STOP PRAYING AND LEAVE IT!
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; FIRST be reconciled to thy brother, and THEN come and offer thy gift.” Matthew 5:23-24
Here Jesus gave us the instruction to stop praying! What!? Someone may be thinking “Todd, are you being sacrilegious now!? What is your problem brother!?” Keep reading okay.
According to the Son of God, just when if ever should the believer stop praying? When he remembers that a brother has “aught against” him. Yes, I know this may raise eyebrows to say that Jesus told us to stop praying, but He certainly did. That’s what we read of His very words in Matthew 5.
He instructs us not to wait for the other person to come to you. Go to them and make peace. Work things out so that neither of your relationships with God will be in any way hindered. Forgive. Seek restitution and forgiveness. The Christian life is all about relationship – vertically first and them horizontally.
Jesus is saying here: “Stop praying or doing any form of worship until you have first done all you can possibly do to make peace with that person you had strife or misunderstanding with, offended, or wounded – The person that still has aught against you, whose heart isn’t yet clear in the matter. Your prayers and any form of supposed worship will not be honored in Heaven until you take care of this matter. Since I am holy I require certain things of you and one of them is that you do your best to keep unity with others, especially My people. Remember how I told you to love one another and to treat others as you wish to be treated? I love you and want clear communion with you and am simply not going to allow you to have a clear conscience until you work things out with that other person who has aught against you. Remember that though I love you, I care about others as much as I care about you. Get that human relationship right first and then come and seek My face in worship and we shall commune.”
First and foremost we must realize that when we sin it is against the One who is “holy, holy, holy.” (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8) After that fact, we at times sin against or offend men (James 3:1). So, when we have wrongly offended someone who is created in the image of God, we should first confess that sin to the LORD and then do whatever it takes within our power to make it right with the person.
Child of God, are you aware of anyone who might be upset with you for something you have done or they thought you did? Is anyone offended at you?
This writer is no stranger to wronging people, but is learning to follow this simple truth in Matthew 5, making sure to openly and transparently facilitate healing in those I have brought hurt to or who are offended at me for any legitimate reason.
Grant it, we are going to offend people at times when it is not our fault. I am not talking about that. I am talking about when it is our fault of the situation is questionable or a close call.
Have you been offended? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone else held the key to your closure? Think back in your life: Have you ever needed someone else’s help in getting free in your heart from something concerning a situation?
Jesus called the divine Person of the Holy Spirit “the Comforter.” (Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 16:7) God is all-powerful and can help us walk through a heart-rending ordeal where another person has hurt us and is unwilling to partake of the healing process according to the Word/instructions of the LORD. This He can and will do, yet He holds that other person responsible for doing their part – “Leave there thy gift before the altar – FIRST be reconciled to thy brother.”
Those made righteous by the blood of Christ are to do all in their power to facilitate healing in others.
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18
Jesus Christ came to make captives free and such freedom is the desire of all who follow Him. They desire also to see people set free and do their part when it is in the power of their hand to help (Prov. 3:27).
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
When need be, we are to work hard to make sure God’s peace abides among the saints.
“Endeavouring (working hard)to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3
“Endeavouring” – it’s hard work at times to keep unity in the body. Have you notice that things happen that need attention, patience, humility, admission where wrong has been done, etc.?
It is our personal responsibility to keep schisms out of Christ’s body as much as it is in our power.
“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-27
The LORD promises us that He commands His precious peace where brethren dwell together in unity.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there (in the unity of believers) the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Psalms 133:1-3
The person who is truly born again cares for the body of Christ. Peace among the saints is where God’s blessing abides.
“We know that we have passed from death unto life (we know we are saved), BECAUSE we love the brethren.” 1 John 3:14
Without love we are nothing (1 Cor. 13). Divine love, authentically demonstrated in our lives, is the earmark fruit of the Heaven-bound disciple. There are no exceptions – “He that loveth not knoweth not God.” (1 Jn. 4:8) If such charitable love does not presently appear in our lives, we should consider going before the throne of grace and making things right with God (repentance). The genuinely born again person is filled with God’s love and teachable to the precepts of the LORD. When he discovers a previously unknown (to him) truth, he swiftly hearkens and obeys. Remember, God’s eternal kingdom and the terms for entrance into it are based on the LORD’s terms and not any individuals. Either we meet the terms and conditions or we shall found without (Matt. 7:21-23; Lk. 6:46-49; 13:24-30; 1 Jn. 2:3-5; Rev. 2-3).
“We know that we have passed from death unto life (we know we are saved – been brought from spiritual death to spiritual life), BECAUSE we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:14-16
Child of God, do you have a key that would help another get free? If you possess the key that would assist in obtaining their freedom, the LORD holds you personally responsible to use it to help unlock that person’s heart and assist in their returning to a heart that is right with God, free from anything that hinders that relationship.
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Ephesians 4:26
Don’t let the sun go down upon that which you can do to cause reconciliation in Christ’s body for which He bled. Leave your prayer closet and any and all worship and go get things right with that person the LORD may be placing on your heart. You will be glad you obeyed the LORD in this.
You see, if we truly have an intimate and saving relationship with Christ, we realize that nothing could be more important to us – and others. Knowing Jesus is everything. Armed with this knowledge and moved upon by the Holy Spirit, we are to be compelled to help others in their relationship with Jesus in any way we possibly can.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for sending Your only begotten Son Jesus to live and die for me – for all of my many sins. Be my first love Jesus! Bless my heart with sensitivity and a deep conviction for truth. Bless me to be a person of godly conviction! Please bless me to lift others to You and help them in any and every way I have opportunity. I am all Yours and You are all mine my LORD. Quicken my heart in any matter that You wish me to make amends with another person. I now humble myself under Your mighty hand and ask You to use me to help facilitate peace between You and others Jesus and in Your body. Please bless Your body to live in truth and in peace with You and one another. Amen.
For a topical study of deeper proportions on this subject, see The Blood of Jesus.
If you truly desire to know more about how to really know the LORD, go here okay: Born Again: What is It?
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