Road to Restoration Pt. 2
You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day (Deut. 8:18).
How many of you think that Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is debating whether or not to order the Big Mac with large fries or if he should stick to the dollar menu? He could order Big Macs for every person in line and not even put a dent in his wallet. From just one idea that capitalized on connecting new technology to basic human need for social interaction, Zuckerberg has become one of the wealthiest young men in the world. This is one of the blessings of being an American. The foundations of our nation are built in such a way that if you’ve got an idea and the determination to develop it, opportunity to prosper is limitless.
One of our heroes is Dr. Ben Carson. He grew up in extreme poverty. His single mother had only a third grade education. She worked three jobs to support her two sons because she refused to be enslaved by poverty. And when her sons struggled, she only asked one question, “Do you have a brain? Then use the brain God gave you to figure this out.” There were no excuses in her book. As a young man, Carson didn’t expect to live past the age of 25. That was the age most young men in his community died. But the prayers and determination of his mother to see her sons succeed didn’t leave room for that vision for his future. Today Carson is one of the most renowned neurosurgeons in the world.
Dawn Loggins just graduated and will be headed to Harvard on a full scholarship in the Fall. Her achievement would be laudable in any case, except hers is exceptional. She and her brother grew up in a living nightmare. Her parents are drug addicts. When they did have a home, it was often without running water or electricity and rodent infested. They moved frequently. When she was old enough to realize she was filthy, she would take her brother to the park to wash themselves. She would wash their clothes in the school laundry. Then, after she returned from a summer program for gifted students, she found her family had left town and left her. She was homeless. She didn’t give up. Her reputation for hard work and integrity went before her, and the community rallied around her. A teacher invited her to stay in her home. She was offered a job as a janitor at her high school, and she worked in the early morning hours to support herself. When she graduated last month, the whole school stood in honor of her achievement.
We take inspiration from these stories of success. We want to cheer them on and say, “Go for it!” This is the spirit of opportunity that makes America exceptional. But there is another spirit we see that is trying to hijack our nation. It looks at success and prosperity and calls it greed, privilege, and ultimately evil. It masquerades as equality, but is directly opposed to the God-ordained freedom for every individual to have opportunity to pursue life, liberty and happiness (prosperity). It is the anti-thesis of everything Jesus gives us to affirm the value and uniqueness, gifts, and callings He has given each individual that we might steward them and prosper. He is the God who gives us the power to get wealth, and He expects us to use it (see the Parable of the Talents, Mt. 25:14-30, Lk. 19:12-28). It is part of our spiritual DNA to have ownership and stewardship of the fruit of our labor.
Prosperity and increase are blessings from God. He calls Himself, “Jehovah Jireh—I am the Lord Your Provider” (Gen 22:14). Deuteronomy 28 promises, “The Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground…The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand” (v. 11-12). In Jesus we have access to every blessing, so we too can be a blessing to those around us.
God wants His people to prosper. Financial and material blessing are spiritual. Time and time again in the Bible, the prosperity of the land reflects the spiritual condition of Israel’s hearts. Apostasy results in famine. Revival brings spiritual and natural riches. In Joel 2, Israel is devastated by famine, natural enemies, and destruction. She has forgotten the source of her prosperity, and the land suffers famine and lack. When His people turn back to Him, God answers their cry with revival. He pours out His Spirit on their hearts, and opens the heavens over their land. Natural rain comes to refresh, restore, and return all the enemy had stolen: “He will cause the rain to come down for you…the threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil” (Joel 3:23-24).
We are in a spiritual battle against powers and principalities that would come to strip our land of her prosperity and promise. There are forces that would enslave our children in a cycle of lack and dependency. It is time for God’s people to arise and shine, and defend the awesome inheritance that we have as a nation. We are encouraged by the signs all around of revival. Just this week we have heard new reports of oil and gas discoveries off the coast of Israel. It is another prophetic indicator of the spiritual outpouring that God is getting ready to loose on the nations. His oil is bubbling up in Israel, the natural root of our faith. We look with expectation for the oil of His Spirit to overflow the dry and desolate places. Let us pray like Elijah when he saw the cloud the size of a man’s hand for His rains to come. We need revival. Let God Arise!
Let God Arise Prayer Relay: Our prayer focus this week is Come Holy Spirit—Spirit of Restoration and Recovery of our moral and economic foundations.
We are hungry and thirsty for His presence. Let us cry for revival! Let us cry for the rains of the Spirit to come and pour out for restoration of our hearts and our land. May America once again be the head and not the tail, the lender to many and the borrower from none, a refuge to the tired, the poor, the hungry, and a source of blessing to the weak, the poor, and orphans and widows around the globe.
Ezekiel 36:11 promises Israel that God will restore Israel and “do better for you than at your beginnings.” We pray this prayer for both Israel and for America in this season of prayer. May God Arise and scatter our enemies, and restore to us all that the enemy has stolen. May Israel and America be blessed and be a blessing to the nations!
Also read our Let God Arise Article.
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda, 7/12/2012