“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.” Ephesians 4:13
Is it any wonder that people worldwide lay awake at night wondering what may come next? In a world that seems to be turned upside down and without faith, unity, even unity within the church, seems to be fleeting. Neighbor rises against neighbor, and family members find themselves unable to agree, the idea of unity in the world as we know it, seems nearly impossible.
The concept of free speech is challenged by those who feel they know what is best for all. Any who disagree with their ideology quickly find themselves the subject of angry outbursts, and at times, even violence. It would seem in some circles that freedom of speech only applies to those who comply with the concepts set forth and agreed upon by liberal “group think” strategists, conservative ideologists, or other self-appointed “experts” on what is best for all.
Unity, ah yes. How might a country, a nation, or even the church… hope to achieve unity in a world so torn apart by controversies, violence, and hate? It can’t, except by the grace of God. But for God, we would have no hope. But there in comes our peace and joy, that by his grace we will someday attain the unity that he himself has prescribed.
Unity is the prescription for disunity, and love is the remedy for hate, and the church is the vehicle by which unity is to be delivered. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” You seek to destroy us, but it is by the struggle for unity that the church will find it’s back bone and spread its wings, to become the light of the world, and fulfill its call as the instrument of peace.
Even the eagle knows not to fight the storm, but to just go with it. The process of climbing higher in the storm allows it to soar. We cannot allow apprehension to rule us when the day of trouble comes, but rather rejoice in the victory and promotion that are surely ahead. Just rest in him, go with it, it is just a part of the process.
We know that in nature, a caterpillar must spend time alone in the cocoon while it develops and transforms. These are days spent in isolation before the big reveal. They are days of perfecting, growing, and becoming. Should the days in the cocoon be prematurely interrupted, the new butterfly will be too weak to survive. It is, by the struggle to break free, that the butterfly becomes strong enough to spread its wings and fly. Independence and strength come because of the struggle.
This process of preparation and transformation is also illustrated in the book of Esther. A season of perfecting was necessary before the big reveal in front of the king. Esther submitted herself to the process.God gave her favor with those who could advise, prepare, and provide for her all that she would need. Because she was submitted and obedient, she was not only an instrument of peace, she also became the influential wife of the king and credited with delivering the Jews from certain death. I would submit to you that this is exactly where the church stands now.
In a world seemingly destined to destroy itself, there stands one sent by God to intercede and disrupt the enemies’ plan. Even now, she is in her season of perfecting. She is the bride of Christ, the church. Anger, hatred, and disunity would tear us apart without remedy, but for God.
But God says, we are salt and light. But God says, we are the light of the world. But God says, we are a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14-16). But for God there would be no remedy to the world’s destruction. But in God, we are the answer the whole world is seeking. Church we must arise and take our place! We cannot do so without unity.
Excerpt from my newest book project “Unity, The Growth Hormone of the Church. ” How to Have Healthy Personal Relationships with God and One Another that EMPOWER the Church. Blessings, Dr. Kathy J. Smith
Photograph of little girl in prayer is used by permission, Emily Shuff Photography.