Several years ago I helped lead worship at a large international ministry conference in Budapest, Hungary. Each day I met with worship leaders from a different country, learned a worship song from their delegation, and later taught it to the entire gathering as part of evening worship.
One of the most exhilarating worship experiences I have ever had came one night after I led everyone in a powerful and deep worship song I learned from a former Eastern bloc country. As we finished the song, two men from this country came forward to the microphone. They explained, through interpreters, that they knew each other from the past. One was a Christian pastor imprisoned for His faith; the other was his prison guard. It turned out they rediscovered each other at the conference.
What could have been a painful or ugly scene was instead an emotional and beautiful encounter. You see, after the pastor was released, his former guard had come to faith in Christ. These two men now wept and hugged each other, not as enemies but as new found brothers in Christ. It was such a powerful display of reconciliation that the entire gathering spontaneously formed a huge circle and began worshiping and singing in many different languages. It was like Pentecost all over again: God’s presence was noticeably and powerfully felt, like dew, in the room. This still impacts my life many years later, because it reminds me how God shows up when we are truly united in Him.
Unity happens when we decide to lay down the arms of division and accusation, and instead choose to seek God and yield to Him as we work through our dissonances and disagreements. When this happens, be ready for God’s deepest anointing and blessing.
If you are like me, there are certain people in our life that are, well, difficult. Perhaps their personality, political viewpoint, or relational skills grate against our nature. There may have been angry words or tension in a past encounter that, even as we have worked through it, causes a hesitation in our willingness to simply greet or talk to them.
Today, as you reflect on unity, ask God to create in you a heart for the kind of unity He alone can produce. Make a commitment to pray for God’s unity in your family, group, or church, and pray specifically for the people God lays on your heart. Fair warning: these may be the very people you’ve had the hardest time being around! Finally, as you worship today, you may want to pray to be the kind of person Francis of Assisi prayed to be:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
Thanks for reading this. If this blog has resonated with you, please consider telling your friends about it.