The Road To Restoration
"Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me in a smooth path, ...because of my enemies." Psalm 27:11 "Because of my enemies…" "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he MAY devour." 1 Peter 5:8 In the book of Numbers chapters 22-25, a prophet was hired by the king of Moab, to curse the Jews. Balaam the prophet tried to, but couldn't. He told the king that all he could get from God was blessing for Israel. The king was very angry and pressed the prophet to ask again, and of course he got the same answer. The king was enraged. Finally, Balaam told the king that there's only one way to overcome Israel, and that is to get her to sin. Send foreign women to seduce the men of Israel into sin, and then they will come under a curse and you will be able to overcome them. Your adversary seeks whom he MAY devour… In the psalm quoted above, David prays that God TEACH him, and LEAD him, because otherwise THE ENEMY WILL FIND A WAY to cause him to fall. Look at the heartaches in your life. Examine them and seek to understand whether sin brought them on. Sometimes it's not a matter of sin. But when it is, it has to be dealt with before restoration will come. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death." James 1:14-15 When I first came to the Lord a totally broken person, as I cried out to him for mercy and for healing, he gently and lovingly showed me time after time where I had opened a door to Satan by falling into sin, and that those sins had to be dealt with and those doors had to be closed before restoration could come. It is very often necessary to deal with sin before restoration can come. The believer must come to the Lord in true, heart-felt repentance. He must confess as sin the things he did that opened the doors to destruction, no matter what the extenuating circumstance were. He must not justify or excuse himself. As long as a person dwells on the reason they sinned, restoration can't begin. He has to acknowledge the sin for what it is regardless of why it happened. Hatred, even with a cause is sin. Rebellion, even toward an unjust parent is sin. Hatred, rebellion, injustice, self-will, self-justification, denial, deception, raging anger, all these are sin in and of themselves. God is the God of mercy and great love. He stands to heal your broken life. But to get there, one oftentimes has to go the way of humility and repentance. It's hard at first, because we want to blame people or circumstances. It could be very true that people and circumstances led you into sin. But God doesn't accept blaming others or justifying one's self. When it comes to restoration, it doesn't matter who or what led you into sin, it's the sin that needs to be dealt with. Break free from justifying it. Humble yourself and acknowledge it. If a man kills another man in a fit of jealous rage, he may always say that the other man sinned with his wife, and wouldn't anyone react the same way? Perhaps, but that's not where restoration can begin. Even if sin was committed in a jealous rage, the sin remains a sin in itself and it has to be dealt with as such. He may think that unfair - it's not unfair, it's acknowledging that sin remains sin no matter what brought it about. Once a person gets to that point, healing can begin. It takes great humility - it hurts deeply to let go of putting blame somewhere else. Perhaps one needs the grace of God even to do that. Ask, therefore, for that grace, that ability to take responsibility for your own sin, so that you might receive the healing of your broken life and the joy of restoration that will surely come if you do it God's way.