“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. (John 17:20-21 NLT)
Last evening I had the wonderful privilege to attend a gathering of several hundred people representing various groups of Christianity. It was moving as leaders prayed blessings over one another and the people they represented. It was amazing to see generations of infighting and doctrinal differences dissolve in the light of Christ who has made the many one.
During our time of prayer God reminded me of the importance of laying aside our minor differences for the greater purpose of His Kingdom. Don’t get me wrong, I am not being pluralistic. I fully affirm that there is only one way to get to God. That way was clearly articulated by Jesus when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NLT)
The reality however, is that we have allowed many trivialities to separate us. Many things that denominations have fought about for years is not even understood by the average person in the pew: “Dispensationalism?”; “Eschatological Distinctives?”; “Pre-Destination?”.
While I believe everyone should study the Word of God and be fully convinced of what they believe, I also know that there are many areas of scripture where great men and women of God disagree. If our doctrine must be perfect, then where does grace fit in? I would never be so bold as to believe that all of my doctrine is perfect, and I am betting that yours isn’t either. I am grateful for God’s grace despite my flawed understanding. If He can be gracious to me, then I can certainly be gracious to someone who disagrees with me. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8 NLT)
We who go by the Name of Christ, need to get over ourselves. It is time for us to lay aside our insignificant differences and join together against the real enemy of our souls. As God reminded me so clearly tonight, it is time that we, “Quit fighting the sheep and start fighting the wolves.” If it is a fight that we are looking for, it is all around us. It should not however be against our spiritual siblings, it should be for them.
Father God, help us to love one another as You love us. Help us to remember that our weapons should never be used against one another, but always against the spiritual forces that oppose Your Kingdom. Forgive us Your children for our fights with one another. Teach us to join together in unity for the fight that really matters. Bless our readers I pray, in Jesus Name! Amen!