God makes some amazing promises about the power of unity, all the way from His observing those building the tower of Babel and His comment that “The people are one… now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” (Genesis 11:6) Of course in that instance God was against them, which teaches us that no matter what we do, if God isn’t in it, its a lost cause. But when God IS in it, and we are together in unity, He commands a blessing (Psalm 133), and when 2 or 3 (or more!) get together in His name, there He promises to be with us, and to answer and do whatever we ask in His name (Matthew 18:18-20). There is incredible power in unity and agreement.
What does “Together” look like for Christians and for churches? How highly do you value it? In Acts at Pentecost we see the early disciples were “all together in one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1), and look what happened! Jesus never gave us as His followers the option of not loving one another and doing whatever we can to “gain our brothers.” He also strongly prayed that we “may be one.” (John 17). I know that there are many questions and issues here, and we definitely don’t pursue unity at all costs. But here’s the truth: Its so much easier to divide than to unite. Its easier to walk away than to work through. Its easier to break than to build. If we held on to “the truth” as much as we hold on to our reasons and rights to be offended, we’d be in the super-faith league all the time!
Local Churches getting together uniting around Christ and His cause is sadly also a rare thing. We seem more committed to reaching the nations than reaching out to our neighbours. For this reason I’m excited about the “Hammersmith & Fulham Borough Prayer Gathering” happening in the Town Hall here tomorrow (Thursday 11th) where I have been priviledged to facilitate this meeting of churches from all sorts of streams getting together in united worship and prayer for our local area. As far as we know this has never been done before, so maybe we could expect results which we’ve never seen before!
Here’s a thought: When the disciples were out fishing and had caught nothing, Jesus instructed them to “throw the net out on the other side,” and there was a huge catch, so big that they needed to call their partners in other boats to help. Could it be that until we have built partner relationships, we are not ready for the harvest God has in store for us?
Question: Who are you walking “in agreement” with? Are you harbouring offence which keeps you divided? Are you really “loving one another” like Jesus commanded? What position/pride/prejudice are you willing to let go of in order to live more united? Let go. Repent. Forgive, Reach out – and see God do amazing new things!
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. For by this will all know that you are My disciples.”