Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved! Psalm 80:19
Brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. Galatians 6:1
Restoring a Fallen Brother or Sister
There is no greater indication of team or group strength, or their capacity to win, than the way in which its members support each other.
Unity is a game-changer, Team Jesus.
If you notice in His final prayer to the Father for all believers (John 17:21-23), Jesus didn’t pray that we would do great signs and wonders – that we would cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead. Rather, He repeatedly prayed that we would be ONE.
As powerful as unity and oneness are, being “one” doesn’t mean that we will all be at 100%, in tip-top shape all of the time. On the contrary, because we are one, if one of us slips down to 50, 30, or 10% – we must and should have brothers and sisters who are unified in the faith to carry our burdens, build us up, and restore us.
Do you think the enemy’s team doesn’t have this kind of unity going on? Do you think the devil and his imps don’t trade notes on our weaknesses in an attempt to devour our destiny? They do.
So, we must always be in the mindset of out-unifying the opposing team – one body, one Spirit, one hope, one lord, one faith, one baptism, one God the Father who is over all, in all, and living through us all (Ephesians 4:4-6).
Do You Want to be a Godly Restorer?
It takes a special, yielded vessel to be a Restorer. Think about it. It’s easier to foster steady growth in someone than to bring someone back from zero. It’s easier to simply “mind your business” and focus on yourself than to “work out your own salvation” while helping another brother or sister to restore theirs.
Whether a teammate has been overcome by sin and rebellion, drifted off into heresy and false teachings, or become infected with society’s thinking regarding the things of God versus submission to the mind of Christ, you can be a resource for God for the purpose of restoration in the body of Christ. But, you must diligently hone the following character traits.
You Who Are Spiritual: Characteristics of Godly Restorers
1. They bear the fruit of the Spirit.
A Restorer’s daily life, his/her walk with Christ is characterized by the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Using the fruit of the Spirit, a Restorer is uniquely positioned by God to give another teammate increase. Why? Because they have first nurtured a harvest in their own life. Now that their life, decisions, judgment, and perspectives are driven by the Holy Spirit, a Restorer is equipped with the gentleness, humility, heart, wisdom, and strategy to free a brother or sister from bondage to freedom in Christ. The lessons learned and the fruit grown from your personal deliverance and freedom become tools to help others overcome.
2. They are motivated by love – inside and out.
Everyone knows we are to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. So, think about this: Is anyone attracted to the love they see you give yourself? Would anyone crave the love you give yourself and others?
How can we restore someone else when we don’t care for ourselves? How can you give what you don’t have? With a healthy dose of self-love, you become qualified to love others who perhaps can’t love themselves because they’re broken. You’re acquainted with forgiveness – because you have experienced forgiving and loving yourself. A Restorer’s heart is not covered in self-inflicted wounds. Rather, it is covered with a blanket of gentleness and loving-kindness and has been given time to heal – before attempting to heal others.
3. They maintain a godly perspective of Self.
How do you view yourself? We cannot effectively restore our brothers and sisters with an unhealthy sense of Self. If you hold bias in your heart or think too highly of yourself, you may never humble yourself to serve and help someone else overcome and be great. Conceit is inconsistent with the law of Love. High-mindedness, jealousy, and envy do not fit the job description of a Restorer.
We cannot be concerned that someone may one day rise “above us” if they’re restored. Likewise, a Restorer believes that restoration through Jesus Christ is available to all regardless of race, culture, socioeconomics, church affiliation, shape, size, etc.
4. They love the Truth and tell the truth – even when it hurts.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
Godly restorers must love and embody the life of Jesus Christ. In Him, the way of escape and restoration leads to life.
We cannot restore anyone without truth. Truth makes us free (John 8:32)! Lies are the rotten fruit of the enemy, who is the father of lies. A restorer speaks the truth in love and is not swayed by the feelings or emotions of the one being restored.
This takes much discernment, Team. There may come a time when restoration has to hurt for it to stick – and God may not want you to “ease their pain”. A restorer, guided by the Holy Spirit, is focused on God’s instructions and strategy – not that of the one who has fallen. If the one being restored had all the answers, would he/she be in need of restoration?
5. They understand Who deserves the glory.
Have you ever received help from a brother or sister, and they constantly remind you of their “good deed”? Everybody claiming to “restore others” does not do so for godly reasons. Our motive for helping others has to be submitted under the authority of God.
A godly Restorer is not concerned with getting the “credit” for restoring a brother or sister. A teammate who has been restored by another does not always want to hear how “you” helped them get back on their feet. When that restored teammate recalls the support they received, the Restorers job is to direct all the glory, honor, and praise to the Most High God, who graciously empowers us to help others – not us empowering God to save.
6. They exercise restorative wisdom.
Galatians 6:1 ends with an important warning – “And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”
A godly Restorer is equipped with more than just a loving, kind heart. A Restorer knows that if a brother or sister is overtaken in the same sin that he/she struggles with, the Holy Spirit and wisdom will guide them to their level of restorative help. Sometimes you will actively rescue – other times you will simply pray.
For instance, if you’re freshly delivered from alcoholism and feel the zeal to minister in bars to free others – seek restorative wisdom. If you are working to overcome pornography and feel the need to witness to strippers at the local strip club – consult the Holy Spirit for wisdom. It is never God’s will to lose two sheep – one sheep getting caught while trying to save another.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Grow in grace, knowledge, and righteous living so that you’ll be available and fit for God’s use as a restorer. 2 Peter 3:18
Avoid the snare of selfish, “me first, me only” thinking. The body of Christ does not consist of little, lone islands of people fending for themselves. We need each other more than we may know.
Count it an honor to be used by God to help others. For one day we restore – another day, we may need restoration.