PSALM 133:1-3: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to live together in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, Running down upon the beard, As on Aaron’s beard, The oil which ran down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For the Lord commanded the blessing there—life forever.” NASB
OBSERVATION: Is your church marked by a spirit of unity? Do those who are a part of your church family know the mission and vision of your church? Is the life of the church a unified effort to fulfill this mission and vision or is it just a group of spectators or ununified groups moving in different directions?
The church was begun in the spirit of unity on the Day of Pentecost.
- “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 NKJV
Note the distinction – “…they were all with one accord in one place.” Jesus had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the promise of the Father – the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. They were gathered together, with one purpose, one focus, in continual prayer – and then it happened. The Holy Spirit came down upon them in power.
This was not simply a one-time occurrence for the early church. After the disciples were gathered in prayer, following being persecuted for proclaiming the Gospel, the same thing happened again.
- “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31 NASB
Psalm 133 is a beautiful reminder of the importance of unity among God’s people. David uses the beautiful parallel of the anointing oil that was placed on Aaron as he was consecrated for the priesthood and the dew of Hermon that brought moisture and refreshment to the mountains of Zion. Both of these are wonderful symbols of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
As you ponder the words of this Psalm, and as you reflect upon the life of the church in the book of Acts, the importance of unity becomes apparent. The Holy Spirit flows in power when we are united in purpose and in heart. The Holy Spirit is grieved when there is dissension and disunity in our lives and hearts.
We need unity in the church. This unity is not a unity of agreement on every doctrinal point in the Bible. Rather, this unity is a unity of purpose and vision. It is a unity that is centered on the person of Jesus Christ and the message of the Gospel. This unity allows for differences of opinion while we work together with a common calling and purpose. It is the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!
- “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:1-6 NASB
The difference between a church moving in the power of the Holy Spirit and one that is devoid of power is the unity of the Spirit. When we read the above verses from Ephesians 4 we see how much we all have to be united around. How foolish is it to allow small differences of opinions to divide us? There is only one Savior, one Spirit, and one God and Father of us all.
And, there is only one commission to fulfill!
- “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NASB
If we are going to reach our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if we are going to move in the power of the Holy Spirit, if we are going to make disciples of all nations – then we must walk together in unity! We are all in this together. While people on a cruise ship may be stationed on a different decks, they are still all united in one direction and purpose. This is also true of the church today.
When we get to heaven some of us will be surprised when we do not see the banner of our denomination. All the earthly barriers that have divided us will have been removed. In this life, we need to hold our differences lightly and cling to those things that unite us in vision and mission.
This is not a call to ignore differences that deny the faith or the clear moral teachings of the Bible. We must stand up to the attempts of the enemy to bring heresy into the life of the church. Rather, it is a call to walk in love with those who love Jesus, uphold the faith once delivered to the saints, and are on a common mission to fulfill the Great Commission. We are all soldiers united in the foxhole of battle under one banner – the Lordship of Jesus Christ!
The enemy comes to divide the sheep. The Shepherd comes to keep the sheep unified and protected. We may differ in minor points of doctrine that does not determine the course of one’s salvation. Yet, we are united in a purpose that is greater than all of us. This purpose is to see God’s Kingdom established in the hearts of the lives of those who are lost!
As a church, the church universal, it is time that we begin to humble ourselves and pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray – in the unity of heart and purpose. Perhaps then we will see a strong wind of revival sweep through our nation and our world before Jesus returns!
- “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV
In Jesus’ Name!