Psalms 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” This is a familiar passage of scripture loved and quoted by many. In fact, it is the basis for the theme of the United Ministerial Alliance of Liberty County. Our theme says, “United we stand, divided we fall.”
I am convinced that there are many who desire unity, but not all are willing to pay the price for it. Unity is defined as the state of being one, or oneness. The question is: How do we bring all our differences into one? Is it possible for all of us to be one? I believe that we can. I believe that God has called us to be a united body. Even with all our differences, we can still be united as one in Christ.
In John 17:21-23, Jesus prays, “May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognize that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me.” God wants us to be united.
The church is referred to as the body of Christ. Just as our physical body has to work in unity, so must the body of Christ. We cannot function if our body is divided. Moving from one place to another requires unity of the body. Likewise, the body of Christ has to operate in unity to be effective. We may be different, and we may all have different assignments, but we all have one purpose: to bring glory and honor to God.
Our purpose as the body of Christ is to win souls to the kingdom. We should not be in competition, nor should we think that we are the only ones capable of doing the Lord’s work. God told Elijah when he was hiding in a cave thinking he was the only one willing to stand for God, “You are not the only one.” God let Elijah know that he had others who had not bowed down to Baal.
I found out a long time ago that unity comes with a price. It is not cheap. You must be willing to let go of your preconceived ideas. You must have an open mind and an open heart. You have to let go of some traditions that hinder the progress of kingdom building. You have to be willing to cross denominational, ethnic, cultural, and gender lines.
Ephesians 4:3 says that we have to endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. In other words, it is a task to maintain unity. Because we are members of the body of Christ, we have been united. But we cannot sit around on comfortable pews thinking that this unity will never be challenged. The devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants to divide the saints of God. He understands that united we stand, but divided we fall. It is time for the church, the body of Christ, to understand unity is essential to the building of God’s kingdom. We have to be willing to work together to accomplish the job of saving souls.
When men and women come to know the Lord, you will see a change in our world. You will see crime decrease. Our government will be more concerned about every citizen of the United States rather than a select group. Love will abound and God will be honored.
We need to share in the ministry of saving souls understanding that we all have been given this ministry of reconciliation.
It is time for churches to stop fighting one another and unite together to fight our common enemy, Satan. When we stand together, we can be more than conquerors. Together we can make a difference in this world. Together we can turn this world upside-down. Together we can win our city and our world to Christ. We need to understand that I need you and you need me. We are all a part of one big family. We cannot be all that God wants us to be until we come in unity with one another.
Jackson is the pastor of the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance of Liberty County.