Zechariah 9:12 Return To Your Fortress

Fortress on a cliff

Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. Zechariah 9:12 

Fortresses are places of security, safety, and provision. People strive to build all of these things with the ways of the world, bigger houses, careers, bank accounts and more. These things are built up in hopes of a more secure future.

All of these provide a false sense of what people are really desiring. Each of these are temporary and will fade away or can be quickly removed.

Zechariah gives a call to the Israelites to return to their fortress. As they return, they will also be restored with twice as much as they had lost.

Believers are living in a fallen world and have often become prisoners of this world. They can get caught up in what the world sees as important and strive after those things. Rather than looking up to God, they look outward to people and the things of this world.

When Zechariah made this call, he had just prophesied about Jesus coming. Jesus, being God, is the fortress that everyone can run to. He is a firm foundation that everyone can stand upon.

God is a God of hope, salvation, and provision. The world and sin has tried to take away the joy and hope of salvation from believers.

When the believer returns to God, his fortress, he will get twice as much as what was stolen from him restored–twice as much joy, grace, salvation, hope, peace, and provision. These are things that will last for eternity and cannot be taken away.

Jesus has broken the chains of sin and bondage so that every believer can return to the fortress of God to have a hope that lasts for eternity.

Over time you may have allowed the ways of the world trap you into thinking as the world does. You may have allowed yourself to get trapped into seeking all of your needs as the world does.

It is not too late, you can turn around and return to God with all of your heart. Go to the fortress of Jesus and be restored. God is ready and willing to restore all that has been lost and more due to running with the world.

God loves you and is full of mercy and grace. Allow Him to be your fortress in this fallen world as you wait for His return.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will be your strong fortress; that you will live by God’s ways of living; and that you will see God restore all that has been lost in following the world’s ways. 

Psalm 94:18 When You Are Slipping

Icy road

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. Psalm 94:18 

In this world people will make mistakes and fall. They will fail and do things wrong, hurting others and themselves. No one is immune to slipping and making a mistake, regardless of who one is or how long one has lived.

When a person makes a mistake, the world is very quick to condemn and judge the person. Often they are thrown out and rejected because of the mistake.

Many bosses are quick to judge a worker that makes a mistake. The more mistakes made, the faster the boss is to remove the worker. The patience for mistakes is not very high for most people. This also includes individuals on themselves.

The psalmist admits that at times he is slipping. At those times he cries out to God and God’s perfect, unfailing love supports him.

Along with everyone in this world, believers will also slip up and make mistakes. They will choose to step into sin for some selfish reason. They will bend under the pressure to follow a way of sin, rather than stay on the path with God.

Believers who are walking with God, will know that they are being tempted and are beginning to slip on that slippery slope into sin. Many will strive to fight it on their own, and will often fail. However, calling out to God can give the person strength to overcome it. God will not condemn because he is beginning to slip up, but will pick him up to restore him

If the person does not overcome it, God’s love is still there to support him and pick him back up. God is not waiting to condemn, but to forgive, love and restore.

You may be at different points on these slippery slopes in life. You may be walking with no fear of slipping at the moment. Or you may be at the beginning stages of slipping into doing something wrong. Or you may have already slipped into sin.

Regardless of where you are, call out to God. He is waiting to hear from you and support you. He wants to life you up and hold you close to Him, restoring you to what you are to be in Jesus.

Instead of condemning yourself, or giving up, allow God to love you and support you. His love is great enough to overcome any slip.

I pray today that you will know the love of God; that you will know that God cares for you; that you will seek God’s help in every situation; and that you will know God wants to restore you and build you up to be like Jesus. 

Psalm 89:32-33 Never Ending Love

Eternal snow

I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. Psalm 89:32-33 

Being punished is something that most people do not like. It is often painful and hard to take. The world often thinks that if one is punishing someone, he is not really loving that person.

No one wants to be held accountable for doing something wrong. It makes the person look and feel bad and no one wants that. Often punishment is done in anger and frustration. It is not done out of love.

The world has often attempted to lower the punishments to make it not feel so bad or painful. Many times punishment is completely ignored.

The writer of this psalm brings out God’s word that says God will punish sin. However, in the process of punishing the sin, He will not stop loving the person. God will continue to be faithful and loving, even while punishing.

Unlike the world, God punishes sin with the mind to correct the person, not to crush or destroy the person. His goal is to build a person back up, to get the person back on the right track.

This is done because He loves the person. The world punishes out of anger and revenge, God punishes to restore and correct, something that can only be done with love in mind.

When a person is being punished or corrected by God, there are some who think that God no longer loves him. Yet, that is not true. God’s love never ceases. God is love and can never not love a person.

Being punished is only for a short season. The believer must learn from it and move forward with God, never returning to the wrong or sin that was done.

There will be times when you will make a wrong choice in life and God may punish you some. Instead of losing heart, take joy that God loves you enough to strike you lightly. This is better than ignoring you and allowing you to stay on the path to hell for eternity.

God’s love for you will never fail. It is perfect and eternal, no matter what you have done wrong against Him. Turn back towards God and allow Him to rebuild you into the person He has meant for you to be.

I pray today that you will know God’s great love for you; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; that you will know the forgiveness God has for you; and that you will not fear God’s punishment, but trust Him. 

Psalm 60:1 God Does Get Angry

Lightning and lighthouse

You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us; you have been angry–now restore us! Psalm 60:1 

Some people appear to never get angry. It seems as though they have perfect patience in every situation and that nothing will ruffle their feathers. Most people enjoy being around someone like this.

Others appear to always be angry. Every time a person just looks at them or says something, they get angry. Nothing can make them happy. These types of people are often avoided at all costs.

People do not like to be rejected or have someone angry with them. Sometimes it cannot be avoided, but most will strive to avoid causing conflict.

David had realized that God had been angry with His people. God had rejected them for a time, but now David was asking God to restore them.

It is common for people to act like God never gets angry, that He is always happy and just full of love. While it is true God is full of love, He does get upset with the choices that people make.

When a person chooses to walk in sinful ways and refuse to repent, God is not happy. When that person does all of this and still claims to believe in and live for God, He begins to get angry.

Although God gets angry, it is a controlled anger. He allows things to happen and consequences of those sins to come into the person’s life. These happen to draw the person back to Him.

God is waiting and ready to forgive and restore, as soon as the person is ready to be restored. He does not get angry quickly and He does not stay angry. As soon as the person turns towards Him, His anger subsides and He begins the restoration process.

If you are living in some sin, purposefully sinning, turn back to God. He is waiting there for you to return so that He can forgive you and restore you. He has a plan for your life and it is not one that He has planned in anger.

As you live in sin, you will not know the joy and peace of God. You will only feel His anger and lose His favor. Yet, God will take you back in an instant and restore you. His anger will go away immediately.

Living for God will bring you God’s great favor and building in your life. Are you allowing Him to restore and build you?

I pray today that you will turn to God from all sin; that you will know the forgiveness God has for you; that you will know the love God has for you; and that you will not live in a way that brings about God’s anger upon you.

2 Chronicles 25:4 Restoration

Rusty model A car

Some time later Joash decided to restore the temple of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 24:4 

Over time things will wear down or break down. They lose their original shine and glory. The paint will crack and peel off from cars and houses. Holes and leaks will begin to occur.

Often these things occur because of neglect. No one takes the time to take care of the object enough to keep it in pristine condition. Little things start to show, but is often ignored, because it is just a ‘little thing’ and not an emergency.

When mold begins to show up in a house it starts with just a little spot. If ignored, it will continue to grow until it takes over the entire house and it has to be demolished.

There are people who love to restore old things. Many old cars, that are broken down and rusted out, are taken from a field and restored back to its original condition. It takes a lot of work and time, but in the end is worth it to some people.

Joash had become king of Judah at a very young age. When he had become king, the temple had been ignored for years and had broken down. He chose to restore the temple and restore worship of God in the land.

When a person chooses to follow Jesus, God begins a restoration project. The person is being made brand new to what he was meant to be. Restored to what man was before the fall in the Garden of Eden.

While walking through life, some believers back down from the restoration and allow neglect to come. They neglect spending time with God, serving and worshipping Him. They go back to the world in areas of their life.

This is a time for restoration, to get back with God.

There may be some areas in your life that you have neglected in your walk with God. You have allowed the ways and thoughts of this world to creep in and begin to destroy your heart and life.

Take a moment to give those areas to God. Allow God to begin a restoration process to renew you to the new creation you have been created to be. God knows exactly how to restore your life to one that is wholly devoted to Him.

As long as you have breath to breathe, you have time to restore immediately. Don’t put off restoration until it is too late.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to make changes in your life; that God will restore your relationship with Him; and that your whole life will be a testimony of God’s love and power. 

Restored Model A car