Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23: The years the locust have eaten

So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, my great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame.  (Joel 2:25,26  NKJV)

This promise is a lifeline for many of us who have lost years of our lives to the devil. God promises to restore the years that the locust have eaten. What an amazing promise! What hope we can have for the future because of this promise. In one year of faith in the Lord Jesus, you could recover from years of destruction that the devil brought upon you through addictions, depression, anger, a bad marriage, poverty, and any other tool of the devil. In other words, we don’t have to live in regret over the years we wasted because God in His greatness can restore the years that were devoured by demons. We don’t have to beat ourselves up for the years we spent as addicts, because now that we are free, God will use us to set many other addicts free, and through the help that we offer, the years will be restored to us.

In chapter one of Joel, the prophet warned the nation of Israel to repent from their sinfulness ways, because if they didn’t great devastation was headed their way.  Swarms of locusts were a symbol of an enemy nation that would devour and destroy whatever they could get a hold of.  When God’s people reject Him, they reject His protection and therefore become open targets for devouring spirits. The phrase, “My great army which I sent among you,” means that God in His greatness would use an attacking foreign army to accomplish His purposes… to turn His people back to Himself. He did not want His people to be attacked, but an army came from the north because of their idolatry and rebelliousness, a situation that God was determined to turn around for His people’s own good.

Demons are more crafty and innovative in their attacks than we realize.  The swarming locust, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, the chewing locust, can symbolize the various ways that evil can wreak havoc on our lives – internally through mental anguish, socially through isolation and broken families, physically through financial ruin and sickness – just like swarms of ravaging insects, demons are ruthless and relentless by nature.  

We are included in today’s promise, but what do restored years look like?

Of course we can’t turn back the clock and relive our childhoods, but we can begin living today with such an abundance of peace, joy, strength and clarity of mind, as if we had never gone through painful years when Satan had dominion over us.  Abused women can experience loving, healthy families as if they had always lived in the happiest of homes.  Those wounds can be totally wiped away.  Men who suffered years of mental illnesses can be so emotionally and intellectually strong, that they live more productive lives than those who had never gone through such struggles.  For every scenario of stolen years you can imagine, God has an abundance prepared to restore back to you. 

We have all lost years to locusts, the devil and demons have devoured many years of our lives, but if we turn back to God, humble ourselves, and have real faith in Him, all those years and more will be restored to us. We cannot afford not to do this!

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