The word, restoration, has become linked to the work associated with transitioning a church that is currently underperforming into a church that is, once again, a full participant in the Great Commission.
In the bible, restoration is not used in this way. Restoration to God has to do with the condition of the soul of His Saints, not the performance of the church. Now, before you start to write that hurtful email allow me to concede that an underperforming church is most likely linked to the soul-health of the Saints of that church; so set aside that thought and read on.
The point is that God’s focus is on the individual; God is the lover of your soul and wants your soul to be healthy and strong. This is the point of Psalm 73:26 –
My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
The verb fail here literally means fail. The Psalmist writes, I am exhausted physically and emotionally. I am done! I am tired and depressed. I am wore out! But immediately the Psalmist proclaims that although he may be spent, the source of his strength, the sustainer of his heart is the Almighty God! God does not grow weary.
I like the way John Piper wrote about this verse in his book, Future Grace:
The Bible is replete with instances of saints struggling with sunken spirits. Psalm 19:7 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.” This is a clear admission that the soul of the saint sometimes needs to be revived. And if it needs to be revived, in a sense it was “dead.”
David says the same thing in Psalm 23:2–3, “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” The soul of the “man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) needs to be restored. It was dying of thirst and ready to fall exhausted, but God led the soul to water and gave it life again.
God has put these words in scripture because He knows that we need them. He knows that, at times, we struggle. He knows that we grow weary. He knows that we need the testimonies of others in scripture so that we are well-armed at our time of depression, weariness, and weakness.
God is in the restoration business, but God restores the souls of Saints, not the programs of churches.
If you are weary, tired, depressed, or maybe just confused I invite you today to join me in returning to God. Lets seek Him together. Lets go to the source of all life for refreshment. Lets approach the Father through our trust in Jesus Christ and be renewed.
There are two keys for us in this journey:
Psalm 19 says that restoration is found in the Word. This means that the restoration of the soul begins with reading, studying, and soaking in the Word of God.
Psalm 23 says that the living water was the catalyst of restoration. Jesus says that He is the Living Water and that those who drink of Him will never thirst again (John 4:10-14; 7:37-38). Lets return to Jesus and drink deeply.
Restoration begins now. Lets get started!