I Believe What You Believe

GodReflection: God Shares His Secret on Unity

garyguarujaI would sometime joke when asked how to raise funds for a Non-Profit Organization: “It’s easy just begin by telling a prospective donor, ‘I believe what you believe.’” Obviously, a person of integrity would never make such an assumption nor believe such an outlandish declaration.

Because each human being is wired and gifted by the Creator as a one-of-a- kind creation and is formed differently through years of unique experiences no two people believe exactly alike.

unity3So how is it possible to live in unity with another person who cannot mirror my belief system—much less attempt unity with millions of individuals who claim to follow a man called Jesus? Especially, when each one differs in the details of the life and worship of a Christ follower.

In Jesus’ last garden prayer, he prayed for the unity of all believers:

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 . . . 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. (John 17:11&23)

In one sense his prayer was answered, in another sense it was not.

unity17His church stands unified in belief of Creator God. We share unity in our affirmation that Jesus is the Christ.

The church is in agreement that Jesus is the only means of salvation and we his disciples are his ambassadors to all the earth.

The church is united on belief in the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus and the hope found only in him.

Should I take the time and the space to do so, I’m sure I could compile a rather long list to demonstrate the unity and “oneness” we now experience as a fulfillment of Jesus’ John chapter seventeen prayer.

unity26However, we sin when we divide his body into rival church tribes, apply the war paint and throw spears and Satanic missiles at other Christ followers.

When I catch myself in this posture I stand as a roadblock to Jesus’ prayer.

It concerns me when I find myself as a participant in disunity through my own likes, dislikes and prejudices. I am ashamed when I promote a lack of Christ-like behavior by a commitment to my own unbiblical opinions.

unity22I would like to think I am making progress in being less of a disharmonizing person.

It continues to be an enigma to me how on the one hand I know we are all wired differently and think differently and then on the other hand expect others to embrace my opinions as their own.

Could it be that one purpose God has for our walk on earth is to help us gain wisdom in failures; and gain joy in our successes when we see Jesus’ garden prayer being fulfilled in small ways?

Could it be that a primary purpose of my walk on earth is to learn how to, make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3) so that I can look forward to my next life when unity is the natural Holy-state of all eternity?

unity8I have a current role within God’s revealed secret of His desire for unity. I am to LEARN and to LEAN on His Spirit to be a man of peace.

In my struggle to do so, I am to share with my fellow travelers the secret of peace and unity found in Jesus. A secret learned and expressed through compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

And, all of that because He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and unity16blameless in his sight . . . God did what He had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan He had already decided to complete by means of Christ.

This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head (Ephesians 1).

And, Jesus’ garden prayer will be answered in full.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on The Secret of Unity

Gary@GodReflection.org     www.GodReflection.org

Unity is Worship

GodReflection: Power Words

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; – Psalms 95:6

garyguarujaI don’t do unity well.

I am a child of my church culture.

An erroneous conclusion took root in my soul somewhere along my path.

It’s a sin that didn’t live inside of me at birth.

It is a sin I had to learn. I learn it from fellow believers.

I learned disunity.

My guess is that I learned to practice disunity from those who claimed to make proclamations from the Word of God.

Somewhere along the way—marching under the banner of truth—mistakenly I learned that unity in Jesus is no big deal.

unity1Oh, I understand I am to practice unity with my church pew buddies. I am even to be united with the right sort of churches—those who agree with every doctrinal positions of my church.

However, I learn from some that there are churches with the same name as my church but are off limits when it comes to unity.

Where did I ever get such an idea?

From the Acts of the Apostles through the Revelation of Jesus to the Apostle John—I read sketchy accounts of the churches from the first century.  They are nothing less than true stories of sin-tarnished humans attempting to live by the power of Jesus Holy Spirit.

Their struggle was to unite with the Holiness of God.

I live with the very same struggle.

The closer I grow in unity with the holiness of God the greater my own sinful nature come into focus.

Here is what I think.

unity7I have no power to create unity apart from Jesus Christ.

Unity among believers can only result from unity with Jesus.

As a sin-tarnished fellow human being, shouldn’t blood running down the trunk of a cross possess sufficient power to unite me to every human—past, present, and future—who depends on the same sustenance?

To grow in my unity with Jesus must become the very core of my walk. It is only through unity with him that I can unite with other motley humans—like me—as together we submit our lives to the Son of God.

unity6The closer I become to the image of Jesus, the easier it will be to recognize the same image in fellow believers. In this process, we find common soil and begin to have solid ground upon which to unite.

The Apostle Paul shows members of the church at Ephesus how to practice unity:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. . . .

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,  to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 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.

It sounds as if my life’s task is to grow into the likeness of Jesus so that I can unite with all who are members of his body to one day experience what it means to enjoy the whole measure of fullness of Christ.

When I begin to see worship as a 24/7 state of being, I begin to see unity as a gift of worship I can present to my Creator.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on unity as power word to guide my walk.