This week I’m thinking about the word “restore” again.
The reason is I’ve really needed restoration lately.
During the sermon on Sunday, our pastor asked us to look at some verses in James 5. One of them was verse 16 which spoke of being restored. This was in the Amplified version of the Bible, which I had with me.
Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart].…
Lately for hours at a time I’ve been in trouble in my thinking, I’ve embraced negative emotions, and I’ve fought against instead of embracing God’s will. Why? Because I’ve slipped out of a spiritual tone of mind and heart and found myself being ruled by what I thought, felt, and wanted.
I keep slip/sliding into this bad place because I’m disappointed by the behavior of someone claiming to be a Christian who seems to have lost their spiritual tone of mind and heart. I’m discovering how easily I abandon my spiritual way of thinking and living when I’m too much in the company of those who don’t operate from a Christ-centered mindset.
I’m quick to judge them and say, “How can they be that way?” Yet I see how rapidly I can become just like them—especially when I’m interacting with them, and they’re behaving badly. Their yelling at me, putting me down, or refusing to listen to what I have to say can cause me to do the same in return. But I can’t blame them for my bad behavior. I can choose another course—to be led by the Spirit.
Even today when someone lashed out at me when I tried to have a discussion, I sensed myself sinking again inside. I felt immediately offended and wanted to seek revenge instead of remembering that
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)
Although I didn’t draw my sword to slash back at the other person with words, I did so in my mind. And I saw how quickly I lost any sense of a godly state of mind.
“O Lord, please restore my soul,” has been my prayer this week. It is my prayer at this moment. A little while ago I sent out an email to praying friends confessing my fall and asking that they join me in my prayer to be restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart.
Now comes the waiting to be restored. I’m lying down in this green pasture beside still waters, and I’m believing God’s promise for restoration.
How about you? Do you believe in God’s promise and power to restore?
Restore Me by Anthony Evans