Our Father in heaven is good and He is the Great Restorer. You should have high hopes about that and believe it, no matter what happens. Believe that God not only wants to restore what has been robbed and plundered in your life and in other people’s lives, but He also wants to add blessings to that which is restored. “Blessings are on the head of the righteous…” (Prov. 10:6). That’s your head!
When God restores and blesses, He wants you to see His intervention as evidence of His love for you in a personal way. So let’s remember that one important aspect about restoration is that you would draw closer and closer into God’s heart of love. His biggest purpose for restoration is intimacy with you. He wants an intimate relationship with you. Wow!
Restoration Is Like A Two-Edged Sword
I shared my personal conviction, in last week’s teaching, that if my body needs healing, not only does God want to heal and restore my body to health, but He also wants me to have divine health. And then I’m going to minister healing to the sick because I am getting a healing anointing in the process!
So, restoration is like a two-edged sword. One sharp edge reveals our own personal restoration victories and the other edge cuts off the plans of the enem y over other people’s lives. What a double blessing!
But we need to remember that in the process of restoration there is always a divine test. Before Joseph’s freedom was restored and he took the throne in Egypt (second only to Pharaoh), he was taken into a great God-ordained time of testing (Gen. 37–50). Psalm 105:19 says: “Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him.” Joseph had the prophetic word of the Lord but until it actually came to pass, this word tested him.
Likewise, many of you have the prophetic word of the Lord concerning areas of restoration coming upon your lives; however, today, the fulfillment has not manifested, it’s still on its way. Stand your ground in the time of testing, the time of waiting. God will surely come and bring restoration exactly at the perfect moment.
Listen. I believe that God is going to stir up the gifts of the Spirit in your life. God is going to restore your anointing. For some of you He is going to restore your vision and your purpose. For some of you, God is going to restore your marriage. Some of you today will experience God restoring your finances and giving you jubilee and supernatural cancellation of your debt. Say, “God, I want you to restore my soul. Anoint my head with fresh oil.” The anointing is going to restore your soul, your mind, your will, and your emotions.
“God’s blessing makes life rich; nothing we do can improve on God” (Prov. 10:22, The Message Bible). Hallelujah! Your restoration looks like a two-edged sword! You won’t only receive the blessing of restoration, you will be a minister of restoration!
The Ministry Of Restoration Transforms
Walking in the ministry of restoration is like being a minister filled with a message of hope that transforms “what was” into the “reality” of what God desires. Look at what God says through Isaiah (the prophet). “And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations” (Is. 61:4). It’s the rebuilding, the raising up and the repairing of ruins and ruined cities and the desolations of many generations. It’s a transformation process into the reality of what God desires. This is no small thing!
Looking at Isaiah 61:1–4, it’s rare that Christians consider the part about “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me” in the context of not only being anointed to bring restoration, but also to contend for the increase. Remember last week we spoke about how God wants to bring the increase, even a “seven-fold” blessing (Prov. 6:31).
Listen. Without the prompting of the Holy Spirit we don’t think about restoring or about repairing “ruined cities.” We don’t think about repairing destinies. (There aren’t many believers ministering in restoration.) Most of the time we seem to focus on the first few verses of Isaiah 61, but there is a ministry called the ministry of restoration, beginning in verse 4. To paraphrase, it’s like God is saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He wants me to rebuild the old ruins. God wants me to raise up former desolations.”
Do you know what the old ruins and former desolations are? Plans. Purposes. Destiny. Gifts. Promises. Some of these examples concern churches and ministries or positions you have operated in before. These areas can be likened to “ruined cities” and “former desolations.” God wants to restore and repair these ruins and desolations.
Look at the end of verse 4. God wants to restore to the church the desolations of many generations. I’m talking about past revivals that were cut short. Evangelism and healing ministries that ended with the death of the ministers—Charles Finney, Smith Wigglesworth, Jack Coe, and A.A. Allan. Some of these ministries became desolate. Some of them had their reputations ruined by things that may not even be true. But God wants to restore their legacies.
Restoration Of Family Inheritances
This word is also to restore godly family heritages. Some of you need to apply this to your life in a personal way. You may have people in your family tree who loved the Lord, that were in the ministry even as prophets and evangelists. Believe and ask God for the spiritual destiny that your dad had, that your grandfather had (or whoever in your family line that the Holy Spirits brings to your attention). You have rights. They sowed, they labored and they died probably not yet receiving their promise, or seeing everything they thought God was going to allow them to see. You need to see it.
God wants to bless and bring restoration to the children and the children’s children. Your blessing might go back three generations. You need to take it. There is an anointing to restore the desolations of many generations. What am I talking about? I am talking about restoring old wells. How is that going to happen? The anointing. You need to believe God and say: “My God, let their calling and ministry be restored in my generation.”
I believe that there is coming a generation that will receive the restoration of the desolations of many generations and that this will come in one last generation. Could it be us? Could we be that generation that receives much of what was lost in those former generations? Could we be that generation that digs up the wells of all those mighty men and women of God and all those great revivals?
So let’s look at several keys for changing what was to the reality of what God desires.
Keys For Releasing Restoration
The devil came to steal and he has stolen from us, but God has provided a remedy. He’s given us keys for walking in the ministry of restoration in order to reverse and restore those situations devastated by the enemy. Here are three keys.
Christians are anointed to declare: “Restore!”
No one says, “Restore!” Isaiah 42:22: “But this is a people robbed and plundered; all of them are snared in holes, and they are hidden in prison houses; they are for prey, and no one delivers; for plunder, and no one says, ‘Restore!’” God wants to raise up believers to bring deliverance and to declare: “Restore!”
It’s like God is saying, “If somebody would have said, “Restore!” I would have delivered those people who were robbed. I would have taken them out of their prisons and the places that were plundered and I would have given them back sevenfold. If My children would have believed, they would have released jubilee anointing by “the rod of their mouth” just by speaking and proclaiming liberty for the captives. I need somebody to believe that I want to give the anointing for the ministry of restoration to repair people’s lives and to rebuild what was ruined.” (Jubilee is defined in Personal Breakthroughs.)
There is an unction inside of us – Holy Spirit words and decrees – that when spoken out in authority, will break the power of the enemy. The decree might be over a marriage or finances. Simply declaring: “Restore!” is powerful. Things change.
We need to stand in the gap and believe that with one prophetic word spoken into the heavens, a breakthrough will come to raise up the foundations again. A breakthrough will bring the foundations back in a better way than was their former state. And then God will bless this with an increase; it might be a double portion or more!
Stand in faith and be “Repairers” and “Restorers”
We need to believe that we can rebuild the ruins. Isaiah 58:12: “Those from among 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 Streets to Dwell In.” “Those from among you …” That’s us!!
God calls us Repairers and Restorers. We need to restore people to their calling, their path, so that they can be planted and walk in it again. Here’s what God said to me: “Todd, I want ‘repairers’ in the body of Christ. I want Christians that operate in the anointing of restoration to put people back on their path so that the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are quenched will be stirred up again—restoration to their anointing.”
Prepare ourselves for the ministry of restoration
Remembering God’s goodness is vital. David knew this. “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice…” (Ps. 63:6, 7).
Like David, we too, can lie on our bed and think about God’s faithfulness to u s. We can think about all the prophetic words that have come to us; about all the ways that God has used us; and about the healings we have seen and experienced in our own body. We can ponder all the instances where we saw God’s hand of intervention. We can think about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and stir up those gifts and remember what God has promised us.
He wants us to see ourselves walking in what He has promised us, dreaming again, and remembering God’s faithfulness and the Father’s love. We can remind God of His promises. “Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope” (Ps. 119:49).
With our personal revelation about restoration, God’s love, and His faithfulness, we are prepared to carry the anointing for restoration. Our personal breakthroughs will fuel our authority as ministers of restoration.
Throughout this teaching series we have discussed hope—that God wants us to put our hope in Him. He will come as the Great Restorer bringing the personal breakthroughs that we are crying out for.
Still, I sense that some of you are burdened by fear, intimidation, and discouragement. It’s like you are snared in a hole and you can’t get out and you are in a prison and you can’t get restored. But having said that, you need to remember that God wants to give you hope; renew your hope in Him. He wants you to have the victory!
[So I say, why not pause here for a few minutes and determine within yourself to put your hope in God. The psalmist had to address his despair. Look at this scripture: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (Ps. 42:5). Take a few minutes and then we will go on and encourage ourselves in the Lord and we’ll take a look at restoration from another angle.]
Restoration can be likened to the year of Jubilee. In the context of Hebrew scriptures Jubilee was a year of rest; it was observed every 50th year by the Israelites. During this time certain slaves were set free, alienated property was restored to the former owners, and the soil rested, untilled. Freedom!!
God wants you to know that He will restore what has been plundered and robbed by the enemy. He wants you to taste freedom and restoration; to celebrate this in a “Jubilee way.” Remember, what the Lord is about to restore, He is going to add blessings. There’s going to be increase and multiplication! Not only does He want to accomplish personal breakthroughs in your life and bring restoration to those devastated areas, He also wants to anoint you to minister restoration to others. It’s the two-edged sword of restoration!
Look. No matter what place you are in spiritually today, whether it’s a place of utter despair, a place of flickering hope, or a place of real trust and faith in God’s ability to restore, I want to invite you to join with me in prayer. Prayer changes things because God answers prayer. And we’re also going to make some declarations! Amen!! Here we go.
Father, we join together today to thank You, first of all, for wanting an intimate relationship with us.Thank you for revealing to us that it’s the desire of Your heart to restore to us what the enemy has robbed and plundered. We receive this revelation with open hearts and we give You our love in return. Your desire to bring restoration into our lives brings us such hope and joy. Again, thank You, Father!!
We want to do our part to be ministers of restoration. But we want to take responsibility for our own lives first, before we minister to others. Father, please anoint us with Your power to devastate the enemy’s plans and to no longer tolerate his robbery and plundering.
We remember that Your heart is for us, as Christians, to take our position of authority and declare “Restore!” And so today we want to bring to You the different areas in our lives that need restoration. As we hold each one before you, we humble ourselves and bow down before you.
Therefore, we declare: “RESTORE!” Those foundations that need to be restored, we declare “RESTORE!” Over those ruined places, we declare, “RESTORE!” [Speak to the Lord about each matter in your life that needs restoration.] Thank You for adding blessings to each area being restored!
Lord, as we begin to see the evidence of restoration in our lives we want to be counted among those who bring hope and restoration to others that need this. We want to be ministers of restoration! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you in this way Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen
When The Thief Steals
February 25, 2006
"When the Thief Steals, He Must Give Back Sevenfold"
Before we get started, let's quiet ourselves before the Lord, take a big deep breath, and then let all our hot air out slowly! Just begin to thank God now for His unending, immeasurable love for you and your loved ones.
God Loves To Restore
Next, I want to invite you to join with me so that we can nourish ourselves on the Word of God together, as we read a portion from the Apostle Paul's letter to the Ephesian church. Here we go.
"My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all Heaven and earth. I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit--not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength--that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in. And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know--far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!" --Ephesians 3:14-21
Oh yes! Oh, the love of God! The Lord is ultimately and intimately acquainted with you. He sees you, and He wants you to "know that you know" that He has not abandoned or forsaken you (Hebrews 13:5). He wants you to know that at all times, especially in the dark night of your soul, He is with you and He is the Great Restorer.
Listen to what God said through the prophet Joel: "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…" (Joel 2:25a). God loves to restore what has been devoured in our lives. That's His specialty.
Joel records God's message of hope: "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done marvelous things!" (v. 21). God talks about the abundance--emphasizing the process of renewal and the release of the latter rain and the spring rain (v.23). There would be harvest and fruitfulness again (v. 22). The vats would overflow with new wine (v. 24). He says, "I am not just going to fill your vats again, your vats are going to overflow! Your barn walls are going to bust down!" That's what God does. Biblically, that's what restoration looks like.
God Restores By Increase And Multiplication
Restore in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible is: #7999 Hebrew: shalam . . . make amends, (make an) end, finish, full, give again, make good, (re-) pay (again), (make) (to) (be at) peace . . . proper (-ous), recompense, render, require, make restitution, restore, reward, surely.
I've come to realize that when God restores, He brings an increase! When God restores, He multiplies! There is something about the "restoring nature" of God. In the process of restoration, God brings the object of restoration back in a better way than it was in its former state AND He increases it and multiplies it. He always likes to add more! Look at Job. When God restored Job, He gave unto Job--double (Job 42:10). That's just the nature of God.
In the Bible, we see that if harm came to someone or something was stolen, that God would command that the return be greater than what was plundered or robbed. Very rarely would the return be "one for one." Almost every single time, the return was ordered to be more than that--a double blessing, or four or five times greater (Exodus 22:1; 22:4; Leviticus 6:5, 22:14). And it didn't stop at that point! There was a "seven fold" principle in connection with restoration (and vengeance) as well. Proverbs 6:31b says, "Yet when he (the thief) is found, he must restore sevenfold…"
Today, I believe that God ordains it like this in the spirit. When the thief steals, he must give back sevenfold. When the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy, God has set forever in eternity that you must get back sevenfold. And God will restore you in a better way than you were at first, and then He will increase and multiply what was stolen. That's our God because God is good. Listen. We need this revelation.
For instance, when God wants to restore your anointing, it honors Him that you make a declaration like this: "He wants to give me a double portion of anointing!" When God restores, you are going to have double joy, everlasting joy, a double portion! He is going to bless you with an increase and command the thief to give back sevenfold.
If your marriage needs to be restored then stir up your faith and ask: "My God, please, I want You to restore my marriage, and I want it to be better than it was in the first place. I want there to be double the intimacy." Get aggressive. Don't just settle for an "okay, restore my marriage" attitude. "Restore my marriage and give it to me double!"
"Restore my finances and give it to me double!"
"Restore my anointing and give it to me double!"
We can ask God because of the nature of the restoration process of the Holy Ghost. He increases, and He multiplies.
For instance, when God heals my body, when God restores my body, I'm not just going to be healthy, I am going to have divine health. And then I'm going to minister healing to the sick because I am getting a healing anointing in the process. That's restoration!
Listen to this: anyone that gives up houses, lands, brothers, sisters, possessions in this lifetime for the sake of the gospel, God will restore back one hundredfold now! (Mark 10:29-30). The Lord does abundantly above what you can ask. He does abundantly above what you can think of (Ephesians 3:20). We need to have a bigger vision! When we stand in faith and believe that God is hugely enthusiastic about wanting to bring restoration into our lives, we truly honor Him.
God's Purpose In Restoration
God wants you to know that He is extremely interested in accomplishing personal restoration in your life. His desire is that when you experience the blessing of personal restoration (and you will, so have faith), that yes, you will be blessed, but even more, that you will draw closer and closer into His heart. His biggest purpose for restoration is intimacy with you. Do you realize that without you, without your love and friendship, God is grieved? Think about that.
You know, restoration is something supernatural. After Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and me and we received Him as our Lord and Savior, He restored each one of us into personal relationship and fellowship with Him by taking our sins upon Himself and drawing us into His heart. It's like we are restored in such a way that the experience that Adam and Eve had with God when He walked with them in the cool of the garden is also our experience to enjoy. His presence and His glory were there in the garden. The secret place of His presence is the "garden." Such restoration redeems, and it transcends time, space, and eternity. And this blessing is available for us today. What an important revelation to have. Yet, the choice is ours.
Listen! We can actually choose to stand in faith, believing that God wants to restore to us the same kind of special intimacy that He enjoyed with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I don't believe that we have to wait for the day when we die and go to Heaven to enjoy such fellowship with God because "the kingdom of Heaven is within you" (Luke 17:21). From what I see in my Bible, Heaven for me began the day that I received eternal life. That is Heaven.
We are the bride of Christ, whether we stand before God individually as His child, or collectively as the body of Christ. I want us to be an excited bride, anticipating the union, the oneness, and the intimacy that is reserved for us to take pleasure in, in Christ, with God. He desires to speak to us plainly as a friend speaks to a friend (Exodus 33:11; John 15:12-15). Oh! To desire the presence of God above all else, and in a much greater way than our common thinking dictates--this brings God such great delight!
Let's not let religiosity, man's tradition, or whatever denomination you were raised in, set limits for what you can or cannot receive from the hand of the Lord. There remains a rest in Him. Unbelief has kept us from walking in the full inheritance of everything that we can have in the spirit.
I want you to get hungry for God; be more focused on being hungry for the manifestation of the glory of God, union, and intimacy. Look! God opened the garden again! He said to come boldly before the throne (Hebrews 4:16). He ripped open the veil (Luke 23:45). We can enter "the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh..." (Hebrews 10:19-20)
God Says, "Don't Lose Hope!"
Read about the Garden of Eden and say, "That's mine! There is nothing but me keeping me from that place! Because of the blood of the Lamb, I can enter." Adam and Eve lost access to the garden because of their sin (Genesis 3:22–24), but Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death by His shed blood (Romans 8:1-2) and we are no longer blocked from the place of intimacy with God in the garden. Don't lose hope!
Listen. Today, God is going to restore hope to you. So why not prepare your heart right now for what God wants to do in your life? We've just barely begun this New Year, the year of restoration, new beginnings, and intimacy with God.
So, just as I opened this teaching about hope (from the Book of Joel), let's close it on the same note--HOPE. God is not going to disappoint you, and He wants your heart to embrace hope once again--the restoration of hope. Let such knowledge become a healing balm to your heart while you reflect on Paul's encouraging message to the Romans.
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" --Romans 5:1–5
by Todd Bentley
Fresh Fire Ministries