“I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.” Amos 9v14
The past two years were not what we would have expected. If you said this time three years ago that there would be lockdowns, curfews and school closures people would have laughed at you. It was not what we had anticipated. But nothing ever takes God by surprise. He knows the end from the beginning. There are no curve balls to Him. He never gets blindsided by an unexpected twist. He is always in control and always has a plan. Not only does he always have a plan but it is always the same plan. Our plans often have to change based on circumstances outside our control, but His perfect plan never changes. He never has to revert to plan b. His plan is always to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future. His plan is for our good, and for the good of our community.
God desires to see restoration in our communities. He is the God who promises to restore what the locusts have eaten. He can restore what covid had destroyed. He has plans to restore the fortune of His people. He desires to see our cities rebuilt. He doesn’t let what has happened in the past define us. He promises that those who seek Him will repair ruined cities and raise up anew that which has been devastated (see Isaiah 61:1-4).
As we pray and fast we get renewed and restored. As we increase in our intimacy with God He implants dreams and passions in our souls. He will show us things He wants us to devote ourselves to in the weeks and year ahead. He desires for us to bring restoration to our community, to plant vineyards and make gardens. He desires that we restore and rebuild our community, but He doesn’t intend for us to just rebuild in the same old ways of consumerism and capitalism that once were. He desires that we build a restored and renewed community that has firm foundations in His ways, that is rooted in His love and that is centred on the hope that we have in Jesus. He desires a community that values love, justic and mercy. He desires a community where the least are cared for, the hungry fed and the broken are accepted.
As we approach the end of this season of prayer and fasting reflect on the lessons the Holy Spirit has been teaching you. Consider what ways He wants you to restore and rebuild our city in accord with His good and perfect will.
Thank God that the events of the past year is not the end of the story. Thank Him for the promise of restored fortunes and rebuilt cities. Ask the Holy Spirit to place dreams on your heart as to how our community can be restored in line with God’s will.