"Have you ever carried the weight of other people's sins? Have you ever labored for them so intensely that you thought you would break under pressure? Have you ever longed that they get right with Me for their good, for My reasons? Did the loss of their fellowship make you mourn and desire to do something, anything, to restore it? Was the feeling of emptiness so intense that you were consumed with finding ways to bring yourself together with them once again?
"If you see broken relationships with Me and with each other - which are caused by sin - as the horror that they really are, you are beginning to understand relationships as I see them and the reasons for which I have established them. When someone sins against you, your heart should break, not necessarily for the offense, but for the broken relationships - the relationship with Me and with you. You must intercede that the relationships be restored, that he or she makes things right, for his or her good and for My glory.
"If you have sinned against another brother or sister, you must drop everything and run to repentance. I will not allow you to rest until that is done. If you have hardened your heart and do not crave restoration, I will begin My process of breaking your rebellion until you do. You will eventually wonder why your praise is empty, your eyes are dry, your prayers are cold, and your life is out of order. Nothing you do will satisfy you until you move in the direction of healing. It is because your inner being knows that something is out of order. It is My doing so that you desire restoration.
"Don't think that I do not notice violated relationships; they are key to My will going forth on your land. They are important to Me. I would not allow the broken relationship with My creation to remain; why would I not require the same from you? If you see that things are out of order in someone's life, pray for that person. If you have been offended, take the steps necessary to reestablish communion. If you have offended, don't rest until the offense is gone. I will wait."
2 Samuel 14:14b NIV
"But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him."
Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
23) "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24) leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift."
Galatians 4:19 NIV
My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.
Christ being formed in someone is far more than the initial salvation process. It is a continual working out of forsaking our old nature and walking in His new nature, which we received upon establishing a relationship with Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18 AMP) Paul labored hard for that. Christ died for that.
Our interaction with fellow believers is a command of God. He said that we should not forsake the fellowshipping with others. We take that lightly, but God sees the pressure of refinement through those relationships as very important for our growth.
True fellowship requires something from everyone - tolerance, compassion, time, forgiveness, and continual monitoring. It is not easy; so many interactions fall by the wayside. What is usually never noticed is the broken heart of God when they perish.
Relationships and friendships are no accident. God brings people together for His reasons. He requires us to maintain them for His good and for our growth.
It is easy to throw someone away because of an offense. Children who do not know any better do that all the time. It requires maturity to pursue through offenses and go the distance to restoration. Most people are not willing to pay the price and therefore never really grow to God's kind of maturity.
I firmly believe that most of us in the church are not trusted to function in many of the gifts of the Spirit because we cannot be trusted with the relationships that God brings our way. Few of us are willing to humble ourselves enough to do what it takes to love others as Jesus loved us. Most of us get off the cross when the going gets tough. We are grateful for the persistence of Jesus, but not humble enough to honor His heart.
Change my heart, Lord,