Unity of Spirit – Abiding in Christ
So much disunity in this sad and broken world. It’s enough to cause one to throw up one’s hands and simply surrender – and that is exactly what our Maker has longed we would do all these many maimed years of human history!
Unity is like ministry. It kinda flows along. One can’t say, “Today I’m going to go and do some unity” just as one can’t really say “Today I’m going to go and do some ministry.” Unity and ministry are both by-products. They are by products just as the fruits of the Spirit are by-products. By-products of what? They are by-products of doing that one simple thing Christ asked of us: they are by-products of abiding in Him.
For the past few days now I have been contemplating much these insights of Oswald Chambers:
“If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are. As we grow in the Christian life, it becomes simpler to us, because we are less inclined to say, “I wonder why God allowed this or that?” And we begin to see that the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life, and that God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose.”
“God is divinely shaping us into oneness,” Chambers writes. You see, the purposes of God have much more to do with changing us into the image of Christ – “until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19) — than they do with the surface purposes we imagine. That abrasive brother who sits beside you every Sunday may be there in the purposes of God not as your evangelism target, but to teach you longsuffering. Your loss of your job may not be so that God will lead you to a better job, but that you may grow in your faith in God’s provision. Those in your circle of friends who believe differently on some disputable matter may in God’s purposes not be there for you to persuade to your views but for you to develop respect of another’s conviction.
This kind of “resting in God,” of “abiding in Him,” requires the abandonment of trying to scrutinize His purposes — lest we find ourselves maneuvering to manipulate His purposes for Him. It requires complete trust in Him… a simple, daily walk of faith. How long? “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13).
“A Christian is someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God.”
To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.