Every year when I’m in Singapore, one of the things that has now become a bit of a custom is for me to attend New Creation Church’s Vision Sunday which is held on the first Sunday of the year.
It’s not that I’m not into my own church’s vision, because I am. (In Faith Community Church this year, we are moving into the phases of Mentor and Release and I’m definitely positioning myself for that). I have noticed however that most church pastors cast a vision which is intended to set the course of the church’s activities, programs and culture. Joseph Prince’s visioneering is actually quite different. He sets a course which, for me, is almost always personal.
So I quite like the idea of tracking with my church’s corporate vision, but also seeing how the prophetic course announced by Ps Prince plays out in my life.
In my previous post, I declared that God was unfolding a new season. In the song “New Season”, the lyrics say this: “All that was stolen is returned to you a hundred fold / Tried in the fire but you’re coming out gold / Cling to His hand, to every promise take a hold / It’s a new season!”
In this post, I want to elaborate on what that new season looks like in light of Joseph’s Prince’s vision for 2015: the Year of His Restoration!
The underpinning verse is Isaiah 42:22:
For 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!”
This is the year we say “Restore!” where we have suffered loss! It is not man who restores, but God! And when God restores, it is always greater in quality or quantity or both!
Things that God will Restore
Here are the things that God will restore:
1. God will Restore the Years that the Locusts Have Eaten
Joel 2:25-27 says:
So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts has eaten…
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel;
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.
I don’t know about you, but I have lost time. There have been times over the years when I have not walked closely to God. I have wasted time being idle instead of fulfilling His purposes; I have wasted time in sin, being angry, or insubmissive, or being disobedient to God.
In the natural economy, time can never be got back. But God can and He will restore the years that were lost!
2. God will Restore our Souls and Minds
In Psalm 23, David says of the Good Shepherd that “He restores my soul”.
God will restore us emotionally where we have felt drained. He will restore our minds so that even though we grow older, our minds will function just as well as in the days of our youth!
I have often felt that my memory isn’t as good as it used to be – for example, I used to remember song lyrics really easily and now it’s a lot harder. I look at my worship director, Dave, for example and wish that I could be as sharp as him in memorising lyrics. Well now, instead of lamenting my fading powers of remembrance, I say “restore!!!”
3. God will Restore Our Health
Jeremiah 30:17 says “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord.”
The word for “wounds” refers to long term conditions, which means that God will restore us from sicknesses we’ve carried for a long time.
The past year has been a testing ground in the area of health! This year, I declare “restore!” and believe for restoration of the membranes around my eyes, that they will strengthen and thicken! I declare “restore” for my physical health and the health of my family members!
The Way God Restores
Now, here’s the clincher. In the Bible, God’s restoration always exceeds that which was taken.
Pastor Prince exposited from the law of Moses in Exodus 22:1 which states that when a man steals an ox, he must restore five oxen for an ox. In Leviticus 5:14, when a person sins agains the holy things of the Lord, he must make full restitution and add one-fifth (or 20 per cent).
So the party that is injured ultimately gains in the time of restoration.
And Prince made this really interesting point. Because of the fall of man, God gained more through redemption than He ever lost through the Fall. Whereas before He had one begotten Son and man with whom He fellowshipped, through redemption, many more were adopted into God’s family!
And because of the Fall and God’s redemption, mankind gained more than it ever lost:
- In the Garden of Eden, there was long physical life, but now we have eternal life.
- Everything in the Garden depended on obedience, so man’s tenure was insecure. The Tree of Knowledge was always there and sin would always be a possibility. Through redemption, our security is based on Christ’s perfect obedience!
- Adam was a steward. But through redemption, we are more than stewards – we are joint heirs with Christ.
- Adam had the earth. But we have both heaven and earth!
What an amazing thought! I’m so grateful for God’s restorative purposes in my life!
The key to God’s restoration? It’s in resting in Him. When we rest in Him, He works. As in Psalm 23, God leads us to still waters and feeds us in green pastures. And when we rest in Him, the Psalmist says, He restores us!
I’m so excited for the things that God will do in my life this year. Even though the past year had met with its challenges, I believe that this year, God will restore the things that were stolen, in my time, in my health, in my soul, and in every other aspect of my life.
This year, in 2015, I am declaring “Restore!”