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June 12, 2007 / David Lindner

Healing in Worship – Part 3

Last week we talked about physical healing in worship and how the complete submission of our complete selves is needed in a time of worship for us to be able to experience the presence of God, in which healing can take place. Remember also, that wherever we are, we must be all there. If we expect God to do something we must also be willing to give our part in times of worship.

This week, the same applies to spiritual & emotional healing through worship (in fact the same applies to all of worship & all of life complete submission of our complete selves).

Let’s focus on a passage of scripture: 23“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matt. 5:23-25)

Now, let’s look at this in context of the chapter. Chapter 5 starts with the beatitudes, Then Jesus talks about being salt & light, then that he came to fulfill the law, and that our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law. The verses right before our verse speak of murder, and the higher definition of what murder is. Basically this whole chapter is dealing with Habits of the heart becoming disciplines of the Christian life. In all of this section we must take note that Jesus is not giving us a to do list, but he is describing how our character ought to be. What good is flavorless salt, or lightless light?

Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar (if you have come into a time of worship) and there you remember that your brother has something against you (through the prompting of the Spirit you remember some source of conflict that has put you at odds with someone, whether you were at fault or the other person was at fault is not specified. In fact what is more likely is that if someone has done something to you, you need to go and make things right before you worship.) Leave your gift there in front of the altar (don’t take it with you), go and be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift.

I truly believe that God uses times of worship to enlighten us to things in our lives that need fixed. When we come into the holy of holies, our first response should be “woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips.” We don’t deserve to be in the presence of God, and when we do get the wonderful privilege of coming into that presence our first response should not be a selfish one (Okay God, what can you do for me?) but it should be the most selfless one – what do I need to do in this time to be right with you? That’s what the Complete submission of our complete selves is all about.

This goes for all areas of spiritual & emotional problems. If we have something against God, we need to fix it before we try to worship him with our uncleanliness. If we have something against someone else, if there has been a long time problem between us and another person, we need to fix this problem before we come into God’s presence. The presence of God is the most holy of things, we should not defame it with our dirty laundry. God is in the business of purification, which is why I believe is uses times of worship to bring to mind those things of emotional healing that need to be resolved before we continue to worship.

Are there areas in our lives this week that we need to set aside for God to purify? Are there areas in our lives that defame the presence of God & the stench is assaulting our wonderful, merciful savior? Maybe we need to set aside a time of private worship this week, a time that God can speak to us about things in our live that are keeping us from being completely submitted. Could there be a severed relationship that needs to be mended, could I have offended someone, and I’ve let my pride keep me from making things right? Let’s commit to a time this week, where we set aside some time to make things right with God by making things right with our brothers & sisters in Christ.

The dialectic of life. The two poles of being & doing. You do what you do because of who you are. Sometimes the doing helps you become who you are. When it is hard to pray, that is when you should pray the hardest. Through the discipline we become, in the process of the doing we. Use our wills, “Seek first the kingdom of the Lord & his righteousness.” “You shall search for me & find me when you shall search for me with all of your heart.” “If any man shall come after me, he shall deny himself, take up his cross & follow me.” “As a man thinketh in his heart so he is.” “Out of the heart are the issues of life.”
The most powerful evangelist is a congregation in worship. Ravi Zacharias

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