PSALM 133:1-3: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Why is unity in the church so important? Unity is not conformity or agreement. Unity is an attitude of the heart that is manifested in sacrificial love. It is shown in putting the needs of others before our own. It is shown in mutual submission to one another in love and respect, especially when we do not agree on every minute point of doctrine. It is looking past both our sins and the sins of others and seeing the potential we have in Christ Jesus. This is what Biblical unity is, and the enemy of our souls hates it. Why?
First, it is unity that releases the anointing of God in our lives. The Psalmist says it is like the “…precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!” This was the anointing oil that represented the Spirit upon his life. The Holy Spirit cannot move in an atmosphere of anger, contention, or division. This grieves the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can only move in hearts that are surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ and submitted to one another in love.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)
When believers dwell together with one purpose, one heart, and one mind, united in love – there is a release of the power of the Holy Spirit in their midst.
“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:32-33 ESV)
Can there be any question why the enemy loves to sow seeds of discord among the brethren? Is there any doubt as to the reason why the enemy rejoices when members of churches gossip and criticize each other, rather than loving and encouraging one another? He knows what so many in the church do not – Unity releases the anointing of God!
Finally, unity releases the blessings of God. When there is unity in the church the Lord Jesus Christ is moving in her midst to bring – “…good news to the poor…liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19 ESV) In the words of the Psalmist – the Lord brings the dew of Hermon upon the mountains of Zion where the Lord commanded the blessing, life forevermore. How does He do this? He does this spiritually, tangibly, and practically through the church. He uses the gifts of the Spirit which He has given to the Church. He uses the physical resources that He has poured out upon the Church. God uses His people to bring His blessings. Yet, it only flows through a people who are walking in unity!
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47 ESV)
Dear Lord, preserve the unity of the spirit in our church (and all churches)! Give us hearts that are loving and willing to lay down our lives for one another. Let us walk fully in both Your Truth and Your Love. In the essentials of our faith let us walk in full agreement. In the non-essential of our faith let us walk in unity and love. Pour out Your anointing (oil) and Your blessing (dew) upon us this day. In Jesus Name!
END NOTE: Churches almost never split over the “essential doctrines” of the Christian faith. It is the “small foxes” of the non-essentials that the enemy uses to foster division in the church.