Have you ever seen so much disaster and catastrophe on every side? The earthquake in Japan- the Tsunami which followed, and now powerful tornadoes ripping through the southeast leaving death and destruction in the path in which it traveled! It often makes one question, “What is going on?”
Of course, we never understand why bad things happen to good people. In the religious circles, we justify it as God pouring out His wrath upon the earth, yet I am sure that there were many called of God who did not survive these horrific events, leaving behind their families and friends to deal with all that follows.
We reflect on the past few years here in America and all that unraveled as the Economic status plummeted leaving countless Americans homeless and unemployed. Many areas saw a complete meltdown for their entire community forcing many families to relocate in the hope of finding work and the undaunted task of rebuilding their lives from scratch.
We know that the word of God tells us that, “Everything that can be shaken will be so that only that which cannot be shaken will remain” (Hebrews 12:27). All the “fluff” of our lives (the things which truly have no eternal significance) may be taken away so that only that which has eternal significance will remain allowing us the ability and clarity to focus upon and deal with those things which remain.
The apostle Paul gives us a wonderful testament that will help to encourage us in the midst of all this shaking that is going on. I Corinthians 15:57-58 says,
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, un-moveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
The Greek word used in this scripture is actually “Hedraios” which means to be firm, immovable, steadfast, unshaken. This is what God wants us to be- unshakable in the face of trying and difficult circumstances.
But I have great news for you today my friend. Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. There is a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted…….a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. Friend, this is why I am so excited!
YOUR SEASON IS ABOUT TO CHANGE!!!
I believe with all that is within me that this season holds a restoration of all things that have been stolen. This is the season making all things new. Joel 2:25 says, “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.”
Now let’s take a “Selah” moment here. Did you notice what the last part of that scripture stated? This scripture stated that the locust, cankerworm, caterpillar and palmerworm were part of God’s great army which HE sent among you. Did you see that? The word of God says that HE sent them among us. Why would HE send something that destroys to us? I think I have an insight to this quandary.
Bruce Wilkinson wrote a wonderful book that I would highly recommend to you entitled, “Secrets of the Vine”. Bruce uses this illustration of the vine to teach about the meaning of abiding in Christ and bearing fruit for God. One of the greatest points in this book expounds upon the process of pruning. This is the key that sticks into my mind today.
For many of you (myself included), all that we have gone through may not have been an attack from the pit of hell. Rather, it may simply be the process of God pruning things in our lives- taking away that which has no eternal significance, things that actually take away from the fruitful things that God is doing in and through us. He is stripping them away from us so that only that which remains will be that which is unshakable and in so doing will enable us to bear much more fruit, all for the Glory of God! You must remember, it is only the tree that bears much fruit that is pruned, and it is only cut back so that it can produce more fruit in greater capacities.
I believe this is where you are today! I want to encourage you that I believe this is the season of the restoration of all things. All things that have been stolen will be restored!
You must continue reading the rest of the passage in Joel to get the total picture of what I am attempting to convey to you today.
Verse 26 says, “and ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you.”
You must understand that this season of restoration is part of the plan God has for you today. All that you have lost and had taken from you must be restored to you in this season of restoration. So you may have lost your job. May I tell you that in this season it doesn’t mean that you will get your old job back, it means that God is going to restore to you another job that may even yield greater finances than the one you lost! Look at Job. He was a blessed man (finances, employees, family, herds and cattle). He was a very wealthy individual who lost it all in one day’s time. But if you continue reading to the end of the book, you discover that he experienced this season of restoration of ALL things. He had more herds and cattle than before. His children were more beautiful and blessed than the children he lost. The latter state of Job was greater than his beginning.
This is what I believe God wants me to share with you today. You thought you were blessed before you lost all your stuff. But child of God, as you abide in the vine, God is going to cause this season of restoration to come upon you. Why? Well, in the words of Paul Harvey, “….and now the rest of the story.”
BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELT!
When you continue reading down two more verses, you see why your restoration has to happen. Verse 28 says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions….”
Out of all my years following Christ- and sitting through countless sermons- I have heard teachings on both of these scriptures independently. However, it was not until today that I saw that they were actually connected.
You see, before God releases the much prophesied season of revival with His Glory reigning upon the earth, the church (you and me) must first experience His season of the Restoration of All Things. If you look at verse 28 it says, it shall come to pass AFTERWARD. That means, after you have had all things restored to you, God is going to pour out His spirit upon the earth.
You see, God does not want to show the world that His children are broke, busted and disgusted. He wants to show that He knows how to take care of His children, and show that there is great reward for remaining connected to the vine of which He is the vine and we are the branches.
God has to restore your brokenness (after He has caused the shaking and pruning) so that you can be healthy and strong and demonstrate His Glory upon the earth. So, prepare the way for His Glory comes! Your restoration is at hand! You are getting ready to get back everything the devil has stolen from you. But this time, it will not be for your own security, but so that you can produce MORE FRUIT in the Kingdom!
I wish I could type in tongues because I feel the power of the Holy Spirit so strongly in my office as I type this letter to you today.
Blessing is coming your way, and it has YOUR NAME written on it. So, in the words of Bishop Jakes, “Get ready, Get ready, Get ready”! You are entering into your season where ALL THINGS ARE RESTORED! Hallelujah!