Joel 2:25 (NKJV) 25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.
We made it! Christmas is over for another year. What comes next? Every year the week between Christmas and New Years brings a shift. There is still a little celebrating to do, but the holiday season is almost over. The week leading up to January 1 involves taking stock of the year just past and looking to the potential for the year ahead.
It is my belief that time was God’s idea. God lives in the eternal now. When he created man, he set in motion things that would define time for him. God put the sun the moon and stars in the heavens for a purpose. The earth revolves once a day. The moon became a marker of months and the earth’s orbit around the sun the marker of years. Genesis 1:14 tells us that this was all according to God’s plan. God put us in a place where the passing of time matters.
I believe this also means that God has a purpose for each year. Ephesians 1:10 tells us that God has a plan and its boundaries are measured in time. There was a beginning of time in Genesis and there will be an end of time when we reach what he calls the “fullness of time.” Each year that comes before the fullness of time has a purpose in God’s inevitably moving plan. What is the purpose for 2020?
This is also true in the portion of time that makes us our lives. I believe God has something for you in 2020. What he has for us individually usually fits with what he is doing corporately, but for each person, God has something he wants to accomplish in and through us this year. There will be difficulties we must face because we have an adversary. However, I choose to believe that God is going to accomplish something wonderful in my life and in my ministry this year. How about you?
There is something interesting about this year. We are not just changing years we are changing decades. If you look at the passing of decades from a historical perspective, each decade has a place in God’s plan. We can look at the last century and see that every decade was defined by something. The first decade of the twentieth century was very much a transition time. The car began to replace the horse. Monarchies began to be replaced by democracies or some form of dictatorship as the dominant form of human government. Social changes were taking place such as the suffrage movement for women’s right to vote. It was a decade where things that had been accepted truths for as long as people could remember were challenged.
The teens were dominated by World War 1. The 20’s by the relief the survival brought. They were the “roaring 20’s” because it was a decade of celebration. At least until 1929 and the stock market crash that led to the great depression. The 30’s were defined by that economic tragedy. In the latter part of the 30’s some were beginning to see an economic turn around while others were experiencing the rise of the some of the most evil regimes of all time.
The 1940’s were dominated by World War 2. The first half by the destruction of this cataclysmic conflict and the second half by the recovery and the restructuring of the world because of it. The 1950’s were a decade of relief and prosperity for many but a time of coming under the servitude of totalitarian regimes for others. The 1960’s were a time of questioning everything that was established. It was a time where there was a search for reality.
The 70’s ad 80’s were dominated by a rise of nationalism and a self-focus in many places. The “me” generation was born as well as a rise in corporate prosperity and a money focus. There was also an increase in great suffering in other parts of the world. The 90’s were a time when people began to look at the state of things and once again question how things should be. That led us to the year 2000. In the first decade of the 21st century terrorism exploded. Economic recession came to many and misery to many more.
During all of this God was also moving. In 1906 the Pentecostal revival at Azusa Street in Las Angeles California began. In the 20’s and 30’s some of the greatest preachers since Paul came to prominence. In the 40’s and 50’s there were moves of God that involved healings, miracles and the restoration of many things that had fallen away from the church. In the 60’s and 70’s there was the charismatic renewal and the Jesus Movement. In the 80’s God restored the idea of a strong aggressive faith in his Word that could change things in our lives in this world. In the 90’s there was a refreshing that came and with it manifestations that some loved and others hated. Still God had his way.
I believe that the 21st century has not been a great time in the church. Influence has diminished as political correctness and social pressures have caused the truths of God’s Word to be questioned by many in the seats of power. The church, in my view, has gotten more soulish and less spiritual. It looks to me more like the process that occurred in the 1950’s when Christianity became more religion than relationship. It became more social than spiritual and as a result lost most of its power, reality and relevance. (Some say I am just getting old but that is the way I see it.)
So, what about the 2020’s? I was praying and I believe the Lord led me to this scripture and the idea expressed within it. I believe God is getting ready to restore! The word restore carries a number of meanings. It means to put back into the original condition. We restore houses, furniture and cars. I love to watch shows that take something that appears old and useless and watch as they are restored to better than new condition.
It also means to return to the rightful owner something that has been lost or stolen. This may be lands, money, relationships or anything else that can be taken from us. Finally, it can mean the return of a hereditary monarch to a throne, a head of state to government, or a regime to power. To me this definition can mean the restoration of governmental things to their proper order.
I believe the Lord is saying to me that he wants to do all those things for the church. I also believe he wants to do them for you and for me. God wants to return to you what you may have lost through sin or what may have been stolen by our adversary the devil. The Bible is full of “great and precious promises” that the Father purchased with the blood of Jesus. If you have lost some of what God wants for you life, God wants to get it back to you. If the devil has stolen from you, God wants to return it to you.
If you are not yet a Christian, someone who has received Jesus as your personal savior and Lord, you can be restored to relationship with God. The idea is not like repairing something. The new birth makes you something that never existed before. You become completely new in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-21.)
Finally, I believe that God wants to bring some things back into order in the governing of human affairs. I am not really talking about natural things. I am talking about the place where the real power lies, the spirit. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, “All authority has been given to me both in heaven and in earth.” Then he told us to go and preach to the world. I believe God is going to begin reestablishing this divine order in the earth. Will any of this happen in your life? It will if you believe God for it and choose to walk in it. God is going to restore in the 2020’s. I choose that he will restore in my life!
In the weeks to come I want to look at the process of restoration and what God wants to bring back to us. Join me. I think it is going to be an exciting journey