Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Guard the Unity

The top three weapons of spiritual warfare are probably prayer, Worship, and unity. The spirit of unity expresses itself in the concept of agreement (Mt 16.19). The Bible is specific on the essential of unity. It is a precious gem to be guarded and a sign of the maturity of believers. When divisions come they easily fester in the realm of the spirit and bring defeat and disrepute to the work of God. See the verses below.

Eph 4:2-6 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. NIV

Eph 4:11-1311 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.NIV

So if we are to "make every effort to keep (guard) the unity of the Spirit..." what does that look like. Here are some suggestions;

Repeat the Vision- Every church has a god given directive- a rhema word, if you will, that comes from God and shapes the vision. That vision comes through the spiritual leadership of the church. (Remember- the anointing of the High Priest flows down from the head to the body). For us here at CLC, that mandate is to reach out to the lost and the broken; to disciple new believers; to train leadership; to do the kingdom work with excellence, and to exalt the Lord in worship as a lifestyle. In other words, to bring "real faith to the real world". When we continually remind one another why we exist- we seldom get sidetracked with non-essentials.

Don't repeat trash- Judgmental ism, gossip, and slander is poisonous to the church AND an insult to God. People who get caught up in it ruin their own lives as well as others. I can list a number of former members who enjoyed greatly speaking of other peoples issues and woes. Perhaps you know those I am talking about. Are their lives not ruined? Haven't they lost out with God? Look at the patterns of their lives- didn't they reap after the manner in which they sowed? This is a temptation for the "spiritual" among us as well. We may bring those prayer requests that convey 'information rather than inspiration or intercession'. God hates the tongue that lies, the tongue that spreads gossip and slander, and the haughty spirit. What would you want someone to do if they knew your trash? Wouldn't you want them to talk to the Lord alone about your issues? Then do unto them as you would have them do unto you.

Pray for the called leadership of the church- deacons, elders, pastors, decision makers, ministry heads, etc. Pray that they can hear God. Pray that God will provide their needs as they serve faithfully, Pray that their families will be protected. Pray that God will direct their paths.

Work for change with a pure, prayer-filled, humble and loving heart. Seek to make things better by involved support rather than distant criticism.

Walk in agreement- with your broken and contrite spirit (Ps 51) pray in agreement with others. Be burden bearers, yokefellows, a household of faith, and a community. Authority is given to the church as a whole as we step into agreement with each other.

Celebrate a spirit of excellence- celebrate the heroes of our faith who have done it well. Remember the scripture reminds us to 'study to show our self approved...' and to 'labor diligently' and to excel in all things (2 Cor 8.7).

Ultimately, this deferring to one another fulfills the law of Christ. Working an invincible unity within the body. Satan isn't happy when he can't get his cloven foot in to our lives personally and even more so when the church takes seriously the charge to guard the unity of the church.

1 comment:

rgeorge61 said...

Good word Pastor. I need to print this out and ponder it weekly to try and keep my life on the right path.