Read His Words Before Ours!
The quality or state of not being multiple. A condition of harmony. The quality or state of being made one. (Merriam Webster)
Oh Beloved. Does the mere definition make your heart ache the way it does mine? Division is evident in practically every corner and crevice of the world today, and sadly, within Christ’s Bride, the Church, as well. We squabble over semantics, and methods. How long services should be. Which translation of the Bible is best. We disagree over our prayer, our worship, and missions. We disagree over how often to serve Communion, and what to serve. Who we should vote for.
I could go on, but I don’t need to. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
Our adversary’s chief aim is threefold, with a capital D. Division, destruction, and death. And the truth is we’ve allowed him to take ground in the Church on our watch.
As the words of Paul’s prayers for unity wash over us,
may they sink into our very souls and spirits,
and may God answer his prayers in our own lives and in the universal Church today.
When Jesus’ disciples asked Him how to pray, He gave them the Lord’s Prayer, which begins with the familiar line, “Our Father in heaven…”. The Holy Spirit-led, inspired Christian, Andrew Murray, unpacks this prayer in With Christ in the School of Prayer at great lengths, but our focus today is simply the first word: our.
In one single word, Jesus illustrated the heart of our Father and the way of His Kingdom.
Brothers and sisters, beseeching their Father for what they need.
Not individually, or independently, but together, as one.
Prayer is most effective when we are united in it, together. Jesus Christ was the first person in history to speak of God as Father. In this brief interaction with His disciples, He called them up and into family with Him. It’s easy to see from where Paul absorbed his method of high challenge and high invitation; Jesus did it. As He called them to unity, He also called them into family.
Because this is the Gospel work of the Kingdom, Loves.
We who were fatherless, through Christ can know our Father.
We who were imprisoned to our sin, through Christ are made free.
We who were isolated and alone, through Christ are adopted into God’s family, and made co-heirs of His Kingdom.
Paul knew firsthand the incredible, redeeming power of God, and his fervent desire was for all God’s children to experience their full inheritance in Christ. He prayed passionately for all believers to be made one. To be of one mind and spirit. To approve all things righteously, together.
Do we desire the same? It’s easy to nod and agree, but do we really? Do our actions, words and prayers reflect a passionate desire for unity in the body of Christ? Are we desperate for the unity Christ commanded and prophesied?
I’m not sure I can say yes. Can you?
It’s one thing to comment about the division we see ravaging the Church our brothers and sisters us, but do we weep over it? Don’t mistake gravity for condemnation here, Loves. This is for all of us, including me. Here’s the thing: we are not capable of changing the desires of our heart, or our passions. But God can. We have only to ask Him, and He will do it!
In order to come to the realization that something must be done, we must have a clear view of where we actually are.
Where are you, Beloved? Are you numb, or indifferent to our divisive plight? Do you find yourself unable to muster a desire for unity? Are you comfortable where you are, but aware that maybe you shouldn’t be? Does this talk of passion, change, and a togetherness as yet unseen spark excitement in your belly? Or does it spark fear?
I’m with you. We are all weighing our hearts in this space, and our Father is doing the same. So where do we go from here?
We go to our Father, together!
Our Father. It’s only by Your mercy and grace we can come to You, together. And hopefully, confidently, if stumblingly, we come to You. Lord, we don’t possess the kind of love that knits hearts together in one mind and spirit, but You do. Your word says we can ask for anything in Your name, and it will be done. Abba, we want to want unity in the Church. We don’t know how to go about it, but You do. Would you fill us with the Spirit of unity? Would you pour out love like we’ve never seen in Your Church in this age? Make us one, as You are one. You’re the only One Who can. This day, our lives and all we have are Yours alone. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!