Our habits are telling indications of what we really believe. Often enough, we think one small action or the other can’t possibly make a significant impact. But if you’ve ever watched a grassy area become a worn path, a community gradually falls into disregard and disrepair until most of its houses are boarded up, or what seemed like minor social ill become a major national crisis. You can understand the frustration of the prophet, Isaiah. You might even share it as you consider the times in which we are living.
One of my favorite segments of scripture is Isaiah 58:12. There, the prophet speaks of a path forsaken and, with it, a people who succumb to enslavement. “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of paths to dwell in.” If ever we needed repairers of the breach, it is today. If ever we needed restorers of paths to dwell in, it is today. The spiritual breaches are wide and deep. The paths to dwell in have become overgrown and unkempt. Breaches occur while someone is not watching, while one small change after another continues until, at last, major damage is recognized. I intentionally say “recognized” not “done,” because the damage was being done all along. Paths do not become overgrown and unkempt all at once; they become impassable when people stop walking them. We must now rediscover the ancient paths upon which life itself is based. People—even some of those who are sitting in the pews of our churches—have lost their way.
It’s time for the Jeremiah anointing to reappear in our day. We need to root some things out, tear some things down, destroy some things, throw down some things, and then build and (re) plant some things. We need a restoration movement to replace a contented following. For those who “see” the reality of these truths, I salute you and petition you to join with me in a restorative quest in the days ahead. We will not bow the knee to Babylon!