Unity is Jesus’ answered prayer ( John 17:11, 20-21). I want to be a part of this and if we catch Jesus’ heart here then there is not much, if anything, that we’ll let get in the way. But I do and you do almost daily. This realization is enough to bring me to confession and repentance. It also reminds me of how much Jesus knew we would need each other (Ecc 4:9-12), for without unity there are no established relationships. Whole relationships defeat the work of the enemy.
Unity is God’s will ( Eph 4:3, 1 Cor 1:10). There is nothing to wonder about here. According to God it’s a black and white issue. God already established it through his spirit and now we get to tend to it. I am not very good at maintaining things; in fact I despise those routines. My husband adores them and as I watch him daily in this mode I cannot help but be reminded that daily I must check that I am staying the course and walking in humility and not with a sense of individualistic carelessness.
Unity is all about reconciliation, which is the gospel (2 Cor 5:15-21). We have entered into the process of setting all things right, unleashing and displaying the power of the gospel. Whoa to us if we reign this in through keeping quiet when we ought to speak or standing back when we ought to stand up! We’ve been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation, entrusted not to bury it but to use it. How beautiful it is when we come back to each other! How our Father’s heart must swell up with joy! True reconciliation means we are not gathering around giftedness or personality, style or sameness, ease or comfort, but Christ and Christ alone.
Only with unity can we function as the true body of Christ ( 1 Cor 12:12-26). Diversity causes any body to be effective. Our differences within our unity make us more valuable to the rest of the body, not less valuable. The moment we start contemplating whether an ear or finger or valve or liver are truly valuable is the moment unity starts to slip away (1 Cor 12:14; 1 Cor. 12:20). I watch my boys do this all the time and I have to remind them that we are all needed and we all have need for each other. How much our children need to know they do not grow into their part in our families, but their part is needed and wanted now!
Jesus is worthy of our unity ( Eph 5:25-27, Rev 19:7). Jesus died to have the dividing wall be removed (Eph 2:14-17). Shouldn’t we live like it is true? Blast us if we profess it but don’t live it! Revelation 19:7 says that the bride (us, his beloved people) has made herself ready. Isn’t part of the readying process to be taking place now? Jesus is worthy for us to spend our efforts on submitting to this process.
Blessing is promised for those dedicated to unity (Ps 133). I repeat this scripture to my boys all the time and plan on painting it on a long piece of wood to hang in their room: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” Unity produces anointing, the very presence and activity of the Spirit of God! Unity produces provision and unity is to flow from the top down. When I read this verse I see the responsibility that leaders (we as women) catch the flow and to not hinder the downward flow of this unity.
Unity is essential for our maturity (1 Cor 3:1-4, Col 2:1-3). Our level of maturity is matched with our level of unity. There is “solid food” that will help us grow up in Christ, that is available to those who walk in unity. We are to be “united in love” so that “they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.” If we are going to know more of Jesus then we will need to know more of one another. Our own maturity and chance to know more of Christ is tied to our choice to walk in unity (thanks to Dennis Fuqua for insights on this in his writings) I think that is why I like to listen to others so often–they hold something about God I do not and I want to catch their revelation and make it my own, therefore becoming truly wealthy.
Unity has everything to do with others knowing Christ (John 17:22-24)! When we walk in unity, Jesus says that the world will know that he was sent by the Father and that he has great love for them. It lets others know that the love of God just might be possible if we can actually show it in our homes and communities.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. May we live truly united!