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The Truth about Repentance and Restoration

WeedingThere are times when we pick up a bad attitude towards God. This usually happens when we feel that God isn’t listening to us. We think He’s ignoring us. There was a time in Israel that the people felt the same way.

After they returned from captivity in Babylon, the prophet Malachi was sent with a message from God. Listen to the exchange.

“I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’”
Malachi 1:2a

God gets right down to the basics. It’s all about His love for us. He loves us with an everlasting love.

That love is also a tough love. It’s like a parent who will not let their child touch a hot stove. The Bible clearly teaches that discipline flows out of the Father’s love. That’s usually when we get upset.

In the face of God’s love, the people respond with, “How have you loved us?” It’s a slap in God’s face. They’re saying, “Prove it, God.” It implies that they see no evidence of God’s love.

Why this attitude. It could be because they had just returned from Babylon. Their fields were overgrown. They were surrounded by their enemies. The temple they worshipped in was vastly inferior to the one Solomon built.

“Look at what’s happening to me, God. How can You possibly say that you love me.”

The thing is, we do this all the time in our attitudes. Here’s what they didn’t understand. The condition they found themselves in was because of their sin. It got so bad that they were captured and taken from their homeland.

Now they’ve repented. They’ve turned away from the false gods and were brought back to the land of promise. This is where the attitude springs up.

“Lord I repented, why aren’t things like they were before?”

This is what we need to learn as well. Repentance does not equal restoration. How do you get restoration?

Look at it this way. Spiritually speaking, you spent years planting weeds. Now your life is growing nothing but dandelions and chicory. You see the error of your ways and you repent. Immediately you want God to turn all your weeds into porterhouse steaks! I can tell you from the Word of God, and my own experience – it rarely ever happens that way.

What do you need to do? You dig up the weeds, plant new seed, and wait for the new harvest. Yes, you can trust God for an abundant harvest; and even a quick harvest. But there will still be a period of waiting for the blessings to appear.

Repentance and restoration. They go hand in hand. It’s just that restoration sometimes takes a little longer than we want it to. I repent and replant. Then I remember to keep my attitudes pure as I wait on the Lord to restore what was lost.

Question: What has the Lord restored in your life? How long did it take?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Faith, Revival

 

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Attitudes

Jonah 4:3-5
“Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
But the LORD replied, “Have you any right to be angry?”
Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city.  There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.

If you haven’t noticed – sometimes our attitudes stink.  There are times when we are mad at God, just like Jonah.  He was upset because God was not going to destroy the city of Nineveh.

I have found the same things to be true in my experience.  God doesn’t always carry out my plans the way I want Him to.  He seems to never even consider my timetable.

Jonah found out how devastating it is when we desire God to do something that’s not in His will for our lives.  Jonah’s response was to run away to a lonely hillside.  Once there, he erected a shelter and waited.  In spite of his attitude, God met with him there.  Although the Lord didn’t say what Jonah wanted to hear, He was able to redirect some of Jonah’s thinking.

Maybe you have an attitude toward God about some things that have (or haven’t) happened in your life.  These could be bad news, life altering events or unfulfilled dreams.  Whatever they consist of, take them to the Lord.

Use your time in His presence to really wait before Him for an answer.  Spend some quality time before the Lord.  Let God redirect and refocus your life.  Only then can you overcome the problems of the past and make a fresh start.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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