Dear Salvation Army, Healing A Broken Mercy Seat…

IF
If your Mercy Seat is broken, how can it be fixed?
If your the spirit of your corps is tattered and wounded, how can it be                      healed?

mercy seat 3

Eyes wander and rove the Mercy Seat.
A weary soul is kneeling down before that altar of submission and some within the chapel are wondering what they are kneeling for?  What sins could they be confessing?  What will happen next?  Who will go up and pray with them?  Someone might be smiling to themselves and thinking “it’s about time they confess their sins!”

Do you see what is broken with this Mercy Seat?
I don’t wish to imply this is happening everywhere, but sometimes I don’t think I’m too far off the mark.

To the wandering eyes and the gossip laden hearts, here’s a hint – it’s none of your business.
Shame on anyone who questions the motives of another’s heart in a pure attempt of seeking Christ at these sacred spaces.  I fear that the cause of these broken Mercy Seats is the hardened hearts and calloused souls of those gathered in other seats around the chapel.  This isn’t an indictment, this is just a cautious observation.

Hope & Sensitive Spirits:
I had numerous people write me yesterday describing how beautiful these places of consecration were in their home corps.  How marvelous to hear of lives being transformed as we maintain this element of holiness in our services.  This gives us all hope to hear.  This provides an insight into repairing that which is broken in other places – sensitive spirits and hearts open to the wondrous workings of the Holy Spirit.

Healing The Mercy Seat Means Softening Our Hearts:
I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.“—Ezekiel 36:26hearts

Frequently, we can become desensitized to the workings of the Holy Spirit.  We can also become desensitized to the formats of our Holiness meetings and/or the use of the Mercy Seat.  Perhaps we have grown up in the corps we attend.  Perhaps there are times where we are simply just going through the motions.  Perhaps there are times when we have grown tired with our meetings and hearing the same people uttering the same prayers and the same testimonies.  Perhaps we even wonder sometimes if we are just practicing worship but we are never really engaged in worship.

hearts1Is there a hardness in your heart today dear Soldier?
Is there a place within you that frightens  you because you feel numb to it all?
Are you harboring a grudge or bitterness for someone else in your corps?

If our hearts are hardened our Mercy Seats could become broken.
If our hearts are not sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading anymore, then the Mercy Seat will simply gather dust and become an idle piece of furniture.

Oh, dear Soldier may our hearts be softened by the Divine!
May our spirits ever thirst for His fellowship!
May we stop looking at others as we used to when we belonged to our old patterns of living; but may we, instead, look upon others with softened hearts through the living, thriving love of Christ.

The Mercy Seat: saves
Is not just furniture.
Is not just a ritual or a surrogate for sacramental practice.
Is not just frequented by sinner, but also by saints.
Is not a place of weakness, but a place of great strength.

The Mercy Seat is the practice of softened hearts.
The Mercy Seat is consecration, reconciliation, salvation and holiness.
The Mercy Seat is about living holiness as a corporate body of Christ.
The Mercy Seat, dear Soldier is more than furniture, it is a matter of our hearts.

May we ever be sensitive to His holy moving.
May our hearts ever be softened first to the Lord and then towards others regardless of friend or foe.
Thus begins the healing of our Mercy Seats.

Something more for our Army world to ponder today.
To God Be the Glory!

(Cover Image: Felix UK, New Mercy Seat circa 1923)

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3 Comments

  1. It is so true, as you say, that: “Frequently, we can become desensitized to the workings of the Holy Spirit.” Coming to the mercy seat can help, if we come humbly and repentant. However, God wants us to be sensitive to His Spirit, not just at altar calls, but during the entire Sunday meeting and even during our entire daily lives.

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