There are those who insist that the most important cry and prayer of the Christian must be for church unity. I consistently hear that cry.
Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
I am somewhat on a different track when it comes to all churches being in unity – getting together. Am I against unity? Oh no! Unity is the preferred state, and unity would be the perfect state. Yet, I am keenly aware that even Jesus could not bring about that kind of unity.
Two primary pictures help me to understand that while I desire unity, I must not “hang my hat” there.
Picture #1 – The children of Jacob (Israel)
Picture #2 – The twelve disciples
Picture #1 The children of Jacob (Israel)
The children of Jacob show us a picture of the people of Israel. They were God’s beloved or chosen people. One would think that if God carved for Himself a people to represent Him that those people would be in a wonderful relationship called unity. But that was not so.
The children, in particular, the twelve sons of Jacob, were not a picture of unity. Yet, those children were chosen to be God’s chosen people.
The short of it is that God uses the differences in His children to build His Kingdom. The Kingdom of Heaven is not made of cookie-cutter people. No, there is a vast difference between the children of God and the children of Jacob.
Let me remind you that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. That was to represent the important shift for Jacob. Jacob was changed from being a trickster, where he prevailed, into Israel, which means, “God prevails.”
Yet, here we have the sons. They were born of four different mothers and the youngest two sons were born by Jacob’s favorite “wife/mother.” There was a heap of jealousy and even hatred amongst the brother, insomuch as there was a plan afoot to kill the younger brother. Though the plan did not come to fruition, they did sell their brother into slavery.
I share that because God used the twelve brothers to make up His chosen people. Was there unity there? No way!
Picture #2 The Twelve Disciples
Once again we were presented with a picture of 12. By the way, the number twelve in biblical numerology stands for “divine order.”
12 THE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL PERFECTION. There were 12 tribes of Israel; 12 Apostles, 12 foundations in the heavenly Jerusalem; 12 gates; 12 pearls; 12 angels. The measurements of New Jerusalem are 12,000 furlongs or stadia, while the wall will be 144 (12 x 12) cubits (Rev. 21:16-17). https://carm.org/what-biblical-numerology
So, back to the twelve disciples! Were they in unity? Did they operate as one perfect body? Oh no! Yet, God used the differences in those twelve men to allow you and me to understand that the Kingdom of Heaven:
- Is not made of perfect people
- Does not consist of people walking or working in unity.
- Will continue in spite of the differences of people
You must also remember that Jesus, like Joseph, experienced hatred, betrayal, and being sold as a slave at the hands of a disciple.
These two key examples are why I do not “lose it” when I see that church leaders do not operate in unity. Certainly, if church leaders do not operate in unity, it becomes much more difficult for the laity to operate in unity.
What can we do about it? What should we do about it? My objective is to know the vision of God for my life and the lives of His people. Then I trust that God will bring me into unity with those who can walk in unity so that HIS Vision will come to pass.
God will work with the remnant. You should strive to be a part of God’s remnant. Blessings Abound!