Ever heard the saying united we stand, divided we fall? Do you realize the difference between unity and uniformity? Do you realize that division breaks things apart compared to unity which holds things together? Looking into unity, I found this interesting article based on Psalm 133:1-3 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!…” and the article says the following:
Let a difference be observed between “unity” and uniformity. The one is a Divine, the other a human thing. Acts of uniformity are the product of man. God only can make us the subjects of sacred “unity.” Uniformity we get in trees and hedges hacked, cut, and clipped, so as to reduce them to a common size and shape. “Unity” without uniformity we get in the trees of the forest, all growing according to the course of nature, of diverse shape, and size, and worth, but dependent for their wild strength and beauty on the same genial influences of nature, as they stretch out their thousand branches and myriad leaves to catch the light, and air, and dew, and showers of heaven. Uniformity we have in the classified assortment of flowers, arranged in pots or plots of ground according to their size and colour, no one sort allowed to mingle with another. “Unity” is the gathered bunch, worthy of the admiration of every beholder, whose difference of form, colour, and odour only adds to the loveliness of the flowers, which are all bound by one cord, enclosed in the one vessel, and made to drink of the same vital element, — the liquid stream of life. We are told that it is highly probable that in the wide domain of material nature there are to be found no two things alike, not even two drops of water, or two flakes of snow. Who ever knew two human faces alike? or two voices with precisely the same cadence? or two human forms identical in every particular? Is it, then, a thing of astonishment that in the mental and moral world there should be differences of thought, and judgment, and feelings? “One star differeth from another star in glory,” but amid all the varied glories of the “heavens” there is no want of “unity.”
I makes some very interesting observations about how God’s impact on our lives is so different than if we let the ways of man control or manipulate our lives. Unity is what we should aim for, for there is power in unity! With God in the center, a rope of three strands isn’t easily broken. Throughout the Bible, God’s Word speaks to the importance of unity and specifically unity within the church…
- Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. — Ephesians 4:3
- Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. — 1 Peter 3:8
- A song of ascents. Of David. How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! — Psalm 133:1
- And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. — Colossians 3:14
- Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ — Ephesians 4:13
- I in them and you in me–so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. — John 17:23
- Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, — Romans 15:5
- I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. — 1 Corinthians 1:10
Today’s reading begins on this subject when people confront Jesus because of the miraculous deliverance He provided to a possessed man.
Jesus and Beelzebul
(Matthew 12.22-30; Mark 3.20-27)
14Jesus was driving out a demon that could not talk; and when the demon went out, the man began to talk. The crowds were amazed, 15but some of the people said, “It is Beelzebul, the chief of the demons, who gives him the power to drive them out.” 16Others wanted to trap Jesus, so they asked him to perform a miracle to show that God approved of him. 17But Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said to them, “Any country that divides itself into groups which fight each other will not last very long; a family divided against itself falls apart. 18So if Satan’s kingdom has groups fighting each other, how can it last? You say that I drive out demons because Beelzebul gives me the power to do so. 19If this is how I drive them out, how do your followers drive them out? Your own followers prove that you are wrong! 20No, it is rather by means of God’s power that I drive out demons, and this proves that the Kingdom of God has already come to you. 21“When a strong man, with all his weapons ready, guards his own house, all his belongings are safe. 22But when a stronger man attacks him and defeats him, he carries away all the weapons the owner was depending on and divides up what he stole. 23“Anyone who is not for me is really against me; anyone who does not help me gather is really scattering.
The Return of the Evil Spirit
24“When an evil spirit goes out of a person, it travels over dry country looking for a place to rest. If it can’t find one, it says to itself, ‘I will go back to my house.’ 25So it goes back and finds the house clean and all fixed up. 26Then it goes out and brings seven other spirits even worse than itself, and they come and live there. So when it is all over, that person is in worse shape than at the beginning.”
27When Jesus had said this, a woman spoke up from the crowd and said to him, “How happy is the woman who bore you and nursed you!” 28But Jesus answered, “Rather, how happy are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”
— from Luke 11
It important to have unity. It is important to not try and go it alone. It’s important to Jesus in the center and as the authority of your heart house so that His Spirit can lead you and guide you as to what we should allow in. When we invite Jesus in, He helps to clean in up and clean I tout. When we live with Him, we prevent stuff that shouldn’t be in there from getting back in. We need to stand our guard because the devil is going to try to trick us and deceive us so that he can find a crack to get his fingers into our lives and try to rip us apart.
Today’s reading continues in the theme of unity. The importance of that unity to direct and instruct, to protect and encourage. This unity will produce and provide a peace within the group.
12We beg you, our friends, to pay proper respect to those who work among you, who guide and instruct you in the Christian life. 13Treat them with the greatest respect and love because of the work they do. Be at peace among yourselves. 14We urge you, our friends, to warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but at all times make it your aim to do good to one another and to all people. 16Be joyful always, 17pray at all times, 18be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus. 19Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; 20do not despise inspired messages. 21Put all things to the test: keep what is good 22and avoid every kind of evil. 23May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you will do it, because he is faithful. 25Pray also for us, friends. 26Greet all the believers with the kiss of peace. 27I urge you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers. 28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. –from 1 Thessalonians 5
Need help? Don’t be afraid to ask God for help! Consider a prayer like…
1Lord, hear my prayer! In your righteousness listen to my plea; answer me in your faithfulness! 2Don’t put me, your servant, on trial; no one is innocent in your sight. 3My enemies have hunted me down and completely defeated me. They have put me in a dark prison, and I am like those who died long ago. 4So I am ready to give up; I am in deep despair. 5I remember the days gone by; I think about all that you have done, I bring to mind all your deeds. 6I lift up my hands to you in prayer; like dry ground my soul is thirsty for you. 7Answer me now, Lord! I have lost all hope. Don’t hide yourself from me, or I will be among those who go down to the world of the dead. 8Remind me each morning of your constant love, for I put my trust in you. My prayers go up to you; show me the way I should go. 9I go to you for protection, Lord; rescue me from my enemies. 10You are my God; teach me to do your will. Be good to me, and guide me on a safe path. 11Rescue me, Lord, as you have promised; in your goodness save me from my troubles! 12Because of your love for me, kill my enemies and destroy all my oppressors, for I am your servant.
–from Psalm 143