By Kathi Pelton
Though 2021 has been a challenging year for many already, I have watched the Lord use this time to bring reconciliation to many broken and divided relationships. Our Heavenly Father is passionate about restoring and healing relationships and it seems that this year is an especially appointed time to allow God to restore what you thought was lost forever.
I have witnessed this in my own extended family as love broke walls of division. I have watched it happen among friends that separated from one another in pain and offense. And, just this month I witnessed a restoration and reconciliation in a nation. Many leaders, who once walked as brothers, were divided a decade ago but in the mercy of God a miracle occurred that restored them in humility and love. Today they stand not only reconciled, but the bonds are even deeper than the divide had been.
What we are beginning to see is the beauty spoken of in Psalm 133,
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.”
Humility is key for seeing this restoration occur in both individuals and in corporate settings. I believe that we are about to see some of the greatest testimonies of reconciliations that we have ever witnessed. The strongholds of pride and even the “right to be right” is being broken. We have all sinned and fallen short of his glory and it is in that posture that we will come. It is a level place where the righteousness of Jesus and his love covers a multitude of sins.
There may have been wrongs done but in humility we will say, “I repent of my wrong and I forgive you for wronging me so that together we may be restored to the righteousness of Christ. I will own your sin as my own and will you own my sin as your own— in this place we receive forgiveness, healing, reconciliation and his righteousness.”
Romans 3 says, “There is none righteous, not even one.” Therefore, we can come as one family, one man, one race— and in humility receive justification through Christ.
“…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24
The measuring rod is Christ alone and we have all fallen short. But oh, how the love of God has come to be poured out over us in order to redeem us— not by works or our “righteousness” (since the word confirms that none are righteous apart from Christ) but by grace through the blood of Jesus.
It is not about Jew or Gentile, race or creed, male or female, young or old…it is about being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
This is the time to leave our sacrifice at the altar and go be reconciled with our brothers and sisters.
“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24
I believe that there is a release of restoration and reconciliation beginning to happen in the body of Christ that will spread and have a ripple effect across the nations. Where racial and political divisions marked 2020, reconciliations will mark 2021.
I keep seeing mountains brought low and valleys raised up to create a level field to meet on. We have all fallen short and must be reconciled and justified by Christ alone. No more pointing of the finger at another, no more rehashing the rights and wrongs of past issues, no more looking at the speck in our brother’s eye when there is a log of offense in our own— ALL have fallen short and therefore we humble ourselves before one another and before the Lord to receive his grace and redemption.
“Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. ‘Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.’” Isaiah 58:9-12
It is time to allow the Spirit of the Lord to repair the breaches and rebuild the ruined cities! If only we will bow in humility and allow his grace to remove the oppression. Let us be reconciled to one another in love and humility. This will cause our offering (gift) to be pure and undefiled by arrogance and offense.
Maybe before we lead another prayer meeting, sing another worship set or serve another communion— we should stop and be reconciled to our brother or sister, our neighbor, our child or our spouse. Then, together we can bring our gift before him— and watch the precious oil and dew wash over all.
How good it will be when we dwell together in unity!
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