Like the anticipation of the arrival of spring, the Word has moving, stirring and growing deeper within me in a few areas as of late, but especially His desire for unity.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1
God is blessed when we live in community. Even that very word includes both the requirements for healthy community: “come” into “unity.” When we unite, God releases a blessing upon us as we come together to seek Him in community, for He draws near.
Community isn’t always pretty, but it is His design for us. I have learned the hard way that sometimes we wound one another, hold back forgiveness or gossip…because we take our eyes off of the One who binds us together, and forget to love another as He has loved us. No holds barred, with no grievances between us:
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:13-14
When we show love to one another as Jesus did for us, while we listen for His leading, we find the differences between us start to mellow into the background, to fade behind His love as the melody uniting us together:
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as family, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8
Living in harmony doesn’t mean we always agree, because we are all uniquely wired and gifted, but it means family is more importance than our differences. We work it out with his help, because He desires it:
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
As a community, we honor God when we pull together as one. For the One who died for us all is our unifying factor, the commonality which is the basis for our community as a body of believers. When we all use our gifts for His glory, not our own, our unity becomes apparent to those around us. The community at large takes notice when His people live and work together in unity. When peace abounds instead of division and turmoil. Where we willingly submit to one another out of love, placing the needs of the body above our own. When we confess to one another our offences and flaws, and find forgiveness, true rest for our souls.
This world is screaming out self-satisfaction, for life to be all about ‘me.’ When we gather in unity to worship God, following His way and not our own, His peace can be sensed in our communities. Not only in each of us as individuals, but in our collective focus on Him. As our prayers arise to Him, asking for Him to make us one, He releases a fresh wind of His presence, and community.
May God continue to bind us together, into the One heart at the core of the body, His.