t is with great joy and delight that I welcome you to this brand new month, the month of September, our month of restoration. One of the scriptural promises I found personally, extremely delightful and refreshing about restoration is "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed!" Joel 2:26-26. How about that from our God who cannot lie, who keeps covenant even when we fail to keep the covenant. So this month get ready for restoration. Did you notice what comes after restoration-eating in plenty, being satisfied! This month is also the beginning of ember- months. There is a superstitious believe that the witches and the wizards are always on the road causing accidents so that they can complete their blood bank quota to their coven. My prayer for you is that your blood will be "unsuckable" to any satanic agent in Jesus name.
What is Restoration? Restoration means getting back what was lost. It is the act of returning something that was lost, stolen, or removed. The act or process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it, cleaning it, etc. Synonyms include: repairing, fixing, mending, refurbishment, reconditioning, rehabilitation, rebuilding, reconstruction, overhaul, redevelopment, renovation.
Processes of restoration
Let us look at the three classical steps of restoration of the people of Israel. To be more specific the people of Southern Kingdom as they were called, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the loyal remnant of Davidic dynasty as narrated by Joel. Joel makes us to know that before victories are battles if not wars. Restoration is not an abstract phenomenon; it is usually an aftermath of stories of calamity, catastrophe and devastation. It is always better to prevent disaster than to sing songs of restoration. Imagine the song of war now that the young aristocratic, dictator and supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un is singing rhetorically with President Donald Trump of USA, the man that talks most times before he thinks. If the United Nations does not take appropriate steps, this duo have the capacity to lead the world to WWIII which will be essentially a war of nuclear weapon and nuclear disaster. After which nations will now be talking of restoration! God forbid.
In Chapter one of the book of Joel, he berated them for doing nothing to prevent disaster: "After the cutting locusts finished eating the crops, the swarming locusts took what was left! After them came the hopping locusts, and then the stripping locusts. "Joel 1:3 NLT He continued the warning and challenges them to take measures beyond narrating stories of woes to their children; Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you wine-drinkers! All the grapes are ruined… What is the significance of this message, it is to encourage you to prevent disaster rather than hoping for restoration. However, if you are already at a stage where restoration is the only safety net available, this is the way to go about it.
Develop awareness mentality. In the case of Joel this is a narrative and a challenge. In Verse one chapter two Joel cries "Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem! Raise the alarm on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the Lord is upon you." The first step in restoration is the awareness of your situation. Awareness of the past, the devastations, awareness of the present predicaments and awareness of the impending doom- The day of the Lord is coming. A day of judgment. It is amazing to me the way the world is behaving. The church of our age. The Christian of this age. We are all playing away as if we made ourselves. As if judgment will never come. As if Jesus will not show up in the sky as promised. Like the days of Emperor Nero, Rome is burning and he is fooling around as a jester in the palace. Friend's restoration is not automatic. It is not everyone that loses that gets restored physically, spiritually or financially. Let us be clear, God is generous but not frivolous with his promises and blessing. " "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet.." Matt 7:6. This past week I visited a friend. I saw the beautiful house in which he lives. About two years ago, fire gutted his former house. Friends and church family donated cloth, food and other items to him. But today his house is the most beautiful along his street. I asked how? He said the insurance paid fully and he added money to build his type of house which he had always dreamt about. He had insurance! Do you have insurance that can facilitate your restoration?
Repentance. The second vital step of restoration process will be to undertake full repentance. In verse twelve of Chapter two this is the cry of God as penned down by Joel: "Now, therefore, says the Lord, "Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning."13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm." Meaning do a reverse process of what led to devastations, ruins and unpleasant and unpalatable situation you found yourself. Repentance is about a big U-turn. On the spiritual side where we are, Jesus Christ suffered the penalty for our sins so that we can repent. Repentance is a change of heart and mind that brings us closer to God. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and a sincere desire to obey His commandments. You are confused and totally lost in orientation, maybe you never knew Jesus personally or you once knew him and you backslid, guess what, and find your way back. There is a broad and easy way that many are following in our generation, don't go there. If your destination is North and you are speedily going in the south direction, your GPS will advise you, make a legal U-turn! On the practical side it is about rebuilding, clearing the debris, getting your hands dirty to ensure you rebuild. You want to restore your health because of overweight go to the gym. Climb the treadmill. Do the jogging. Change your diet! On the financial side it is about finding ways to adjust your maladjusted life style and spending spree habit. Maybe the recession has dampened your zeal and you have become lazy and apathetical. You have to turn back to where you left off with your sound work ethics. On the matrimonial side it is about a big sense of remorse and a wholesome approach to view your partner and the way you have been relating to your nuclear and extended family. Your family is in disarray, you can re-arrange it! On the church level you want to repent of your approach to the things of God, may be before you crashed, you had totally ignored prayer, fellowship, reading, studying and mediation on the word of God. Maybe you have become an alien to your God. God was more specific, he that knows the heart says turn to him with your heart. The heart of the matter is that it is a matter of the heart. May be your heart has excessively waxed cold like the people of Judah and Laodicea brethren you have ignored the spiritual exercise of fasting weeping and mourning. Repent and retrace your steps. Then restoration will find you with its search light.
Allow God to take over. The third and final step is about divinity and hope. In the process of restoration, the working mechanism is predicated on God: "I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow". I Cor 3:6. In the issue of restoration God's component is supreme. You cannot force restoration. God has the final say. He is the architect of restoration. He says I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. When God declares that your season of restoration has come, Satan and his cohorts are too small to stop you. Humanity in their cunningness is irrelevant to stop it. Unless God has not said it, once it comes from the month of God it must perform what it is meant for. Joel declared to the people in Joel 2 v18: "Then the Lord will pity his people and jealously guard the honor of his land.19 The Lord will reply, "Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy your needs. You will no longer be an object of mockery among the surrounding nations.20 I will drive away these armies from the north. I will send them into the parched wastelands. Those in the front will be driven into the Dead Sea, and those at the rear into the Mediterranean. The stench of their rotting bodies will rise over the land. "Surely the Lord has done great things! The Lord says this is your season of restoration."
The bible is full of examples of restoration. When the Lord pitied Sarah, she had a promised child at 90. To make that happen notice the repentance step Maama Sarah who on the platter of gold gave her husband away to shatter her marriage took: - Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Motherhood regained. Peter toiled all night and caught nothing but God stepped to his boat and he had breakthrough when he surrendered the boat for Jesus. The same Peter was locked up for a public execution the following day, he was restored on the purported day of death because some people prayed for him. The same thing happened to Paul in prison. Dorcas died and was to be buried, but restoration brought her life back. Time will not permit me to mention Joseph who went from pit to slavery and to prison. But when God of restoration showed up he became a Prime Minister. You remember Jephthah, who was rejected because her mum was a harlot; he became the Captain of the nation. Even Nebuchadnezzar who was turned to eat grass, when his heart returned to God was restored. Hear his testimony. "That same hour the judgment was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles' feathers and his nails were like birds' claws. 34 "After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever. His rule is everlasting and his kingdom is eternal.35 All the people of the earth are nothing compared to him. He does as he pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth. No one can stop him or say to him, 'What do you mean by doing these things?' 36 "When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.
Friend, have you been eating grass, have you desired to eat piggery food like that of the prodigal son and it did not work out, what is your situation now? What is it that you have lost? What is it that was forcefully taken, what is that in your negligence you misappropriated and misused. Turn to God in repentance and the mercy of God will cry for you this month. Even nations are not left out, people of Nineveh fasted and mourned and experienced restoration. All the crises in your nation, Nigeria, America, Ghana, Canada, Syria, Southern Sudan, Venezuela, are not beyond our God, if only the elders will cry at the altar in true repentance.
Prophecy: I declare to you a new season of restoration. God's help is on the way for you. The power of sin is broken. That sickness is not unto death, you will bounce back again. That womb is meant to carry children, it shall bring forth in due season. Your marriage, ministry, finances, career, business shall experience restoration. Your dry land will turn to pool of water says the spirit of the Lord. The nation of Venezuela will soon be able to feed themselves again. The victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston will be restored. Nigeria's recession will be a thing of the past. Nigeria will not disintegrate peace will soon be restored. The spoilers, wasters, looters, and corrupters of the nations will be made to face their doom. You have lost a session or two in your academic pursuit, those ahead of you will seek employment under you! Don't be afraid, O land. Be glad now and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things! Shalom.
Special Announcement: The international Gathering of Eagles conference is this month! Sept 14-17, Toronto, Canada. Register at www.igoeminstry.com; www.cacbethel.com. Be there. Be blessed.
Dr Amos Dada is the District Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church Bethel Canada. Convener of International Gathering of Eagles Conference and President, Canadian Institute of Leadership and Development. Www.igoeministry.com; .www.canadaleadership.com and www.cacbethel.com. The International Gathering of Eagles Conference, Toronto, Canadais scheduled for September 14-15, 2017, do your best to attend. You can also register to travel with us in the Fall to Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. Register at www.igoeministry.com.