I like to watch“The Restoration Man” British home improvement television series. George Clarke travels around Great Britain restoring historically and architecturally significant buildings including churches, water towers and windmills into homes. All these buildings were once built with great vision and a purpose, but over a period of time, since it lost its purpose, no one took care of them. Until some new owners came up with new ideas to restore these run-down buildings to live in it.
Repentance and restoration are not a one-time event when we give our heart to the Lord, but it is a continual everyday process.
Wrong Image in God’s Temple
2 Chron 33: 7 He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever.
Manasseh made an image and put it in God’s temple breaking God’s commandment. He led the people astray to do more evil.
The moment we change the image of God and replace it with pride, wealth, position, people, name and rituals, we have ruined God’s temple which is our heart.
We are His temple, if we want the Lord to reign and rule our hearts, we need to check if He holds the authority or something else.
Since he did not pay any attention to the Lord’s voice, the Lord allowed him to be captured by his enemy and he was bound in chains and they brought him to Babylon. There he humbled himself greatly and asked the Lord for His favour.
When problems come, it is good to evaluate ourselves to set things right with God instead of pushing the blame on to others. Our God is merciful to give us a second and a third chance.
Altar of Repentance and Repair
2 Chron 33:13 “13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.”
When Manasseh knew that the Lord is God, the first thing he does is;
- He rebuilt the outer wall of the city of David
He recognised that the walls were broken down which is an easy access for the enemy to step in any time. How are the walls of our spiritual life built? Are we letting the enemy come and go any time he wants or is it kept secure with our consistent prayer life?
- He got rid of the foreign gods, altars and removed the image from the temple of the Lord and out of the city
He took them out of the city to get rid of all the foreign gods. He made sure that no one else would worship them. Are we willing to get rid of all our past addictions, wrong relationships, connections and habits? Anything we leave it for later will come back to bite us. Sin has a sting, if they are not completely destroyed by the power of the blood of Jesus and by choice, it can hurt us at our weakest moment. Many of God’s children repent from their sins but they fail to remove them completely out of their lives.
- Verse 16: Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it…
Once he made sure that the past is all gone, he restored the altar of the Lord to bring his offering to Him.
Before we bring our offering, praises or worship to the Lord, as Jesus said inMatt 5:23,24 “Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, (24)leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
God is not interested in our offering or service to Him with un-forgiveness, anger and hatred heart. He wants us to set things right with people, get reconciled and restore the relationship then come and offer the sacrifices and praises to Him. Let us take care of the altar which is our heart.
What kind of offering are we bringing to Him? The condition of the heart is equally important as to our worship, prayer and intercession.
If in any area, we can recognise that they are broken down due to our pride, ego or arrogance, let us humble ourselves, with His help repair it with repentance and then bring our worship and prayers to Him.