“Unity — A Matter of the Heart”
Who has your heart? In Deuteronomy 6:4-5, we have Moses challenging his people — “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
In Deuteronomy 10:12-13, “And now, O LORD, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.”
In Joshua 22:5, we read his admonition to his people — “But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.”
When God was getting ready to designate a new king for Israel, He said to Samuel (1 Samuel 16:7) “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
All the way through the Bible there is a major focus on the heart and its relationship to the LORD.
We have an adversary, Satan, who seeks to deceive, divide and destroy. He really targets Christians and churches.
I really appreciate what Warren Wiersbe wrote about “Unity”. “Diversity is not transformed into unity by dynamic leadership, clever slogans and promotion, or any other merchandizing technique. Diversity is transformed into unity when our hearts fully belong to Jesus Christ, when we love and obey Him and want to glorify Him above everything else. There is a false unity that is manufactured by pressure from without, but what the church needs to manifest is the true unity that is produced by spiritual power and passion from within. This is the work of the Spirit.”
Each of us is different from everybody else. Even though each of us may be a true Christian, it doesn’t mean we all think alike. When you stop to think about it, the fact that true unity can exist in the presence of so much diversity, is nothing short of miraculous. Yet, that is what happens when the LORD rules in each heart. That is amazing!
One of the greatest threats to unity, whether in the home, workplace or church is selfish desires. In James 4:1-3, we read — “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get, on your pleasures.”
There are numerous examples in the Bible where different people gave in to their desires of the heart and unity flew away.
• Lot showed a total lack of respect for his Uncle Abraham. He wanted the best land and wealth and, in the end, he lost it all.
• Achan’s selfish desires prompted him to take some of the forbidden spoils of Jericho. It resulted in 36 soldiers being killed. Ultimately, Achan and his family perished.
• Ananias and Sapphira’s desires to be honored as spiritual resulted in their being stoned.
• Even the disciples as Jesus was facing the cross, argued among themselves as to who was the greatest.
• King Solomon’s heart was divided between his love for the LORD and his love for his foreign wives and their false gods. In time, it led to a divided kingdom.
Note: It was Solomon who wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
So, I close with the question I began with — “Who has your heart?”
Folks, we have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. We belong to Him. Therefore, — “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
Folks, that is the reward of the heart that is set on honoring and glorifying the LORD personally and collectively.
May Jubilee ever be known as a fellowship where the beautiful unity of the Spirit is seen.
Glory to God,