It was the early 80's and I had just finished sharing a short message and song of praise at our home church in Dayton, Ohio. I began to exit the stage when I heard a voice from the audience declare: "Miss Becky, I have a word for you." I looked around and there standing before me was our special speaker Evangelist Jerry B. Walker. As I handed him the microphone, he looked at me and declared: "Miss Becky your word is 'Restoration.' The Body of Christ is not familiar with it now, but they will be in the future and it is a word for you." I smiled and thanked him for his word of encouragement and continued to my seat somewhat puzzled, thinking "Restoration…hmmm what an unusual word Lord, what does it mean?"  

Richard and I had completed all our Bible classes, word of faith schooling, and all the required meetings to graduate from the school of theology, but I had heard very little spoken about restoration. This word became a meditation for me. There were of course events in the Bible where God greatly restored treasure and health, but what relevance did this word have for me today? In my youth I did not understand that I had lessons to learn. And in the thirty years since receiving this word my family and I have walked through many trials including bankruptcy, infidelity, betrayal, public slander and more. We have also watched God preserve and sustained us. He has taught us, corrected us, given us guidance and counsel, vindicated us as well as restored us. God has faithfully been our anchor and this simple word from Jerry B. Walker has continued to be a precious word of hope. 

Today we are hearing many prophetic voices declaring a new season - a season of "Restoration." It is encouraging to hear this word spoken and for many these coming years will bring great restitution and resolution. However, just like restoring an older home, there still may be painful times of tearing down and discarding materials, like our thoughts, unbiblical beliefs, behaviors, motivations, etc. which no longer support the new structure being built. But no matter how difficult the demolition experience, it sure is exciting and gratifying to see the structure rebuilt, restored and the finishing work completed.

God desires for you to understand His process of renewal and restoration, as He changes you into His likeness. What better way to understand His covenant process than to walk through it with Him. You give Him permission to expose and remove what is not pleasing to Him and then He patiently restores and fills you with more of Him. What an amazing work of Holy Spirit, digging deep into the hearts and minds of men sanctifying, transforming and restoring us as He renews our heart and mind while He restores our soul.

God is at work dividing your soul and spirit, so you may think and reason more like Him. He is at work extracting the world's ways so you may commune more intimately with Him. He wants to teach you to discern information more by His Spirit than simply from your intellect, will or emotions. He is not only able to redeem your thoughts but your entire life. Whatever you have lost, whatever pain, shame, humiliation or ill health you may have had to bear, God is ready and waiting to restore you. He is always at work bringing restoration and life to His people. Look for Him, ask and expect Him to move on your behalf. And as you and I continue to surrender to HIs restorative work, may we encourage one another, especially when it is painful, to say to our Father, "Don't stop Lord - even when it hurts."