Friday, June 06, 2014

The Spirit behind unity

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Numbers 11:16-30

TO CHEW ON: "So the Lord said to Moses "...Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you that you may not bear it yourself alone.'" Numbers 11:17.

Here in Numbers 11 we have an element of the unity Jesus prayed for, for His followers: unity in leadership. How does it come about? Not through education, training, or even mentoring, but through the impartation of the same spirit — the Holy Spirit.

God called Moses and empowered him to lead the Israelites. Now God gave him helpers to spread the weight of responsibility. Like God hand-picked the disciples, so it seems He chose these 70 men, for two didn't show up for the meeting at the tabernacle yet they demonstrated the same supernatural ability to prophesy even though they had stayed in the camp (Numbers 11:26).

I wonder if we haven't often glossed over the role that the Holy Spirit plays in our unity. And He fosters unity not only in leaders. The Bible has many examples of spiritual unity. (Though the Holy Spirit isn't expressly mentioned in many of these instances, I think we are safe in assuming that He was present in each case).

1. Moses and Aaron spoke in unity as God's mouthpiece to the Israelites - Exodus 4:15,30.

2. Aaron and Hur supported Moses' hands to achieve victory in battle - Exodus 17:12.

3. Elisha and the sons of the prophets worked together on a building project - 2 Kings 6:1-3.

4. The Israelites were unanimous in their choice of David as king - 1 Chronicles 12:38.

5. The Israelites worked in harmony under Nehemiah to complete repairs on the city wall while at the same time guarding everyone's safety - Nehemiah 4:16-17.

6. Jesus promised success in prayer as we pray in unity with even one other person - Matthew 18:19. In fact, when the disciples prayed "in one accord" (Act 4:24) "...the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness" - Acts 4:31.

7. Working in unity gives us success in spreading the gospel - Philippians 1:27.

How can we fight if we're controlled by the same Spirit? Let's be aware of the Holy Spirit's role in furthering unity, both in individual and church life!

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be controlled by Your Spirit and thus enabled to live in unity with other Spirit-filled and -empowered believers. Amen.

MORE: Unity and Prayer

"Disunity is a major hindrance to much prayer, and the history of revival in the church proves that deep, pervading unity in the Spirit can lead to spiritual refreshing and blessing."
- Wesley Duewel quoted in Prayer Powerpoints p. 95 (Source: Touch the World Through Prayer - Wesley L. Duewel, p. 25).
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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