So with that in mind there is one word I hate hearing more than any other in Christian circles & that word is unity. It makes me cringe. It makes me immediately think less of the person who utters that clap~trap around me because sad experience has taught me something: most people do not mean what the bible means when they talk about unity. Generally they mean everyone who calls themselves a believer should just get along with each other. You would think that would be easy but it's not. Inevitably it means someone has to compromise. Prayer meeting? Can the charismatic pray in tongues or will that offend his non~tongue speaking brethren? Never mind what the Spirit of God would actually like. Can the prophet prophesy? The healer heal? At which point have you compromised so much you have grieved & offended the Holy Spirit? Or upset a tender conscience?
Do not misunderstand. I believe in unity ~ biblical unity. John 17:23 says: I in them and You in Me--that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me.
Our unity comes in Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit! Without the Holy Spirit you are never going to get true unity. Oh, for sure, you can get some semblence of it, some of the time, through what men manipulate & strive after but that is not the unity God had in mind.
It is possible to have a form of godliness but deny the power that can actually change us. It's God's power, His Holy Spirit, we need because He will lead us into all Truth. These are not just pretty words. I knew from Quaker Meetings that the Holy Spirit brought unity & it came with peace because everyone had the Spirit's assurance that they were agreed as to the will of God.
I can get tetchy in prayer meetings ~ not because I'm super spiritual or anything like that ~ but because people will often be in a great rush to dump their stuff & rush off & never wait to hear what God has to say to them. I get it but it's rude ~ especially if you do it all the time. I mean, what would you think of a person who did that to you?
People have issues in prayer. Some tackle it like a shopping list, ticking of each thing on their mental list. I've heard charismatics do tongues like a screaming match trying to outdo each other. Exhausting! Some people get embarrassed, mumble into their shirt fronts & shut up fast. Some people give God His instructions....If it's embarrassing enough I've probably done it. I went years without praying because I was boring me, to say nothing of God.
That all changed the day God said: Pray out what I give you to pray.
You have no idea what a relief that was to my mind! God has things He wants us to talk to Him about. Things He wants to say to us. This has huge implications when it comes to the question of unity.
As a prayer group this is something we've had to struggle with. I'm not shy when it comes to the Holy Spirit. I'm a huge fan of His. I love His presence. I love how He can shine a bright light on scripture & illuminate it & bring it to vivid life. I can [& have been known to] rabbit on endlessly about the Holy Spirit but I also know that until you experience it it can all sound quite mad.
Acts 4:24 says they lifted their voices together... homothumadon ~ with one mind. This is how Matthew 18:19 can work when Jesus says if two or three are in unision, of one mind, they can ask anything & it will be done for them.
This is not something that can be contrived or man made. It is a work of the Holy Spirit. He brings His people into unity. We don't have to work & strive for it. We don't have to connive, manipulate, or compromise.
We have been praying with this expectancy of unity ~ true unity. Don't get me wrong. Prayers are still heard & answered but unity brings power because God's involved in it up to the hilt. Now our prayer times are starting to get super exciting. God is sharing things ~ & everyone is hearing from Him! We don't all hear the same way but we are sharing the same revelations. This is the unity wherein we can ask for anything knowing it will be done because Jesus said so. And it is exciting, an honour, that there are things the Lord is specifically asking us to pray for & He can grant our request because we are agreed, of one Spirit.
And because I know what true unity is the false vexs my spirit. It saddens me that people will settle for less than God's ultimate best for them. It breaks my heart to see religion in place of the power of God & lives unchanged. This is what it means to walk in the Spirit.
Man seeks to change himself, his circumstances, his world, from the outside in. God works from the inside out. When we all have our hearts rooted deep in him we will have the unity we so crave. Until then all we get is Satan's cheap imitation & it will do us no good in the end.