How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
Unity is hard. It doesn’t seem to matter if we’re trying to build unity between two countries, two ethnic groups, or just two people.
Unity is hard because it requires common ground or goals. Many today find more in common with those who share political and social perspectives than with other believers. This should not be. Instead, let us unite around Jesus, his mission, his gospel, and his ways.
Unity is hard because it requires a common enemy. Nothing brings people together like a common foe. Who is our enemy? It is not each other or the world. The Bible is clear, “our battle is not against flesh and blood but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” If we continue to fight each other, we will never succeed against the evil one.
Unity is hard because it requires self-denial. We must be willing to set aside our agendas, our feelings, even our very selves. This is not easy to do when we are convinced our thoughts, ideas, and perspectives are right, better, and godlier than our brethren.
Unity is hard because it requires humility. An African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to far, go together.” Unity requires that I humble myself and admit “I need you. I can’t do this without you.”
Unity is hard because it requires worship. It requires laying down our kingdoms and embracing Jesus’ desire as expressed in His high priestly prayer. “My prayer is not for them alone. 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.”
Unity requires God’s help. For all the reasons stated above, unity is hard, and we cannot do it on our own. We need God’s help to shift our goals and perspectives, to help us embrace self-denial and humility and to bow our knee in worship.
Unity is hard because it is powerful. The enemy of our souls knows the power of Christian unity and utilizes every scheme at his disposal to fight against it. Yes, unity is good and pleasant, as the psalmist extols. But it is more than a lack of conflict. It is the very presence of God. It is like the anointing oil that was poured on Aaron and ran down his whole being. It is a full and complete covering like the dew on Mount Hermon. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have dwelt in unity from eternity past to the present day. They are not self-serving. They know what is true and what is not. They are completely committed to each other and to the mission of restoring our Father’s kingdom to this world and his image to humanity. They dwell in eternal love and in eternal life. They invite us, his children, to dwell with them and to receive this blessing, even life forevermore.
Prayer: Father, please forgive me for sitting in judgment of my sisters and brothers in Christ and for thinking I am better, smarter, or godlier than them. Forgive me for anything I love or cling to more than the glory of your name, your mission, your gospel, or your ways. I humble myself before you and admit that I cannot accomplish anything without the partnership of your Holy Spirit and your holy people. I receive your invitation to dwell in unity with you and your people and I pray that the world will know that you sent Jesus as they look at us and our unity.”