“… 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. 25“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” (Matthew 5:23-26, NIV)
Oswald Chambers says:
“In moral and spiritual matters, you must act immediately. If you don’t, the inevitable, relentless process will begin to work.”
He goes on to say this an immutable spiritual law, like sowing and reaping. There are two words that stand out in the Bible passage from Matthew 5 above. The words “first” and “quickly”. There is urgency in those words. Those words require action.
There was a homeless guy standing with a sign at the corner of Lew Dewitt & Rosser Avenue and we pulled up to the intersection as the light turned red. We were the first car in line and here he was, right next to my driver’s side mirror.
I had already decided that I was going to give him a dollar as I pulled up to the light. But when I stopped, I decided to ask him a few questions while the light was red. As I gave him the dollar, he thanked me profusely and I asked him where he was from and where he was going. He told me he had hitchhiked from Denver after losing his job and getting evicted from his apartment. He was perfectly sober and seemed genuinely grateful for my measly dollar.
The light turned green and we turned into Starbucks to get our coffees and continue our evening drive. I knew that I couldn’t go to Starbucks and get my $5 coffee and leave the homeless guy there. The Holy Spirit was urging me to do more.
I did some mental arguing… things like, “He’s probably just a professional panhandler… He’ll probably use it on drugs or alcohol…” You know what I thought because you’ve thought it, too, and so have I many times before.
This time was different. I felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to give him more money. In fact, I wanted to give him enough money to stay in a motel tonight. I pulled into the bank to use the ATM machine (which I have used two or three times since getting my ATM card). For the life of me, I couldn’t remember my PIN. Drat! But Sharon said she had some cash, so we drove back to the corner and gave him all she had (only $15). But I knew I had to do it… and I had to do it NOW.
Why now? I’m not sure. Maybe I would’ve missed a blessing, I don’t know.
Oswald goes on to say:
“God is determined to have His child as pure, clean, and white and driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will allow His Spirit to use whatever process it may take to bring us to obedience.”
I don’t want that “whatever process” to be a part of my life! That might require some hard lessons. That might involve showing me some missed opportunities. I don’t want any of that.
I’m going to rid myself of the sin. I’m going to reconcile with those I need to. I’m going to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Now.