Taking back the years that the devil stole from you.
By Mario Murillo
I was with a great man of God as he surveyed the wreckage of America even as he was looking back on his life. This Christian general sighed deeply and said “if only I were a younger man…” I interrupted him and said “YOU ARE A YOUNGER MAN! At that moment I had nothing to back up my statement but I felt that just blurted out something very important.
Not long after that I was with an older woman who had received a great miracle of healing. While she was grateful for her health she was also regretting the years that Satan had stolen from her.
Soon after that I listened to a saint explain how unfair it seemed that huge chunks of her life were taken from her and she said, “I just want them back!”
Right now, a lot of people are looking back on their lives and feeling that many years were stolen from them. They recount scenes of besetting sin, betrayal, calamity, sickness and just plain mistakes that had outsized impact on their years.
There are lots of people feeling a special turmoil right now. They have conflicting emotions: Feeling they’re too tired or that it is too late to start over while at the same time they are burning with passion to take on a new mission.
Hollywood senses this and makes films like RED: Retired and Extremely Dangerous that touches this need for revenge on the past.
However this turmoil is far from just an older person’s crisis. Many young believers struggle with the sense that something has swept in like locust and robbed not just their past but their future. Dreams are held in limbo and they live feel trapped in a holding pattern losing valuable time.
Joel 2:25 says, “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust. What does that mean? Can we get back the years that the enemy has stolen?
The answer is: WE CAN AND WE MUST!
In that moment when I exclaimed, “But you are a young man!,” it was not clear to me what I was actually saying but now it is not only clear but forcefully irresistible. The Holy Spirit wants to give us back what Satan has stolen! Here is how:
1. Wait on God for specific fire to burn out spiritual fatigue and regret. Isaiah 40: 31 “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” It is time for you to get up and get going!
You need to make some bold moves and big decisions. Realize that it is not really your body that is tired it is your spirit. Go to war in prayer specially seizing God’s promise to fuel and direct those who wait on Him.
2. Do not settle merely for restored energy, you are after a total revolution in your mind and body. Some of what you suffered in your past was because you were timid. You went along with things and you did not make the demands on life that were just and right. Now you must boldly enforce God’s Word and apply God’s grace. You will now say no to things that you once said yes to: “No, I am not too old. No, I am not going to sit still. No, it is not too late! Conversely, you will now say yes to things that you once said no to! Yes, I can do it! Yes, I can finish my race!
Here is what your new attitude must look like: Joshua 14: “And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.”
3. You get the years that you lost by an overabundance of years now! Locust destroyed Israel’s crops because of judgment. The damage ate up years of crops. What God promised in Joel “I will restore the years” is that You shall be comforted according to the time that you have been afflicted, and shall have years of plenty to more than make up for the years of famine.
This is not just added time but added results that puts your life back in the plus column. Haggai 2: 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Not just added time but long life that satisfies: Psalm 91: 15 says, “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
4: Live to leave something for the next generation. Psalm 71: 18 “18 Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” I believe that great men and women have been kept alive by their passion to impart a legacy to the next generation. So long as they stubbornly mentored, imparted and wrote great works of wisdom it kept them alive.