I was praying and expressing to God how much we need His Presence, His Holy Spirit moving in our church and in the lives of His people. I was asking, “What are we missing? What are we not getting right?” A deep longing for a move from God rose up in me. It was almost more than I could handle. I reached out to a brother in Christ over the internet and asked for prayer. The intensity eased and after several minutes I walked up the hallway pondering how awesome it is that I can ask a believer thousands of miles away to pray for me. Immediately the words of Psalm 133:1 came to my mind:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
After I sat back down at my computer I went to www.biblegateway.com in order to read the whole psalm. And there it was: part of the answer I was seeking.
Psalm 133 (NASB)
A Song of Ascents, of David.
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever.
The precious oil coming down upon Aaron speaks of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit flows down upon believers when they are joined together in peace and unity.
What are some ways we can promote peace and unity?
Remember our common source
Every believer in Jesus Christ is saved by the same blood, the same sacrifice, the same grace… the same Savior.
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.
Acknowledge our common need
All believers are in process of sanctification. None of us have “arrived”. We must remember that we all have areas in our lives that require others to extend grace towards us.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Recognize our common mission
Our mission as disciples of Jesus Christ is to glorify God and to spread the good news, the gospel.
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Know our common enemy
I read an article titled When the Church’s Enemy is the Church. The Church is not our enemy. Our battle is not against our brothers and sisters sitting in the pew next to us.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
In John 17 it is recorded that Jesus prayed for the unity of the Church.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one,Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
If you want to see more of the Holy Spirit moving in your life and in your church, if you want to be effective in reaching the lost for Jesus, if you want to glorify Christ then foster unity and pray according to the example that Jesus gives us.