In Daniel 9 we see Daniel seek the restoration of Israel after seventy years of captivity in Babylon. He knew in Jeremiah 25 that it had been prophesied that the term of the punishment of God was seventy years. As that time draws near he begins to pray for God to fulfill that. Daniel 9:3-19 is that prayer and in it we see the four steps to recover from the sin in our lives.
Daniel turns his face to The Lord and seeks Him. He acknowledges that God alone is the one capable of restoring Israel and that it is the sin of Israel that has brought shame on God and themselves. The first step in recovery is to recognize the sin in our lives, the damage it has brought, and Jesus is the one who restores us. If we try to skip this process we will only repeat it later. We need to confess our sin (see yesterdays post) and seek The Lord. If we try to seek restoration through anyone else it will fall short. We need to recognize our sin and look to Jesus for our help.
The second step in recovery is that we repent. Repent means more than just asking for forgiveness. It means to confess and turn away from that sin never to go back. It gives us the idea of doing a u-turn. Repentance is often a process that takes time especially when someone is recovering from a besetting sin like and addiction or an affair. Don’t get me wrong God forgives us immediately but it often takes time to change our habits and remove the influence from our lives. It is often necessary for those we have hurt to see a period of time where true change is apparent. True recovery takes time plain as that.
After we have dealt with the heart and habit issues it is necessary to begin to repair the relationships. Warning: if you try to do this before you do the first two steps it will be premature and possibly backfire if you happen to lapse again. If you follow these steps and there is an established pattern of change in your life it often makes this steps easier also. Reconciliation often includes counseling, face to face meetings with those you have hurt, and re-entry back into the group setting. This is a place those who were hurt can ask questions, express their feelings, and offer forgiveness. During this time you have to be an open book willing to go back over what you have done. Resistance to this is futile and could damage all the work you have done. Man up and face your past.
The final step in recovery is restoration. This is the process of the group, family, and friends accepting the person fully back into the group with full trust. There is nothing hanging over the head of the offender and the group doesn’t hold anything against them. They have full rights and responsibilities in the group. There is a feeling of restoration and repair amongst the group and life can move on. There is no timetable or formula on this. It is something the group approves and accepts by moving on.
As Daniel as finishing this prayer God answered him. Daniel didn’t even get to say “amen.” God loves us praying for the recovery of his children. If you are going through this process stick to the plan. If you need to do this find some loving people and have them walk with you.