April 03, 2014
Yesterday we talked about conflict and unity. Where there is unity, there is great strength. Even when people unite for the wrong reasons, unity can generate synergy and power.
After the flood in Genesis, the world had only one language. Before long, the people decided to build a great city with a tower that would reach up to the heavens. Why? It was not because they were interested in honoring God, but because they were focused on making a name for themselves, and sticking together to avoid being scattered over the face of the whole earth. Knowing that this would be an ongoing temptation for man, God confused the language of the people and scattered them all over the earth.
Unity in and of itself, is not necessarily good. The concept of unity involves many aspects such as brotherhood, loyalty, and allegiance. But there are two key starting points to achieving unity: first, the motive and second, the object or cause that unifies the people. For maximum unity and health, we need to make sure we are pursuing God and Godly causes with Godly motives. The oneness, connection, and brotherhood we seek must be pursuing Christ, motivated by Christ, and achieved through Christ. This reunites us with the Father and honors our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Those people in Genesis truly were powerfully united. But their motivation was self-centered and their purpose was prideful and offensive to the holiness of God. They were not seeking to reunite with God. They were pursuing equality with God, actually trying to be like God, having divine acceptance and status through their own human effort.
Building a tower to the heavens to become like God sounds ridiculous. You might say, “I would never do that,” right? But we act and think a number of times each day with that same “my kingdom come” mentality. We idolize or focus on ourselves first, and don’t bring God into the picture until we become desperate or until someone else reminds us that God is part of our lives. Most of what we do exalts self, or puts self on top of the pedestal while we pursue work, academic, social, peer, or family approval, acceptance, and “worship.”
If we unite to seek power or success, focusing solely on human effort, for human rewards, from human motivations, we displease God … and are ultimately destined to fail. This especially holds true for the church. We must be focused on Christ, not on the building, the organization, or the denomination.
Today, take a look at those with whom you are united … family, coworkers, friends, organizations. What is the goal? What is the motivation? Where are Jesus and the gospel in this pursuit? Be focused on honoring God, not yourself. Always recognize your total dependence on Him. Let us stand together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Whether you honor God when determining those with whom you unite, the focus of your unity and why you unite with them or you honor yourself is your decisions, so choose well.
My Father and my Lord, Forgive me for the times that I’ve united with others to accomplish something that focuses on selfish ambition and desire rather than honoring You and accomplishing Your will. Help me to focus on You more than any organization or ambition. It is my desire and goal to honor You in all I do. If you have me in organizations, encourage me to influence others for the sake of Your name. I pray this and all prayers for the One who teaches about true unity, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Philippians 1:27
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: ‘Til we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: Ephesians 4:12,13