The biblical definition of restoration is to receive back more than had been lost to the point where the final state is better than the original condition.*
Repeatedly throughout the Bible, God blesses people for their faith and hardships by making up for their losses and giving them more than they previously had before.
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some are for common uses. Those who cleanse themselves of the later will be used for special purposes, made holy and useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” – 2 Timothy 2:20-21
 
That verse is how I view the restoration process. In order for us to be restored, better than before, we must first cleanse our selves of common uses, or as Eugene Patterson (the Message) writes, quit being the container that takes out the garbage.
Most of us see “common” all the time. If I decide that I’m tired of trying in any area of my life, all I have to do is look around for awhile, and I can find someone, who I think I am doing better than. Off the hook. I’m a little better then so-and-so, so know need to keep enduring the refining process…
But if I want to live do the cool stuff and be the gift of blessing, I have no choice but to quit comparing, and allow the refining to take place.
Friends, refining is a bit painful. To cleanse myself of the common, that means that I start taking a really good look at where I am, and then stay a longer until I really know why I am still there, and then determine to let God have that piece of me that I have been holding onto.
I think it is easiest to see in the context of movement. Let’s say you decide you are going to do 5 minutes of jumping jacks. No pauses.
You are just going to keep jumping wide and jumping narrow, stretching your arms toward the sky, and bring them back close to your body. If this is your first time, your 10th time, maybe it was a long day… what is going to happen (or did happen) when you start(ed) those jacks?
Actually, if you are at a place where you can stop reading and go jump for 1-minute, go do it right now. If jumping is something you do every single day, choose something you don’t do everyday…
Ok, now that you are back.
At first, it may seem fairly easy. Maybe you are evening feeling pretty confident in your ability to make it all 5 minutes. And then your legs start to get a little tired. What begins to go through your mind?
– Do you think, this is too difficult?
– Do you start to make excuses for why it’s so hard for you right now?
– Do you start to think of reasons that you should be able to stop early?
– Do you stay with the intensity?
– How about near the end? Are you thinking about finishing strong, or just getting it over with?
-What is your level of effort like?
If we want lasting change, if we want to experience the kind of restoration that God says we can have, we can not just get through. We must stick with the intensity and get to the root of the issue and then keep going. 
Where in your life do you keep backing down?
Why? 
Take 5-minutes, grab your journal and start writing. 
I’d love to hear how your jacks and journaling goes! Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at reginacasner@gmail.com
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