This post is largely a result of hearing messages from several GGWO pastors, beginning December 30, 2018, when Pastor David Stambovsky taught on our losses and God’s recovery, then followed by messages on the same theme from Pastor Thomas Schaller and Pastor Renaldo Brown in Baltimore in January and February of 2019.
” … you shall … without fail recover all.”
In 1 Samuel 30 we read about the raid of the Amalekites on Ziklag and of their complete plundering of all that David and his men possessed, including “their wives, their sons, and their daughters”. Then they burned the city with fire. David and his men had lost everything. When the deeply distressed men spoke of stoning David, he went to the Lord and “strengthened himself in the Lord his God”, seeking guidance as to what to do. The Lord simply counseled him to “Pursue, for you shall overtake them and without fail recover all.” (verses 6,8) And indeed, “David recovered all that the Amalakites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.” (verses 18,19)
” … exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think … “
Our God delights in recovering all for us – and in giving us beyond what we had lost in the first place! For example, in David’s case in 1 Samuel 30, we see in verse 20 that he not only recovered what the Amalekites had taken from him but he also took away spoil from the enemy, livestock in particular. This so reveals the Heart of our Heavenly Father, Who restores not only tangible things to us, as He did here with David, but also years (or months, weeks, days, moments) that the enemy has stolen from us (Joel 2:25). This quality of redemption in our God is seen throughout the Bible; here are just a few examples where it is clearly manifested.
” … Adam and his wife hid themselves from the Presence of the Lord God…”
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they lost the uninterrupted fellowship they had had with Him; they lost the joy that comes from His Presence (Psalm 16:11) and instead feared It (Genesis 3:8-10); they lost the sense of His favor and instead were ashamed of their nakedness before Him. BUT … before sending them out of the Garden, God clothed and covered them, making them tunics of skin (verse 21). And despite this earth-shaking failure on their part and their consequent banishment from His Presence, the lineage of the Messiah continued to develop according to the perfect, redemptive Plan of God, determined in Eternity Past.The LORD is able to give you much more than this. Click To Tweet
We read in 2 Chronicles 25 that King Amaziah, the king of Judah, had hired 100,000 troops from Israel as mercenaries to fight against Edom (which I heard recently is over $1.5 million!). However, a man of God warned him that if these Israeli soldiers were to go with his armies, they would surely be defeated, because God was not with Israel at that time. The king protested because of the apparent loss of money that such action would result in. The wise response of the man of God was simply, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.” (verse 9) Although Amaziah consented and did not take the troops hired from Israel, and although the Lord was faithful and gave them victory over the Edomites, the king did not fully believe or trust in God nor in the man of God. Therefore, after the victory over Edom he ended up worshiping the gods of the people he had defeated by the power of the TRUE God. The Lord was able and, we can imagine, eager, to give much more than what the hired troops were worth. But He didn’t pour it all out on a heart that was turned away from Him.
“The Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness.” (David in Psalm 18:24)
David acknowledged and confessed his sin to the Lord, trusting in His Mercy to not only forgive him but to take away the effects of his sins – which He did! (Psalm 32:1,2) He simply believed God and took Him at His Word, as did Abraham to whom was imputed Righteousness for likewise simply believing God (Genesis 15:16). Therefore, God recompensed David according to his righteousness and according to the cleanness of his hands (Psalm 18:20,24). Furthermore, not only were the effects of David’s sins removed but also a promise of protection and deliverance in great trial were given (verse 6, 7), and of guidance in the way he should go (verse 8). Then, in verses 10 and 11, the Lord also promises Mercy and joy to those who trust in Him. These are the “exceedingly abundantly beyond all we could ask or think” benefits of recovery that God offers. How it must have delighted our “Father of mercies” to pour out His Grace and to recover all for someone who so trusted in the Character of God!
The “least of the apostles,” the “less than the least of all the saints,” becomes the leading proclaimer of the Gospel of Grace.
What a trophy of the Grace, Mercy, Love, and forgiveness of God the Apostle Paul is! From a proud, arrogant, zealous, ruthless persecutor of the brethren (Acts 7:57 – 8:3, 9:1), he became “the Apostle of Grace”, and the one chosen by God to invite the Gentiles to be grafted into the Family of God, the Body of Christ, through the Finished Work (Ephesians 3:8,9). God recovered all that seemed wasted of Paul’s early years and did way beyond simply restoring what had been lost.
Banished to Patmos to die, blessed with REVELATION to write!
The Apostle John was exiled to Patmos “for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9) With no fellow saints to cheer or encourage him, no hearing of the Word of God by fellow teachers and preachers, no bracing of heart by gathering together with the brethren to be mutually edified by what the Holy Spirit would say to the church … BUT! The Presence of God was there, and the vision of the One Who is, Who was,and is to come” (verse 8) was given to John as was His call to the apostle to write down all that he saw and send it to the seven churches in Asia (verse 11). In brief, God more than compensated for the loss that the Apostle John suffered when banished to Patmos; He enfolded him in the richest of fellowship with Heaven, with the Trinity, through the seeing of the Almighty, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (v.8), and then commissioned him to write in a book all that he heard and saw for the benefit of others. How this must have bolstered John’s spirit, not merely because he had “something to do” while in exile but because what he was involved with would keep him in constant, living communion with God Himself and reveal to others the truth of what was then happening in Heaven and what was to come. Once again we see the Lord giving “much more” than what was lost, and truly making the end better than the beginning! (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
The three men mentioned above did not seek to save their earthly lives but rather yielded them unreservedly to the Lord, to let Him have His way. Pastor Renaldo Brown recently said that in the Kingdom of God, one loses to gain; in the world one gains only to lose. These words remind us of Jim Elliot’s well-known “motto”: “He is no fool who loses what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.”
The greatest loss, the greatest gain …
Finally, let’s consider the “losses” suffered by the Father and the Son because of Love for mankind: “For God so loved the world that He gave [He lost] His only Begotten Son, so that whoever would believe on Him might have everlasting Life.” (John 3:16) We cannot imagine what it was like for the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to be apart after NEVER being separated in all of Eternity past! BUT, They recovered all; the glorified God-Man was resurrected from the dead and ascended to the Right Hand of the Father and it would now be possible for (1) the Son to have a Bride; and (2) the Father to have an Eternal Family! They knew the cost of His leaving Heaven and what He would suffer on Earth, but They also knew the “much more” result that this exquisite Plan of Redemption would yield, for all of Eternity. “Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) “He Who knew no sin became that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The greatest motivation …
“The Love that Christ has for me presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end, prohibiting me from considering any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness, giving me an impelling motive, having brought me to this conclusion, … that One died on behalf of all in order that those who are living no longer are living for themselves but for the One who died on their behalf and instead of them, and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:14, Wuest) And where do I discover and see this Love most vividly displayed but at the Cross. There I study It, I ponder It, I internalize It, and I see Who He is and what He was willing to lose so that I could recover all the loss incurred on my life because of the old sin nature I inherited from Adam and Eve, as a result of their first sin. The truth of this amazing Love makes me free to deny myself, take up my cross and follow Him. Truly, His Love for us is the only motivation strong enough to make us willing to lose our lives for His Name’s sake and for others.
God has already recovered all from the enemy for us through the Finished Work of Christ on the Cross. Now, by Grace through faith, we walk in HIS victory and live by the Faith of the One Who lost His life so that we could have Eternal Life, which recovered all that we had lost through the fall, giving us abundantly, unspeakably more than what we had lost.