Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me. (Gospel of John 17: 20-21 WEB)
Oneness within the Body of Christ is a prayer that only the Heavenly Father can answer and provide. As we look across our country, nay our world, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have been fractured by ideology, government, culture, and prejudice. Jesus prayed to the Heavenly Father before his death that his followers who believe in him would be one. Sadly, this prayer has not come to fruition. Not because God is not able, but because of the decisions and actions that we in the Body of Christ have made. I believe that it is the express intent of the Deceiver to ensure that the body of Christ (a.k.a Christians) remain fragmented and divisive.
The Apostle Paul, one of the most prolific of the apostles compares Christians to a body.” Whereas our presentable parts have no such need. But God composed the body together, giving more abundant honor to the inferior part, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Or when one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. God has set some in the assembly: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various kinds of languages”. (I Corinthians 12:24-28 WEB)
When Christians begin to see each other as we truly really are, change will come to this world for the good and not for the bad. In nearly every country around the world there is a member of the body of Christ. Some parts of the world have a strong representation of Christ while others have a minimal representation. Some reside in totalitarian governments while others in liberal societies. What’s truly devastating is when Christians do not work together for the good of the Kingdom of Heaven. Too often when we are converted to the faith, we carry prejudices, hatred, and negative mindsets that limit our effectiveness to the church. One case in point is the recent visit of the Pope to America. Regardless of what others think Catholics are part of the Body of Christ if they have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior and live to please him. Many times, Protestants despise Catholics because of extraneous customs that are carried out within their church. I pray that Christians move past this nonsense. Too many members of humanity are dying and entering Hades lost. While we as the Vanguards of salvation continue to argue and quibble about what’s right or wrong within our exclusive groups. Wake up Body of Christ!
Christians are placed in this world to work while it is day. To show the love of Christ and his power in this dark world. We are placed to preach, teach, and heal. Many times, the Lord will provide these specific gifts of preaching, teaching, laying on of hands, speaking in unknown tongues, etc. to members in life that are viewed as inferior. As a result, we as Christians despise them while ignoring the blessing and the gift of life that God has granted to us and this world. In the meantime, the world sees how we devour our young (figurative) and follow suit. Often times, they will accept just about everything in life to contradict Christians and show us that they are all inclusive while we are just simple minded drones.
If the Body of Christ desires an end to poverty, sickness, disease, corruption, and destruction we need to work to see that the prayer that Jesus made to the Father comes to pass. Be one. That prayer while simple is profound. For becoming one is multilayered. One layer is submission. We must learn how to submit one onto another. This simply means to yield to the authority of another. This is difficult, because the human race is created to have dominion. As a result, we do not readily want to yield to anyone. To compound matters, many in authority within the church and in the Christian family have abused their power. What’s more, the Deceiver uses these failings to enter the church, home, and society and cause loss of hope, devastation, and destruction. I was monitoring my Face Book page this afternoon and noticed a prominent church leader participating in a party on his Yacht. This particular leader has a documented history of exploiting his followers via sexual abuse. Sadly, many still follow him and not many church leaders came out publicly to condemn his actions. See that’s key. Condemn the sin not the sinner. Pray for and remove the oppressor. If this is done with the Lord’s help he will heal the church.
Oneness in the church implies that each member of the Body of Christ actually knows and understands their bibles. It doesn’t matter what translation of the bible that you have its how you read and understand what you read. If you are a Christian, at some point in your life you should have asked for the Spirit of God to live within you. If he is, he will bring to life what you read. He will provide clarity to the scriptures. Many times he will speak to your heart or through your leader to provide an awareness. Oh Lord, I pray that you give us leaders who have a heart for you and the people. I pray that they keep themselves clean and pure within your sight, that their conscious is clear to minister your word to the people. I have many things to add but I have met my quota for the today. So I pray this simple prayer over you:
‘Yahweh bless you, and keep you.
Yahweh make his face to shine on you,
and be gracious to you.
Yahweh lift up his face toward you,
and give you peace.’ (Numbers 6:24-26 WEB)