Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Battle That Brings Us Together

Division roars louder now than it has in many years past. Everywhere we turn, it seems a new group rises up against another. We are a world divided by a multiplicity of ideas, values, beliefs, preferences, dreams, and expectations. And yet God calls us to live in unity. As the apostle Paul states, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18).

As kingdom followers of Jesus Christ, we have been chosen to model unity, love, and peace as an alternative to the ways of a world that stands divided. Yet it seems that division often slithers its way into our churches and Christian organizations as well. Satan’s overall strategies rarely change—whatever he can divide, he can conquer (Mark 3:24). He accomplishes this division through lies, deception, and destruction ( John 10:10). But we must remember that in this battle we are not fighting for victory; we are fighting from victory. Jesus has already disarmed the rulers and principalities of this rebellion (Colossians 2:15) and has secured the victory for us. We walk in the fullness of this victory by standing in truth, abiding in Christ, resisting the devil and his minions, and waging spiritual warfare according to God’s Word.

To say that spiritual warfare happens in this area of oneness with others is an understatement. It’s time for us to rise up as the collective body of Christ and call down heaven’s authority into the chaos on earth, in order that we might usher in the light, blessings, and favor that defeat the darkness of the enemy.

After all, the call to unity is the great call Christ gave in His high priestly prayer. Shortly before He was arrested and crucified, He prayed,

I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, 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 17:20-23 niv).

Just hours before He laid down His life for us, Jesus Christ placed a tremendous emphasis on His desire for His followers to be unified. This isn’t something that He is asking us to do only during “Unity Month” or on “Special Oneness Sunday.” This is a mandate from our Commander in Chief that we be one with Him and, as a result, one with each other.

Unity is to be our defining marker as kingdom disciples. Jesus said our unity will show the world that God sent Him and that He has loved us as God loves Him. Oneness is not an emotion. Unity is not a song. It is a strategy, responsibility, and approach to advancing God’s kingdom agenda and seeing His rule manifested on earth. To live divided (whether at home, work, or church or in our communities, nation, or world) is to bow to Satan rather than the one true God. It is to relinquish our spiritual authority on the altar of discord.

Unity is the keystone of spiritual victory. It must be our goal as followers of Christ if we are to be effective in this call to live as overcomers in spiritual warfare.

The apostle Paul warns us about this ongoing spiritual conflict in several of his epistles, but perhaps most importantly in his letter to the believers in Ephesus, where he also spells out our strategy for winning the battle. That strategy has to do with the armor we wear as we enter into warfare with the enemy of our souls.

Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (Ephesians 6:13-18 niv).

Excerpt with permission from Stronger Together, Weaker Apart: Powerful Prayers to Unite Us in Love by Dr. Tony Evans, copyright © 05/05/2020, Harvest House Publishers.

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