PROCESS OF RESTORATION
By Ivan Ho 14 Jan 2024
No matter how far a person may be away from God, like the story of the prodigal son, God the Father is always ready to forgive his son and welcome him back home. That is the good news.
Having said that, the process of restoration doesn’t happen until the person decides to go back home to his father’s house.
1. Come back to senses
The first thing to arrest oneself from further spiritual decline is for the person to come to his senses. He needs to realise that the world cannot offer him anything that can only be found in his own heavenly Father i.e.unconditional love and life eternal. The prodigal son had to squander everything and came to the end of himself before he came to his senses.
What if you are still enjoying the success, fame and riches the world offers you, would you come to your senses?
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Luke 15:14-17 KJV
2. Come to repentance
The crucial thing of coming back to one’s senses is not just having a sense of remorse but to realise that he has sinned against God and that he desperately want to return to God.
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
Luke 15:18-19 KJV
The prodigal son, after he squandered everything, eventually came to his senses and acknowledged that he has sinned against heaven. What he had lost wasn’t just physical things but most importantly, he realised he had lost his spiritual relationship with his father. He repented and decided to return home to be with his father. It didn’t matter if he had to serve as a servant, all he desired was to restore his relationship with his beloved father.
3. Connect with the heavenly Father through the Son
If you are feeling far away from God and realise the need to repent from independent living without God, what needs to follow is for you to take a conscious decision to return to your heavenly Father. If you have never before acknowledged God as your heavenly Father, now is the time to return to Him.
You may be thinking that you are waiting for God to come to you but God is waiting for you to return to Him. When you return, he will welcome you home with his loving arms！
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Luke 15:20-24 KJV
The only way to connect with God the Father is through His Son Jesus Christ who is the mediator between God and man. By His death on the cross and His resurrection, your sins have been forgiven, making it possible for you to be reconciled with the heavenly Father.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
4. Come back to the Father’s house
As mentioned before, when a person who knows God but detaches himself from the body of Christ, he is putting himself in the process of spiritual decline. No one should therefore want to return to God without also returning to the Father’s house which is the church.
When you acknowledge the need to return to God, you also acknowledge the need to embrace God’s family which is the local church. Your brothers and sisters in Christ need you as much as you need them to live and function as a family body.
If you isolate yourself from the rest of the body, not only are you putting yourself in a vulnerable position, but more importantly, there is a vital part missing from the body of Christ.
and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25 KJV
5. Complete surrender to the will of God
If we want to do the will of the Father, we need to understand what His will is in the first place.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2 KJV
There is no such thing as the perfect will of God ie plan A, and if that doesn’t work out for you, then resort to plan B or plan C. All the will of God is good, acceptable and perfect because he plans his will for individuals that aligns with the purposes for his kingdom.
When one is willing to lay down his own will and becomes totally surrendered to the will of God, he is shutting the doors to demonic suggestions which lead to destruction.
6. Connect with the voice of the Holy Spirit
In order to hear what the inner voice of the Spirit is saying to us individually, we need to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit and actively hearing and following His voice. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are able to screen out voices that are not of God and understand what the will of God is.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Ephesians 5:15-18 KJV
7. Continue with the Word
We initially connect ourselves with God the Father through Jesus who is the Word. However, having established relationship with God and become born again believers, many people neglect the Word of God. They may be attending church but seldom spend time to study the Bible and hear what God is saying to the church and to themselves personally. When we read the bible, we are not just reading some literature writings but we are connecting ourselves with the living Word who is Jesus Himself.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 KJV
The process of spiritual restoration is incomplete if one doesn’t abide with the word of God.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:31-32 KJV
According to Strong’s Concordance , the word continue (Greek: meno) means “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) : – abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own”.
When we read the bible, we are interacting with the living word (logos) and staying in His presence.
It is through abiding with the Word that we know the truth, and the truth will set us free.