Mathew 6:1 Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Mathew 6:4 That your alms may be in secret: and your Father which sees in secret himself shall reward you openly.
Mathew 6:6 But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.
Mathew 6:8, 9 You be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him. After this manner therefore you pray: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be your name.
Mathew 6:18 That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly.
Jesus goes on with His lesson on our Father. Now this is a point that we can all readily understand and receive. This lesson is not a difficult one. No one has seen God at any time. He is unseen by the physical eye. Jesus make this point clearly. We are told that our Father is in secret. We can not see Him. He is invisible. You can not touch Him with your hands. You can not hear Him with your ears. It also means that you can not find Him easily because He is in secret. What Christ does do however is to make practical the fact that God is unseen.
The amazing thing is that while He is in secret, He does want to be found and known by us. He has chosen that the way in which one can find Him and come to know Him is through Jesus Christ Himself who is the only one who really knows the Father. The source for knowing God our Father that has been provided for us is the best available. Jesus came out of the very bosom, the very heart of God. He knows Him in ways that no one else does. Jesus was with Him from eternity past. He then becomes our resource person who supplies us with the knowledge of the Father.
Now that we know that the Father is in secret, this affects our entire life and how we live it. Jesus moves right to the religious practices that are used by us to supposedly draw us closer to God. We pray. We fast. We give. Since God is in secret we can tend to do these things in a way that we impress others. Long prayers are said. Money is given to impress. Fastings are done with faces and expressions that show how long the fast has been.
The motives for these practices can produce empty religious practices. Men and women can use them to impress others of their piety. In deed we can think more highly of others because of the public display of such practices. Now that person can really get a prayer answered, just look at how earnest and long he or she prays. Others may confess that God blesses them because of their giving. And of course there are those who love to tell you know about their fasting.
Jesus goes right to the heart of the issue. Since your Father is in secret, since He sees in secret, then when you pray, give or fast do it with Him in mind. He sees in secret so go into your closet and shut the door then pray. Talk to your Father in private. Don’t think about others to impress them. Rather impress your Father. Let it be between you and Him. Do the same with your giving. Let it be between you and Him.
I have seen the most egregious thing done when it came time to giving. The man in charge of receiving the Lord’s offerings called out different lines. If you were giving $100 then you come first. Then after that it was the $50 line; then the $20 line; the $10 line and lastly the $5 and under line. All of the ministers in the place were strongly encouraged to be in the $100 line. What a mockery to the Spirit of God, using God’s children in such a way. This goes on even today. All kinds of tricks and twisting of the scriptures are used to manipulate people to give.
Jesus teaches us differently. He says don’t let your right hand know what your left hand does when you give. Let it be between you and your Father. Do it from your heart. Do it as He leads you to give freely and cheerfully.
Do you remember the scriptures in the Bible where Jesus is watching over the offering that was received? All kinds of amounts were given. But He points out a widow who gave a penny. Others gave a whole lot more, but Jesus said that this woman had given the best of all that was given because she gave all that she had. She had nothing left. Her giving did not attract the attention of others. But it attracted the attention of Jesus. God knew not only how much she gave, but He saw what she gave, her all. It was between her and God. No one knew what she gave. The same is true of you and me. God sees in secret and knows not only how much we give but what we give and why we give. He knows our motives.
He sees in secret and He rewards openly. There is an open reward that our Father gives to those who do what they do for His eyes and not for the approval of others, or to impress others.
Questions To Consider:
Are you conscientious that the Father is in secret?
How does that affect your praying, giving and fasting?
Are you looking to Jesus to Teach you about the Father?
What has He taught you about the Father recently?
How has what Jesus taught you about the Father changed your praying, giving fasting and any other practices you do?