We were seated in the living room praying and worshipping with a few people. While my eyes closed, suddenly, I felt the embrace of a dear sister who was asking me to forgive her for speaking sharply to me. Up until that moment, the worship was dragging, but when she did that, the presence of the Lord greatly increased as I fell to my knees in tears.
Here's what the Lord said to me while I was on my knees:
"This one small and seemingly insignificant act carries the weight of the kingdom of heaven and its operations. This one small act exemplifies the most important thing that needs to happen in many of My churches in this hour. For you've written about the importance of the moving of My Spirit and of My power, and rightly so, but you need to write and speak of this one act of love and forgiveness. Love and forgiveness are lacking in My shepherds and in My people, and this lack is hindering My power.
"For the strife and division in my body is great. In one city or town many churches stand at ought against one another, and many pastors hold grudges and are offended at one another. One is jealous and competes with another; one is offended at the other and harbors unforgiveness in his heart; and so My body is divided and defiled.
"For this one small act is a demonstration of what needs to transpire among My people. Love and unity must prevail, for it is the bond of true maturity, and within it lies a greater manifestation of My power."
If this aforementioned sister had not obeyed her heart to come to me and apologize, we probably would've just continued to worship and override the diminishing presence of God in our midst. Perhaps we would've just excused it as tiredness among the people or a lack of anointing in the one facilitating the worship, when the truth was that as soon as forgiveness was released, the crescendo of the presence of God was evident to everyone. I'm not saying that the lack of the manifestation of God's presence is always due to strife and unforgiveness, but often it is.
Think of what we miss when we have schisms in our churches. Not only is there a diminishing effect of the anointing of the Spirit, but our faith and prayers are hindered through unforgiveness in many hearts.
" And when you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive you your sins. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins" (Matt. 11:25-26).
Reconciliation between brothers is priority in the kingdom of heaven, and Jesus admonishes us to make things right.
"Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go on your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (Matt. 5:23-24).
Cultivating a real sensitivity to the Lord begins by getting in touch with your own heart and with the love of God that has been shed abroad there by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5).
Are you in touch with the true spiritual condition of your heart? Has pride blinded you? Can you see the beam in your own eye, or only the mote in your brother's? Many are those who claim love for God but who have fallen so short of loving people. Be not deceived. Our measure of love for God is only as great as the measure of love we show our brothers and sisters.
" If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar. For whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? We have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother" (1 John 4:20-21).
"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16b).
Let's make it our aim to love better because without it, we are just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal (see 1 Cor. 13:1).
Listen to the podcast for more from Bert Farias.
Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. Cleansing the Temple is his most recent release. You can follow him personally on Facebook, his Facebook ministry page, or Twitter.
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