Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one.
A reminder to the Jews and a reminder to us as believers that God and God alone is God, there is no other. How blessed we are to know this, there can be no confusion. There are not many gods waiting to be appeased and worshipped but One God who governs and knows the beginning to the end. He is the God who loves His creation and will see it restored to new. The one who sees all, knows every hair on our heads and every sparrow that falls. He knows our thoughts and every word that will come out of our mouths. (Psalm 139:4) Our God is all knowing and intensely caring. I believe as we understand the nature of God and His desire to see a “total oneness” in His creation, a oneness that is unique and only possible through Him, we can begin to enjoy, explore and become part of that oneness. That Unity. For what did Jesus pray before He went to be with His Father.
John 17 :11
“Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name- the name You gave Me- so that they may be one as We are One.”
Do not allow the Trinity to confuse you. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, three in One - ONE God. A mystery and a wonder that the Lord enables us to search in our journey of coming to know Him. An exciting search, as we see how the things of God’s Kingdom are interwoven and always reveal His unchanging nature and perfect union with all that He has created. Eternal life is knowing God, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. (John 17:3)
In 1998, the Lord spoke to me very clearly about unity and it has been my prayer and desire since then to see the body of Christ as one people. A people filled with the Holy Spirit, on fire for Jesus and loving God wholeheartedly without reserve. The more I have tried to understand this concept, the more I have realized that without the power and work of the Holy Spirit to bring this about, it is impossible. But God is busy doing it. How do I know that? Because Jesus asked him too. Yes - because Jesus asked Him to. Jesus knew the heart of the Father and He asked knowing that God would answer- in His way and in His time. We are invited and encouraged to be part of this building, unifying process. Doctrine, worship, style and more have divided the church without mercy causing a fragmented body that often has little power, certainly not the divine design. God ordained the body, the worldwide body to manifest His glory and reveal to the nations His love and His plans to establish a Holy people who walk in His authority and power. A people who prosper and bear fruit and know His favour. As the Israelites prospered in the land of Goshen so the people of God will prosper as they remain one with Him. Planted in the vine, hidden in Christ. In that place of unity is blessing and peace, joy and abundance, oneness with God and oneness with each other. As we determine to know God’s word, may we also determine to know a place of unity and peace with the body of Christ at large.
For about 20 years I was involved in ministry to the Police in South Africa. It came in all shapes and formats and allowed me to meet men and women from all denominations. The Police Service accepted all people no matter their religion, the criteria for acceptance was certainly not dependent on their political, religious or other views. It is a tough job and I often thought they created an independent, totally different, society within a society as protection. Only they could fully understand the traumatic and difficult situations they had to deal with, and it seemed almost a written code that those things stayed within the officers; there wasn’t a chatting and sharing with outsiders. However, when things were really tough and there seemed to be no answers, it was amazing how they were encouraged by and turned to prayer. And God, in His mercy, brought extraordinary answers. I share this because I believe there is a void in all people that can only be filled by God. It needs to be filled by a loving, healing God who longs to save and make whole- bringing a completeness as a result of being made one with Him- and people need to hear about Him. It taught me how the Lord did not depend on me to get my doctrine all sorted but rather to speak about Him. To speak about the God who is so real to me. To speak about the reality of a powerful, kind, generous, all-powerful God who longs to be in our lives. Not just a little part of our lives but in our lives in a way that cannot be separated from Him. Our being thoroughly, permanently grafted into the vine.
The vine is not church but Christ and this Truth unites the body. As the police officers came to Christ, they would find a place of fellowship and each would choose a church that worked for them. A place where they could enjoy learning and growing in their knowledge of God. This did not separate them but rather strengthened them and allowed them to meet together for prayer becoming a witness to those who did not believe. I confess I did not always appreciate this as I believed that some “churches” were just off track - they didn’t believe what I did. Arrogant? Oh absolutely! But the Lord is patient and He has taught me and over the years I am seeing the body as one beautiful people. Jesus builds His church and people are built into this body as He sees fit. It is not the going to church that makes you part of the body but the becoming one with Him that gels you into a larger people all at one with God through Christ. The Holy Spirit filling us, working in us, is magnifying Jesus and drawing us deeper into truth and causing the body to reflect the glory of the Father. Last year we looked at the attributes of Jesus understanding more of His love and kindness, His mercy and His glory, recognizing that He has called and chosen us to bear fruit and to be part of all that He is doing as He builds and establishes His Kingdom.
Sisters in Christ, never forget that your influence and presence in God’s Kingdom can make a difference wherever you are or whatever your job……….you are His ambassador. I said in 1998 the Lord spoke to me about unity. His instruction was not just to be one but to be united so that we may impact society. As we pray and ask the Lord to give us a deep, real love for one another and to unite us into one body with Jesus as the head, I believe we will impact society with love and hope and see His Kingdom grow. We have the answers to a life filled with hope and a deep joy, a truth that invites all men to enter in and become one with their creator, one with their loving Father. The life and power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ in the believing community radiates the light of the Kingdom and this draws people out of darkness. (Isaiah 60: 2-3)
May 2023 be a year in which we say "yes" to God and step out to share all the blessings that we have received, all the joy, hope and wonder and determine to build and not break down. Kingdom builders, desiring to build one glorious Kingdom that will reveal God’s purpose and plan to redeem mankind.
Father God thank you that You have made us one with You and one with each other. We ask You, God of Hope, that You will fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in You so that we may overflow with the hope that comes by the power of the Holy spirit. May others be drawn to You through that hope and Your Kingdom established.