Our Father in heaven does not wish that any of His children perish, therefore, Jesus came to ‘save that which was lost’ Mt.18:11. God’s Kingdom citizens, those who follow after the example of Jesus, must be willing to recover those lost to either satanic influence or carelessness; that we may rejoice with the angels of God over every sinner who repents.
Tools for recovering the lost and the missing may be found in God’s word. The lost has wandered from the place of refuge and is sometimes not able, or willing, to find his way back; he strayed because he lacks knowledge of, or faith in, the Godly way. Let us be particularly tender with the little ones, not only in age but in faith; those without understanding, for we understand by faith Heb.11:3. We must be like the shepherd willing to leave ninety-nine sheep in safety to pursue the one that went astray.
The woman who lost one coin lit a la!p, swept her house, and searched carefully until she found it, then she rejoiced with her friends and neighbours Lk.15:8-10. Darkness covers, light exposes. What seems lost is sometimes only hidden. The light from the lamp represents the Word of God. Let the Holy Spirit reveal appropriate knowledge of the way to recover each person, as you pray in understanding and in the Spirit. This is the first step to restoration. ‘Let there be light’ were the first words uttered by the Almighty in His quest to restore the earth to its glory Gen.1:1. You need revelation knowledge, understanding and wisdom supplied by God’s Spirit to light up the space.
The broom is a concerted effort to skillfully pool together everything, including what you were not even aware was lost. Sometimes the whole person is not lost, just their joy, or fellowship with God, or their self-esteem. A rebellious teenager may go through the motions of church service just to please His Father, yet not be interested in fellowship with God. Spend time with your target; show him love, listen to what he is not saying in words.
Many who lost their way have suffered collateral damage. For wisdom on how the broken may be repaired, the destroyed replaced and the stolen recovered, we examine the story of Job. Despite describing him as ‘a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil’ Job.1:8b, God permitted that this righteous man – just as believers are righteous by faith in Him – should have all that he had put under the power of Satan, but not His person. Subsequently, separate bands of raiders stole his livestock and killed his servants, fire from heaven destroyed his sheep, a great wind struck the house in which His sons and daughters were eating and drinking, and killed them all. As if this was not enough, Satan struck his whole body with boils.
At end Job was consoled and comforted for all the adversity he had gone through, the Lord blessed His latter days more than his beginning. He received double of the possessions destroyed and stolen, had seven sons and three daughters to replace the dead children; his body was repaired, and he lived one hundred and forty more years after the ordeal, to see four generations. All of this was achieved because ‘the Lord had accepted Job’ Job.42:12. He never spoke against God’s ways.
Those who believe are accepted in Jesus Christ, the Beloved Eph.1:6, but they must not sabotage God’s restoration plan by speaking words of unbelief. They are poised to recover all.
Thanksgiving and rejoicing must follow restoration: a critical part of the overcoming process is the celebration of returning sons and daughters, and the glorification of the One who draws all men to Him.
Next post: Let Christ in You Draw Men to Him.