When Honor Is Restored

by Morris Ruddick on August 24, 2015


(c) Morris E. Ruddick

“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. In Tearoomthat day, He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” Mal 4: 2,

These are times of restoration. Isaiah wrote that there would come a time when darkness would cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples. Yet, these would be the times in which the Lord begins to dramatically restore His order, as the Glory of the Lord comes upon His people, those walking in the fear of the Lord.

Ezekiel foresaw such a time when every vision would be fulfilled without delay. (Ezek 12:23)

Malachi’s prophecy similarly points to restoration in the face of great reprobation, a depravity which impacts even the household of faith. The opening scripture is in the context of a day of judgment, but also a day of preparation that restores key elements to the foundations established for God’s people.

At the crux of the elements restored, that bring the turnaround, is honor.

The Dynamic of Honor
What we refer to as “knowing” the Lord is a progressive thing. The life of Abraham illustrates this truth. It is a process that takes place over a lifetime. Even for those like Abraham who keep their hand to the plow, the depths of knowing Him are such that there is always more.

Central to knowing Him is the factor of honor. The book of Hebrews reveals that we cannot take this true honor to ourselves, but rather it is granted only by God. Job, an honorable man by his own accomplishments went through a major life-transition to find that when, stripped of the things this life was able to offer, he was able to see God for the magnitude of Who He truly is. When that happened, God bestowed an honor upon Job that far outweighed Job’s previous honor.

It only takes a glimmer of His presence.

The honor bestowed by God changes everything. Jesus spent His earthly ministry conveying the dynamics tied to honoring the Lord and the secrets to abiding in His presence. From that honor and abiding we begin to grasp the principles Jesus imparted on how the Kingdom of God operates, of how we employ righteous power in a corrupt world.
“For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. “ John 5:21-23

The Sphere
We have some friends who God called to the mission field. The area of their calling is extremely hard ground spiritually. Their first two years were grueling and exhausting. They were filled with what seemed as constant reversals and steep, uphill challenges.
“Many will be offended, betray one another and hate one another. False prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Matt 24: 10-12

Yet they persisted in upholding the fear of the Lord. They never fell short in praying, which they sometimes did just to survive. They likewise never gave up.

Then they were invited to minister in a distant province from where they had been sent. The difference was startling and dramatic. This province was one of two in this nation known to be populated with Christians. They ministered in the same way as they did where they were plowing new ground, but instead miracles took place at every turn. It provided the impetus to return to their assignment and expect more largely from the result of the anointing and authority they wielded.

Many are those called to plow new ground. So it is with the hard ground of the times we have entered.

Paul wrote that to each is given a sphere or a boundary in which to operate. It is a boundary of authority, a sphere of influence. Within that sphere we have the potential of great power as agents of change. That change when employed according to the Kingdom model and not a religious model will impact the culture, as well as the economy and the power structures of that sphere.

Yet, there are places where the forces of darkness are so entrenched that it takes time for the change to take root. It will. It requires establishing the fear of God.
“Your words have been arrogant against Me, says the LORD. You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning [repentance] before the LORD of hosts?'” Mal 3: 13-14

Establishing the fear of God involves upholding the magnitude of God’s honor. It is not about us, but Him. When we get it reversed, we broach the realm of making an idol out of our ministry and the anointing given to pave the way for our calling. Jesus outlined the principles by which we would not be ensnared by this deception.

They are the principles of the Kingdom. Most are paradoxes to the way the world thinks and employs power. We live by dying. We gain by giving. We bless those who curse us. Wisdom comes from simplicity. Humility is a protective armor. We lead by serving. Honor comes from humility. The principles of the Kingdom are the keys to employing His power in unrighteous settings.

A Warrior’s Honor
Throughout the Word of God, reference is given to military people. Those who have repeatedly faced life and death battles hold to a code of honor. They are ones who recognize one another quickly and just as quickly differentiate the phonies, the braggarts and the glory hounds. They understand the serious risks of employing great power.

Jesus was amazed in His encounter with the Centurion who drew the parallel between his authority and how faith operates. God saw Cyrus long before his birth and relished in what He would do through Cyrus on behalf of His people Israel.

What is it about the warrior’s honor? They understand authority. They are people of faith and strategy. They understand how to steward power. They are people of discipline. They respond to duty and know how to operate in unity. They are calculated risk-takers and people of action. They are willing to sacrifice for a cause. They have a willingness to die for what they believe in. They lead by serving.

Honor is at the core of the warrior’s life-tenets, the warrior’s way of thinking.

Understanding that we are agents of change requires a grasp of the honor of the warrior. Stewards of God’s power must grasp and embrace this level of honor.

The Snare of the King’s Tantrum
Agents of change embracing the code of the warrior understand the importance of the big-picture and the long-term.

The story of Hezekiah is a story of the long-term being sacrificed for the short-term. Hezekiah was a righteous king. During his life there had been exploits as he had honored the Lord in the way he ruled Judah. His standoff against Sennacherib king of Syria (2 Kings 19:36) was striking. He restored the temple worship and Passover (2 Chron 29:20, 30:1) Yet, in his final days, he fell short in embracing the honor of the warrior.

Responding in a tantrum of bitterness when the prophet told him his days were concluding, scripture says after being healed, Hezekiah became proud. In his final days, Isaiah rebuked his spiritual short-sightedness and prophesied the impact of his actions on future generations (2 Kings 20:14).

Restoring the Generation Link
Among the mysteries in God’s Word is the link between generations. The restoration of the honor — bestowed by God — must begin with the restoration of honor within the community of God’s people. It is the glue that will bring the unity and maturity Paul explained to the Ephesians. It is the catalyst in rebuilding the broken walls in the eroded values of our society.
“You will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the foundations of many generations. You will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” Is 58:12

Honor restored is what Malachi prophesied in terms of the hearts of the children being restored to the fathers so that the land would not be smitten with a curse.

It is what Gabriel told Zacharias of his coming son John who would operate in the spirit and power of Elijah, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. The honor that links the generations releases an exponential power within the community of God’s people. It is the reason for the importance given to the father’s blessing in the days of the Patriarchs. When the generations link together, then unity will come.

One of the facets of the spiritual turmoil of the 1960s was the cultural war against authority and honor. Duty was ridiculed. The media has mocked the authority of the fathers, in their scorn of shows such as “Leave It to Beaver.” Honor was the bulls-eye in the undermining of the accepted righteous values of that day.

When honor is in evidence, it draws the attention of the Lord, as in Jesus’ response to the Centurion and God’s calling of Cyrus. Abraham was a man of honor, which attracted the presence of the Lord. It was the honor of the warrior in Daniel in the face of adversity that brought angelic intervention.
“The angel touched me and strengthened me and said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” When he spoke I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak for you have strengthened me.”  Dan 10: 18-19

It was the honor that emerged in the face of calamity when jailed (Acts 12:7), when Peter’s heart had finally became undivided, that brought the angel to free him.

The Righteous Remnant
When that level of honor is restored merely a remnant in the household of faith is all it will take to release the turning. When the hearts of the children once again can adhere to the authority of the fathers, with the honor of the warrior being restored to the fathers, it will mark the turning of the restoration of all things.

Honor and authority, God’s authority, are linked. God’s honor in the face of tribulation actuates an authority that will change the spiritual climate of a nation.
“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.”
John 7:18-19

Many are called, but few are chosen. It is an hour in which even the elect are subject to being deceived. Yet, those who prevail will be given a mantle of fire, an authority that dispels darkness and brings the disruptive spiritual change that opens the gates to His presence.

Jesus indicated that His message of abiding would bring great joy. From that would come the heart of the warrior that would love as Jesus loved and be willing to lay down their lives for their friends. Peter once bragged that he would be of that heart, but braggadocio fails. He did. Similarly, when he tried to respond in his own strength in the Garden of Gethsemane with a sword, he again failed.

Peter had to get past himself. For Peter to assume the mantle of fire and authority that he was called to operate with took a level of humility and honor that accompanies the heart of a seasoned and tested warrior.

There is a righteous remnant that has been prepared. These are ones who have been tested, who have emerged from the fires without the smell of smoke. It is why humility and honor are the brandmarks of true warriors. It is these who will be the catalysts for revival who will wield the mantle of fire that brings the change and restoration being orchestrated by God in this hour.
“I came to send fire on the earth and how I wish it were already kindled. But I have a baptism to be baptized with and how distressed I am until it is accomplished.” Luke 12:49-50

“Bless the Lord all you His angels, who excel in strength doing His Word, heeding the voice of His Word. Bless the Lord all you His hosts, you ministers of His doing His pleasure. Bless the Lord all you His works in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord O my soul.” Ps 103: 20-22

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