Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
In our fallen and broken world, it is likely that we are more familiar with division than we are with unity.
When we hear stories of marriages breaking down to the point of divorce, family members arguing and becoming divided over finances, and churches being split apart by disagreements, we are probably unsurprised and unperturbed.
The sad reality is that many of us have become so used to division and so desensitized to its damaging consequences simply because our world reeks of division.
Dear friend, it’s no wonder that this is happening all around us. Division, separation, broken relationships, and isolation are the key schemes of our common enemy, the devil. He will do anything he can to divide what God intends to be united – especially to divide God’s people from one another.
This is because the Lord created us as believers to be and to live in unity! It is such a deep desire of God’s heart (and such a high priority!) that Jesus prays in John 17:21, ‘“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.”’
Jesus’ prayer for us as His disciples, dear friend, is to be just like God. Did you catch that awesome truth? Jesus wants us to be ONE in the same way that He and the Father (and the Holy Spirit) are one.
He longs for us to experience the kind of relationships where there is a oneness of heart, a oneness of vision and purpose, and an experience of walking in love and in step with each other.
Being united in oneness doesn’t mean that we lose our unique personalities, nor that we have to do everything in the same way. It also doesn’t mean that we must agree on absolutely every little detail. We aren’t talking about uniformity, but unity.
However, being united and being one with each other does mean that we need to surrender our individualistic mindsets or worldviews.
If we are self-focused, then we will not be Christ-focused. And if we are self-focused, then we will not be other-focused.
Dear friend, I have found that in my own life, when I am more concerned with myself, there is very little (even no) room for me to think about anyone else. And that’s the very beginning of division – when we give no attention to others.
But if that is the beginning of division, then the beginning of unity is about being other-focused. It is about uniting ourselves around Christ and His ways. And this entails that we love one another and serve one another (Mark 12:29-31).
Then, when we dwell together as a Body of Christ in unity, see what gloriousness it produces…
‘Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!’
The Lord calls our unity ‘good’ and ‘pleasant’!
Dear friend, unity brings a tremendous feeling to our lives! Unity is so much more enjoyable for everyone than having seasons of constant conflict and bickering.
These words describe the kind of atmosphere that comes when there is unity and oneness. It is the very atmosphere of heaven! It is the very atmosphere that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit experience at every single moment!
Dear friend, may we so desire this kind of unity in our relationships, that we get to experience the tremendous atmosphere of heaven!
Is there anything that tries to stop you from being in unity with others?
- Pray that the Lord will help you as you process this.
- I am so used to broken relationships and division that I don’t know how to be united with people.
- I have experienced hurt and pain from relationships, and it feels scary to be united in relationships again.
- I find myself more self-centered than Jesus-centred or others-centered.
Father, forgive me for my self-centeredness; for the incessant focus on what I want and need. I rarely consider the wants and needs of others, and I am so sorry. You did not create me to be like that.
Instead, You made me to love others, to serve them, to be with them, to encourage them, and to co-suffer with them, and ultimately to be ONE with them.
I pray, Lord, help me to turn my focus Christward, and therefore otherward. May I learn to be more like You, Jesus, loving those around me with all my mind, my heart, my soul, and my strength.
Help me, Lord, to dwell in unity with those around me.
I love You, Lord, and I honour You today.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Pray for someone you know and love who you feel divided with or separated from. Pray for forgiveness, pray for restoration, or pray for wisdom about your relationship. Journal what the Lord says to you.