly counsel. Surround yourself with Godly people.
  8. We must be willing to get alone and be alone in order to get our guidance from Him in whatever situation we are facing.
  9. We must understand that sometimes what God leads us to do has nothing to do with common sense. As an example, you are driving to work and the inner voice within, the Holy Spirit that leads, guides, and directs you tells you to take a different route. You know in your mind that the route you normally take is a lot shorter than the one you’re being directed to take. Hesitant, but obedient, you go that route that you’re led to go and later learn there was a terrible accident or road construction was taking place. Perhaps, you drive by a house that God is prompting you letting you know it’s yours. Maybe even taking the route the Spirit leads you to take causes you to run into your future spouse. What’s my point? God knows what’s best for us and if we listen and obey, we will come to the full understanding of His word in Jeremiah 29:11.
  10. We must ask or pray–God lead me, guide me, direct me, order my steps.
  11. We must obey.

God is constantly trying to tell us something. Today if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart.

Did I miss it and get a lot of things wrong? Yes I did. Do I still sometimes get things wrong? Yes, I do. The one thing that I know that I know is God wants what’s best for us and if we study, listen and obey, He will fulfill His promises in my life as well as yours. He is faithful.

I’ll close with this. Find your space and meet with God each and every day to get your marching orders from Him. I have several. I read and study in my bedroom. I spend time conversing with Him in the shower. I spend time watching and listening to His anointed preachers and teachers daily and my God, when driving to and from work, we have a glorious time! Find your place(s) where you can hear what He is saying.

And people, please get away from that “something said” or “something led” and acknowledge God as that something. He really does want to tell you somethings.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my house to yours!

 

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