What is unity? One of the definitions (of many) listed in Webster’s Dictionary really put it straightforward: the quality or state of being made one. So, what does this mean for our church? And what does it mean for the church as a whole? I believe prophetically that God is calling us into a unity that will carry on beyond the current season we are in at Living Word.
The Lord gave me a vision for the church last year while I was in prayer. The vision began inside the church, there were a group of people in a circle holding hands praying in the sanctuary near the altar. It then zoomed out to show the church, then the city of Cleveland, then the southeast region of the United States, then to the United States as a whole. When it zoomed out to the United States, I watched awestruck as the oil of anointing and awakening, in the form of a tidal wave, swept from the eastern part of the US to the western part of the US (East to West). I immediately shared the vision with Pastor Evan.
Now there is a myriad of symbolism in this vision, such as: on the surface, foreshadowing to the next great spiritual awakening and fresh anointing being given in ways we have never seen before. Even though that symbolism is present, I really want to focus on the beginning of the vision, where the people were together in a circle praying. They came together in one mind and one accord to pray for the church, city, region and nation. Because of that, the things of God were released.
You see this act of unity throughout history, and the Bible is adamant about standing in unity. You see it on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4 (HCSB), “When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.”
Some people think that it was happenstance that they were all in one place at the same time, but the Holy Spirit is very intentional about what He does in the presence of His people. More importantly, you have to read the chapter before that. Acts 1 said they were all praying together after Jesus’ ascension happened. In fact, it says that they were continually united in prayer. This means they were very intentional with their time and unity. Because of that, they were some of the first people to be filled with the Holy Spirit. To provide further proof, it says in Matthew 18:20 (HCSB),”For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” When we come together with intentional unity in one mind and accord, we will see moves of God.
There is also an aspect of unity that builds up the body of Christ as well. Acts 4:32 (HCSB) says,”Now the large group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common.” When we come together, we are not only allowing God to take care of us, but it also motivates us to take care of each other. It allows us to fully love one another as God intended. When Jesus said, in John 13:35, that all people would know us by our love for one another, that is what I think He was intending. He was talking about a bride completely made whole in spirit, truth, and love.
So, what does this mean for our church? If you believe in what Living Word and its people do, you agree with the mission statement: “We are a community of people united in pursuit of God's presence to build and transform people, cities, and nations.” This ties in with symbolism from the vision I mentioned earlier as well. I believe we need to be more intentional about coming together, united as a community (not that the community is bad now — it’s actually amazing — but there’s always more). We need to be fasting, praying, worshiping, and studying the Word with one another vigorously. We need to be open to what the Holy Spirit wants to do as well (I think we do a very good job of that, too). That is how we will start truly seeing the “more” of God greater than we have.
* John 17:20-22 HCSB - I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one.
* Galatians 3:27-28 HCSB - For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
* Philippians 2:1-2 - If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.