Have you ever taken time to watch ants? Growing up in Texas I didnʼt have to look far to find ants scurrying across the ground fixing, gathering, hunting, waging war, or constructing. With little to no communication at all it’s as if each individual ant was created to interact with hundreds if not thousands of other ants with a singular purpose. They purposed together to advance their kingdom. Why, because that’s what they were created for. It’s a glorious undertaking!
Imagine if the “Kingdom of God”, came together with a singular purpose. What would happen if we together with thousands if not hundreds of thousands of other people purposed together to advance the Kingdom of God? Would the world be changed? Would our neighbors, co-workers, and family see something that no words could explain? Would Christ’s prayer to the Father become a reality? It would be a glorious undertaking for sure!
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 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.
We’ve been given the glory that God gave Jesus, so we can be one as God and Jesus are one. The world will know that God sent Jesus and loves them even as God loves Jesus when we have the oneness we see demonstrated in God and Jesus’ relationship.
What has God given us?
Oneness – God’s Unifying Glory
The truth of the matter is this, the oneness of the Church, all Christianity, can only become a reality when we surrender our will and recklessly pursue Godʼs. Then and only then will the world know God! Let that sink in…
The world, the entire world, will know God. Not because of his creation, not because of a miraculous healing, but because his people are recklessly abandoned to Him. If the world knows God through the Christian’s love for one another, evangelism would be a natural bi-product – nothing forced, coerced, or demanded. The unity of Christ expressed through believers is enough to change the world.
Let’s assume that the unity of Christ is not dependent on us, but it is revealed through us. If this statement is true then our spiritual condition can only be one of these three options.
1. Through ignorance, lack of education and discipleship, or some other
random happenstance we have not come to realize that God unifies Christians.
2. We are walking in disobedience to God. Fractures, distrust, and envy (to mention a few) are prevalent in many churches.
3. We don’t have a relationship with Jesus. If the Church is not unified then the logical outcome is the church is filled with people that are not Godʼs people. Oneness is found in a life fully devoted to Christ and actively surrendered to God’s will; allowing the Spirit of God to be fully alive in and through us. If that’s not happening in our lives then maybe we aren’t Christians.
It’s been said that the water that we drink is the very same water dinosaurs drank thousands of years ago, the air we breath is the very air that was exhaled as Jesus took his last breath, and the Spirit of God that filled the disciples is the very same Spirit that fills every Christian today. Finding oneness is as simple as drinking a glass of water, yet as hard as rebuilding an aircraft with a toothpick and hammer. It comes from a life alive through Christ and devoted to God.
Do you think the way we live fulfills Christʼs prayer to the Father? Why or Why not?
Is the Church today divided? What makes you feel that way?
How do you plan to apply what you have learned?
How would living a life pursuing Godʼs Lordship change your relationships?
In what relationships may God be challenging you to better express his oneness?
What is God asking you to do to be more “Christ Like”? How can you practically live out what He is asking you to do?