Is it just me or does unity in the Body seem like a concept long gone in the annals of history? It seems like the tempo of the political/religious ring becomes one of vehement aggression and dissension. It’s time to restore the peace of God within the Body of Christ, and take our rightful place as peacemakers on this earth.
Welcome back to the 30 Days of Prayer series. I cannot believe that we only have 5 more days to go! If you have missed the previous posts, don’t worry! They’re all available on their own page, where you can peruse them at your leisure.
In fact, I might just be in the process of creating an e-book version of the series for easier reading as the Spirit moves you ::wink wink:: ….stay tuned.
How deeply my soul longs for unity in the Body, and truly, it is ours for the taking if we are willing to do the work to obtain and restore what has been stolen from us.
If your heart longs for the unity of the Body, then let’s link arms to begin the sowing process anew.
30 Days of Prayer: Pray for Unity in the Body
Unity is one of those confusing ideas that are easy to understand in the ideal sense of the word, but difficult to flesh out. In the ideal sense, it is a collaborative and loving connection between a group of people where they work and engage peaceably with each other.
The trouble comes, though, when it comes to the practice of unity. Most people treat unity like it is something that just “happens,” rather than something that we bring to pass through consistent intention and behavioral choices.
Just as a great marriage is not something that can just happen without ever having to learn, grow, and work at it, unity in the Body also takes work.
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” ~ 1 Cor. 1: 10
In order to have unity, in the fullest sense, both parties must be willing to humbly engage with one another, ready to respond to the call of the Spirit without puffing oneself up as higher than the other.
Unity does not happen when a hierarchy of importance or value is in play.
What are the Signs of Unity in the Body?
Thankfully scripture helps us to better understand what it means to have unity in the Body. True unity in the holiest sense does not permit the works of the flesh.
We discussed yesterday that the works of the flesh are evident, and even provided in a nice list for us! Though this list is surely not exhaustive or all-inclusive, it definitely gives some points on what the works of the flesh look like.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” ~ Gal. 5: 19-21
Each of these various flesh behaviors is centered on the essence of the self. They prioritize one’s own way above the ways of God and place the self in the center of focus.
Even with idolatry and witchcraft, the focus is one’s own preferences for “worship” rather than obedience to the Word of God for how HE wants to be worshiped. He has no room for shared allegiances.
In contrast to this, we see the encouragement for the works of the Spirit, which is what must be present in order to create unity in the Body.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” ~ Gal. 5: 22-25
Over and over again in the Brit Hadasha, the New Testament, we see the encouragement for righteous behaviors that center on “brotherly love.” Reconciliation, restoration, gentility, empathy, forgiveness, the kindness of words, speaking the Truth in Love, humility, repentance, carrying each other’s burdens, praying for one another, and on the list goes…. These are the behaviors of a unified Body.
To have unity in the Body is to each intentionally carry out righteous behaviors within ourselves, whether or not others around us have yet understood to do the same.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” ~ Gal. 6: 9-10
We are each responsible for our own actions and choices. Let us reject the idea of controlling others in order to bring unity. But rather, let us focus on the matters of self-control from which will flow all the works of the Spirit.
Bring Your Life Experiences to Purpose through Your Choices
There are many in the Body who have experienced the pain of disunity. Many, like me, have experienced judgment, condemnation, criticism, etc. from ill-mannered people who spin harm with their unrighteous behaviors and words.
For a time, these experiences sent me away from the larger flock as a means for the restoration of my innermost self, where the Spirit of God convenes with my soul. The Lord and I had to unstrap the yokes that were laid upon me by these harmful experiences.
However, the most beautiful thing has occurred through those experiences. They have been the training ground for WHY it is so critical to be intentional with my words, kind with my treatment, humble in my perspectives, gentle in my assertions, and unassuming in my confrontations.
I have been on the receiving end of the opposite and it did nothing but cause pain and torment, rather than the restoration of the Lord.
Harmful words and judgmental attitudes do not bring about the righteousness of God. Only LOVE can do that.
Thankfully, the Lord joyfully works to restore the soul when we come to Him in our brokenness. He pours in His love and words of Truth to gently uplift us with His unending Love. It is this Love that diligently restores, because His Love is made complete in Christ that even though we may fall short of perfection, we are redeemed in the perfect work of the cross.
And, then, greater than that, in typical God-style, He actually redeems the pain of the past to make it purposeful in our present lives.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” ~ Gen. 50: 20
When we have experienced the destructive forces of the flesh, and receive God’s healing through His unconditional Love, we are positioned for the service of restoration within the Body.
Restoration occurs when awareness of why and how to do good leads to the behaviors of God’s people. We understand how important it is to speak gently when we have been on the receiving end of harmful, harsh words.
Our experiences lend us a greater understanding as to WHY it is so critical to act in the careful ways of the Spirit if we truly want to bring unity in the Body and peace to the hearts of others.
If our desire is truly to bring unity in the Body then we must be willing to learn the Ways of God that serves the purpose of unity, rather than the ways of the world, which serve only to control and condemn.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!” ~ Ps. 133: 1
Unity in the Body is the Fullness of the Love of God
It takes work and intention to bring about unity in the Body. We must not grow weary in the works of the Spirit, which lay the foreground for unity to occur. Such works include humility, gentility, compassion, understanding, kindness, and all other behaviors that manifest from a humble heart before God and man.
If we truly desire to see unity in the Body we must take our own walks seriously. We must first remove our own planks so that we can see clearly to help our fellow brothers and sisters to deal with their specks. This requires a personal and intimate walk with the Lord, who lifts us up gently and convicts our souls without hatred and condemnation.
To know Him is to Love Him and to walk with Him is to be led in the peace of His unconditional Love. When He convicts the soul it is with an understanding that is not easily communicated by men. If He speaks a hard Truth, He also provides the path for holy correction.
Unlike us fleshly humans, our Abba does not puff up to prove His power but rather remains in the stillness and calm of Himself because He IS power.
And, when we meet Him in the quiet place of the innermost sanctum of the heart, we too experience that power and begin the process to bring it to new life through our good deeds in Him.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13: 34-35
Abba, may I be part of the restoration of the Body. May my past pains and hurts be used to rectify and heal those around me. Use me, Abba, to abundantly bless and bring healing to those You place in my path. I desire so deeply to see unity in the Body.
Show me the areas where I need to learn more effective and beneficial ways to connect in Love. Help me to become more like You every day. Protect me from speaking harmful things to others, but rather show me how to speak the Truth in Your perfect Love.
And let me not determine my obedience by the receptivity of man, but rather purely by how YOU show me to live.
I invite You into this process of healing. Show me the way to do my part. Heal and bring unity in the body that we may shine your Light so brightly to a waiting and watchful world. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Sweet sister, center yourself on the Love of God. Seek His guidance for the healing of the soul. And, as you continue to walk with Him, choose to welcome His purposes in your life so that you may be used for the glory of God.
We will surely get to enjoy unity in the Body if we are willing to do things His way.