Engage and Restore
I wrote not too long ago about part of a dream I had from the Lord a few months ago. I have not had a dream from the Lord since then until this week. I’d like to disclose a portion of that dream to you. It is better if I speak in generalities because the dream was specific to a person and a situation, but I distinctly feel from the Lord just now that this is what I am to share with you this week.
In the dream, the person was involved in the preliminary actions and behaviors that would lead to—if left unchecked—much more devastating sin. Just before this person was about to participate in the actual sin that would bring to them and those around them a great deal of pain and devastation, they looked up at me. And with a pure and child-like expression, the person—with such a piercing sincerity of heart—said these words: “Will you help me?” …and they meant it.
This person, though already in the throes of something that would be ultimately crushing to them and those around them, had enough presence of mind, heart, and soul to ask me that question before their situation went further. I could very literally feel the heaviness of the person’s heart, and it broke mine. Immediately, I woke up from the dream and heard myself say out loud, “Yes, I will help you.”
Sometimes we avoid others and their sin. If it is an unbeliever, we may feel too overwhelmed by the nature of their sin or the weight of it. Even when a believer stumbles, we often take a step back because we think, “They should know better…” Or “I’m afraid it will bring me down.”
Granted, Paul does say this in Galatians: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 He cautions us to be very careful when we engage in helping another person to restore them, but he also very emphatically states that we are to indeed engage and restore, and he instructs us to do so…..gently..… We are to approach the one who has fallen with tenderness and love.
I feel the Lord would have me add this to our conversation, too… None of us is without the ability to stumble. None of us is so perfect and so sanctified that sin cannot reach us. God tells Cain in Genesis: “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7b
And Paul warns: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:12,13
Today, let’s consider those around us who may need us to reach out to them. Let’s ask the Father for wisdom, direction, and protection as we meet them where they are with gentleness and love, and let’s not be afraid to engage and restore.
FBC Aztec Member