Gregory Dickow - Your Time for Restoration Is Now
And I don't know about you, but I'm tired of letting the devil steal my time, steal my health, steal my family, steal my money, steal my my peace, steal my joy. I'm ready to take my stuff back. How about you? So what we're going to do today is we're going to experience our restoration. And my teaching today is entitled Your Time for Restoration is now say that. Say my time for restoration is now. Now, look, I got I got to help you to understand something. I want to share something with you. We've got to realize Satan is the thief and he's coming to steal. He has come to steal, kill and destroy and listen. Everybody on earth, no matter who you are, has been robbed in one way or another by this great thief.
And the reason I say he's a great thief is because not because he's great, but he's great at stealing from God's people. He comes to steal the word. He comes to steal your money. He comes to steal your health. He comes to steal your joy. And we need to realize that there are lower thieves. And then there is the higher thief. There are thieves that are in the natural people who steal from other people. But then there is the higher thief that is Satan who steals from God's people. But see, what's the difference? You see, a lower thief will steal your bed, but the higher thief will steal your sleep.
A lower thief, that's people they may come and see all the books in your library, but the higher thief tries to steal your brain and your ability to think and your ability to reason a lower thief may steal your food from the house, but the higher thief will steal your appetite. He'll steal your your your your your organs within your body that that cause your life to function well and function healthy. A lower thief may steal the medicine that you've bought, but a higher thief will steal your health. A lower thief may steal your wedding rings, but the higher thief will steal your marriage and your home. So there are thieves. And then there is the thief and we've got to expose the thief that has been stealing from us. And then we can take our stuff back. We got to bind him from taking our stuff anymore and we'll get our stuff back as we discover what it is we can expect God to restore in our lives.
So go over with me quickly to chapter three, verse twenty. And I want to read this to you from the new American standard Bible X, chapter three, verse twenty. If you don't have that translation, you can follow along on the screen. But it says here that he may send Jesus. So God is talking about sending Jesus. The Christ appointed for you now, he already sent him once, but in Acts Chapter three, Jesus had already come once, but he's telling us that Jesus is coming again. Now, notice how he describes this second coming of Jesus in verse twenty one, it says, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration. In other words, the times of restoration. One translation says he says heaven has to receive him or how many know Jesus is in heaven right now. The Bible says he is seated at the right hand of the father, and heaven is going to keep him until the restoration of all things.
So while Jesus is in heaven, God is at work in the earth to restore all things. But what is the all things he's talking about here? He says the restoration of all things which God spoke by the mouth of the holy prophets from ancient times. In other words, whatever the prophets in the Bible prophesied was going to happen, whatever they prophesied that God would restore, whatever God said he would restore to us through the prophets. The Bible here is telling us that Jesus is going to remain in heaven until these things are restored. What things? All the things that the prophets said God would restore. So Jesus is going to remain in heaven until until God restores all of the things that the prophets said he would restore or that he promised he would restore as he spoke through the prophets.
So what we need to do is we need to find out what did the prophets say that God would restore? Because then we can set our expectation on seeing God restore those things that these prophets said God would restore. Are you still with me? So in other words, we can't make stuff up and say, well, I want God to restore this or I want God to restore that in my life, but we need to do is we need to find out what did the prophets say that God would restore? Because then we have biblical precedents and biblical evidence of what God wants to restore in our lives until Jesus returns. And so let's start in chapter two, verse twenty five, God says here in joal to verse twenty five and I will restore. So I will restore. Say God will restore. He said, I will restore to you the years that the locust is eating, the crawling locusts, the consuming locusts, the chewing locusts.
And I didn't know that there were so many different types of locusts. But I'm glad that no matter what kind of locusts has devoured and stolen your stuff or my stuff, God said he's he's going to restore to me the years. The first thing God says here through the Prophet Joel that he wants to restore to your life is lost time. He wants to restore to you lost time, years, opportunities. We all know what it's like to have wasted years of our lives. We all know what it's like to have made bad decisions. And we've lost time. We all know what it's like to have to have gotten to come to the party late, so to speak. We've come to the to the to the Lords party a little late and we wonder, man, is there any time left for God to do in my life what he would have done if I would have got saved a lot earlier. And God says, I will restore to you the years, the years that have been eaten.
We have had years of our lives eaten by bad decisions. We've had years of our lives eaten by abuse. We've had years of our lives eaten by the choices we've made. We've had years of our lives eaten by missed opportunities. We've had years of our lives eaten because we didn't listen to God, we didn't hear from God. But if you will hear today that God is the God of restoration and lay hold of this promise that Joel prophesied and God said Jesus is staying in heaven until God restores all the things that the prophet said would be restored. And one of those things is time. Now, remember, Jesus said, remember, it says about Jesus, he's going to stay in heaven until God restores all of the things that the prophets spoke of. And one of the things the prophet said, God would restore our years. Everybody say years say I'm expecting God to restore.
Back into my life, supernaturally years and time and opportunities, No. Two, Jeremiah, 30, verse 17 for I will restore health to you and I will hear you of your wounds. So the second thing God promises through one of the prophets in this case is Jeremiah the prophet. He said, I will restore health to you and I will heal you of your wounds. And when God says I will restore health to you, I don't believe he's just limiting our health to just physical health. I believe that part of our health comes from being being at peace in our minds. So part of that is restoring our minds, restoring peace and joy in our lives. God wants to give us spiritual health. He wants to give us emotional health, and he wants to give us physical health.
So, yes, he wants to heal us of sickness and disease because Jesus paid for that by his stripes. We are healed. But he also wants to heal us of depression and sadness and sorrow and anxiety. And if we didn't think that God wanted to heal, if we didn't think anxiety and depression could be healed, then we wouldn't be prescribing so many anxiety and depression medications in this world today. If everybody was supposed to walk around with depression and anxiety, then there wouldn't be so many medications to help compensate for anxiety and depression. And I'm not against taking those medications when prescribed properly by a doctor and following the doctor's prescription, can anybody say amen? But what I'm saying is God wants to even heal you of those things. And it's his will that you not be depressed is his will to heal you of depression and bring you joy and peace of mind and deliverance from panic attacks and anxiety and worry. And he said, I will restore health to you and I will heal you everywhere you're hurting. Can anybody say amen?
Now, this is the second thing we see that God promises through one of the prophets that he will restore. The next one is found in also in Jeremiah, chapter twenty nine. Verse 11 and I want to read this to you from the new American standard translation, he says, I know the plans that I have for you declares war plans for welfare, not for calamity, to give you a future and to give you a hope. And he says in first 12, then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you verse 13. And then you will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. And I watch this verse 14 and I will be found by you, declares the Lord. And I will restore your fortunes. I will restore your fortunes.
So this is the next thing God says. He will restore, heal, restore years that have been devoured. Heal, restore our health and healing and heal. Restore our fortunes. And you say, well, is that just limited to finances and money? No, it includes that. But a good fortune. If you if you've ever eaten Chinese food, you know that at the end of that meal they throw a bunch of they throw a bunch of fortune cookies your way and you pop those things open and we all do it for fun. Right. We're not expecting that. That's that that's what's going to predict our future. But we kind of hope it does.
You know, if you're single, you open a fortune cookie and it says you're going to meet the right guy soon, real soon. Right. And you're like, yeah, thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus. And thank you, Chef Fung. Right. But even though. We don't put our stock in what a fortune cookie says, it gives us an illustration of how we are expecting good fortune. We all want good fortune in our lives. That's not it doesn't. We all want good fortune. That means we all want a good future. We all want good success. We all want whatever has been lost in our lives of God's will and God's plan for us. We want it to be restored. He will give us good fortunes. Good. A good future. The outlook on your life. I just got the news report. The outlook on your life is great. The outlook on your future.
It's great. I just got the report from the Bible and it says, your future is bright. It's brighter than you ever thought. And the Bible says, the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn. It gets brighter and brighter and brighter and brighter and brighter and brighter and brighter until the Lord returns. So get ready to expect good fortune and a great future. No matter how bad your past has been, expect God to restore your fortunes, your future, and all the wealth and the blessings that God intended to come your way. Can anybody say amen and yes to that right? God says yes. And we say amen.
Number four. Go over to First Timothy, chapter one, verse 19. Paul is writing to Timothy, and Paul is a prophet, according to the Book of Acts, he's a prophet, too. So we got to find out what are the prophets saying God's going to restore? He said, having faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected concerning the faith. And they have suffered shipwreck. They have suffered shipwreck in their faith. So the next thing that God wants to restore is he wants to restore our faith. He wants to he wants to restore our confidence in him. Many people started out living a life of faith, walking by faith, forgiving by faith, giving by faith, trusting God by faith, leaning out on their own understanding, but in all their ways, acknowledging him and him, making their path straight.
But along the way, you've been disappointed. Along the way, maybe you've been through a bad divorce on your way, on your path. You've been through some disappointment and disillusionment and the thing you prayed for and ask God for the opposite took place. And you're wondering, man, my faith seems injured. What does it mean to be shipwrecked? It means to be stranded. And I think we all know what it's like to feel stranded when you're stranded. It means you can't get any further. You can't get from this this isolation, this bondage, this this crippling situation that you're in. You can't seem to get off of this this desert island. You can't seem to get out of this this place where you can't move forward, you're stranded. I think we all know what it's like to hope and to pray and ask God. And then we feel stranded to to to set ourselves on a journey.
Maybe you got married and you get in this boat of marriage and you think this is going to be the greatest cruise. This is going to be the greatest, you know, this Caribbean cruise. You thought you were getting into marriage and it was going to be a Caribbean cruise, but really, you found out that it's a sinking ship and you feel stranded, you feel like you're on a desert island, you feel like you just can't recover, you can't get past this thing this person did to you. You can't seem to get past this injury that you had in your in your heart can't seem to get past the mistake you made.
God wants to restore your ship wrecked faith. He wants to bring you back to a place where you have childlike faith, like when you just believed Mark eleven twenty three, you could speak to any mountain and it would move until all the mountain started pushing back on you and you gave up your faith. You believe that everything was going to turn out all right until everything turned out all wrong and you gave up your faith. And you see the greatest faith of all is not faith. When everything's going your way, it's believing God. When things are not going your way, it's trusting God.
Anyway, in the midnight hour, it's being thrown in the prison like Paul and Silas and praising God anyway. It's being thrown into it's being swallowed by a whale like Jonah was and thanking God anyway. It's being surrounded by enemy armies in an in like like Jehoshaphat and the children of Judah were. And yet they praise God and sent the appraiser's out in the worshipers, out ahead of them, and God routed the enemy and the enemy's routed each other. It's faith is this is this idea that no matter how bad it looks, no matter what fiery furnace that Nebuchadnezzar throws you in, the fourth man is going to join you in the fire and not one hair on your head is going to be burn. Life of faith doesn't mean that you're never going to be that you're never going to be in the midst of fires, that life of faith doesn't mean that you're never going to be thrown into fiery furnaces.
The life of faith means that even when thrown into that fiery furnace, the fourth man is with you. And if God is with you, everything's going to be all right. God wants to restore your faith, used to believe, used to give by faith, used to forgive by faith, remember when you used to tie, then it was like, I'm trusting God with my money and now you're holding back because you're afraid of what might happen. Remember how you used to forgive people when they hurt you, but now you don't trust anybody? Not a single soul anymore. You're mistrustful and you're in pain and you're hurt.
What is God calling us to? Back to a life of faith where God heals your faith and restores your faith so that you can once again walk by faith and live by faith and speak by faith and give by faith and forgive by faith and step out into the next season of your life by faith, trusting that God's going to meet you there to get out of your boat and walk on the water and know that even if you start to sink, Jesus is going to catch you and he's going to reach out his arm and he's going to save you. It's stepping out in faith. It's going into the deep waters. It's not being afraid of taking the risk of giving, taking the risk of praying, taking the risk of loving the unlovable, trusting a God who you can't see, loving people who don't deserve it, having mercy and pity on people that are that are hurtful and then have brought pain in your life.
This is what it means to walk by faith. But because we've been shipwrecked, we've been injured, we've been stranded, people have let us down, people have failed us. And we're on this desert island we feel like Gilligan and we're never going to get off. God wants you to trust in his ability, not your ability. He wants to turn your disappointment and change one letter at the beginning and turn it into his appointment. By walking by faith, he wants to restore your faith.
Number five, the fifth thing God wants to restore is found in Acts Chapter two, verse 17 and God says, And upon all flesh, I will pour out my spirit and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men will dream dreams. The fifth thing God wants to restore in our lives is he wants to restore our dreams. I believe that God wants to restore your dreams. You know, you say, why does he say, first of all, he says the sons and daughters, meaning there's no there is no God doesn't. God doesn't is not prejudiced towards men or towards women. He's saying both your sons and daughters are going to prophesy this.
These promises are for both men and women. These promises are both for the young men to see visions and the old the old young men and women to see visions and old men and women to dream dreams. And you say, well, why does he say so? I thought about this many times. Why? Why is it God that you say to the old men, your old men will dream dreams? And of course, that implies women as well. Why are you saying to us older people, as we get older, we're going to dream dreams because God wants us to realize we all started out with big dreams when we were younger and many of those dreams have been to have fallen apart or have been shattered.
Many of those dreams failed to come to pass many of those dreams. We were disappointed and those dreams didn't come to pass. We were just disappointed and the dreams we had didn't happen. And what is God trying to tell us that as we get older, that God wants to restore even those dreams that we had when we were younger, that we were disillusioned about, disappointed by. They never came to pass. It never turned out the way we thought it would. The family never turned out the way we thought it would. The job didn't turn out the way we thought it would. Our finances didn't turn out the way we thought they should. And God says, I'm going to give you older people and I count myself in that category.
You missed a really good chance to say no, no, no, no, no, pastor, but I forgive you. That God wants to give us dreams and restore to us. The ability to dream again, the ability to dream big, believe big. Have big faith. And trust him and ask big, and he said, I'll do exceeding abundantly above and beyond all that, you can ask or think these five things God wants to restore in our lives today. He wants to begin this work of restoration. Your time for restoration is now. He wants to restore your years. He wants to restore your health. He wants to restore time and opportunities. He wants to restore your good fortune and your finances and your blessing, wants to restore your faith. And he wants to restore your dream.