RESTORING MY SOUL Andy Hollifield 12-17-18
Psalms 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
I have discovered over the years that it is through loving labor that my soul gets restored. When I begin to get a little bit critical, cynical, or downright ornery, if I will involve myself in some work for the Lord he will remove that ill spirit and replace it with one of contentment. One of my favorite songs is “In The Valley He Restoreth My Soul” by Dottie Rambo. She talks about what it is like to need God to restore your soul and points out that restoration takes place in low times in our lives and is usually an uncomfortable process. The reason I didn’t write “restoreth” in the title is because it implies that it is something God does or will do. “Restoring” is an action word which is present tense. The word “restored” appears 27 times in scripture and it is past tense. There are a lot of times my soul needs restoring. David even asked said to God in Psalms 51:12 “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
The word restore is defined as “to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor.” That is what I find myself needing from time to time. You don’t have to commit some great sin and you may even be living in the center of God’s will. Sometimes, you may just get down in spirit or possibly even disappointed in others. It may not even be that you have fallen away from him at all but you just need to feel the warmth of his grace. You know it is always there but sometimes you just need to be reminded. It is hard to serve the Lord with all your heart and strength when your soul needs restoring. Prior to asking for a restoration of joy, David first asked in verse 10 for a clean heart and a right spirit. That is a confession of a dirty heart and a wrong spirit. Then he asked to remain in the presence of God and to always have the Spirit of God in his life. Verse 13 states that “then” or after joy is restored, he will “teach transgressors thy ways and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”
In order to be truly effective for the Lord and have souls drawn to him by our lives, we must have a restoring of our soul. You notice that David never mentioned anything he would do prior to being restored. If you read just verses 10-12, it is all work that God has to do “in” us. It is him that creates a clean heart and renews a right spirit within us. We can’t do it ourselves. It is also God that keeps us in his presence and keeps his spirit in our lives. It is also him that restores our joy and holds us up and keeps us from falling. I like the fact that God works in our lives freely with his spirit.
Have you ever thought about why anything or anyone needs to be restored. It is because they are no longer in as good of a condition as they used to be. Buildings get old and crumble, paint jobs fade, and the cares of this life can take our joy away if we let it. We all fall victim to it at one time or another. We get dilapidated and run down and will never be the showpiece of God’s grace that he wants us to be until we allow him to do some restoring in our souls.
You may be getting a little dilapidated and run down. Maybe faded just a little and don’t have the shine you used to. No one runs up to admire a car with a faded paint job or a piece of fine silver that is covered with dross. The shine is what draws people to those things and also to our lives and to the Lord. I am glad that it is not a one-and-done situation be it is a continual process of restoring. God is still working on me to make me what I ought to be. Still, restoring my soul. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!