In our Year of Jubilee, we have been using Isaiah chapter 61 as our theme scripture. The first three verses detail Christ’s liberating power over death-dealing situations (e.g. mourning, prison, darkness, heaviness, etc.).
However, in verse four, the true potential of the liberated person is released. Isaiah 61:4 (NIV) states, “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” When God liberates us, He releases us to do three things: rebuild, restore, and renew!
Isaiah 61:4 (KJV) states, “And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.” We can see the same three rebuilding actions, but the word “waste” pops out repeatedly in the King James Version.
Have you ever done anything that you felt was a waste of time? You cooked a meal and it did not turn out so well. You worked all night on a project, but things fell apart the next day. You spent days working on something you thought was special, only to find out that it was not needed.
Simple things like those leave us feeling bad, but there are other areas of waste that are much more painful: A marriage that starts out with great promise, but becomes a toxic dump; a career that becomes a dead-end job that wastes your time and robs you of precious talent with each passing, painful, clock-watching second; a sickness that reduces a person to a mere shadow of his or her former vibrancy, devastating financial disaster that leaves a person clinging to tattered ruins of credit worthiness; a business that started out on a blue horizon, but now lies crashed against the jagged rocks. Or it could be some other relationship that stated out great, but ended up as a debris field; an illicit relationship that was doomed from the start. In all of these painful realities, the individual finds himself living among the ruins.
Think of the ruins of glorious temples, exquisite sculptures, and works of art — all trashed by some conquering enemy. What a waste! Are there any areas in your life that resemble the vestiges of these temples, sculptures, or works of art? What started out as beautiful now lies in ruin. What area of your life lies in waste?
Our ruins remind us of our glorious past when we examine the debris field. It has been a waste of time, a waste of money, a waste of effort, a waste of emotion, a waste of breath, and a waste of life. No one likes standing in waste.
There is hope! TODAY . . . it is time to move forward, move out, and move on. It is time to get going again. The choice is clear; cling to ruins or rebuild, restore, and renew. God has extended an invitation to the extraordinary to us and He wants us to rebuild ancient ruins, restore places that have been devastated, and renew cities that have been wasted for many years, possibly generations. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NIV).
We have been set free to experience freedom in every area of our lives. All of the tremendous potential that is stored within us is being released in this Year of Jubilee for our good. We must stand on God’s word and pray the word as the Holy Spirit empowers us to do all things through Christ. We have been freed to experience freedom! You CAN rebuild! You CAN restore! You CAN renew and you CAN move on!