Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Applying the Restoration/Renewal Principle

Okay, here is Isaiah 34-35 in a sentence: God will restore fully one day, and he fully renews today. But what do we do with this principle we have learned about God’s character. It’s great that he is a God of restoration one day, and very comforting that he is a God of renewal today. But what do I do with that today…tomorrow morning…Thursday night?

Most importantly, make sure the inner man gets your first and foremost attention. Be a person who focuses on what matters most -- the heart. That's the battle you have to win! Don’t stress as much about your face; do something about the heart! God will one day handle the restoration, so relax! Yes, do what you can, but calm down and “be OK with the DK.” And while you’re waiting for that day, let him handle your renewal today! Quite frankly, if we would spend as much time and money on the inner man as we do on the outer man, we’d have church full of renewed warriors ready to stand against the wiles of the devil and the gates of hell!

In addition to concenrating on the innner man and letting the outer man have our secondary focus, here are some other things we can do or attiudes we can adopt:

1. Don’t blame. Blaming God, or others for that matter, for current conditions is not only unbiblical and quite illogical, not to mention very untheological, it is simply foolish. Blaming only lengthens the road to recovery and is a very external action; it's an "outer man" rseponse. Instead, believe in God and watch what faith can do to you even in the middle of situations that are less than ideal. Thats how the inner man responds -- in faith towards God!

2. Don’t complain. Instead, learn contentment and the ability to compliment. After all, we are in the Valley of In-Between, so make the best of it, eh? Multiple times in the New Testament Paul urges us to "do all things with thankfulness" and "without grumbling or complaining." What's hard to understand about that? I have fouind that voicing the exact opposite often helps me fight through the temptation to complain. That why it's good to compliment the second you feel like complaining. Take the road less traveled!

3. Don’t look backward in regret; look forward in anticipation, especially to the day of restoration. The past will only be a ball and chain to your best "moving forward" efforts. Yes, learn from it, but don't lean on it. Leaning on it has a way of "velcroing" itself to you in a way that isn't supportive at all.