Why is there so little power in the Church today? Pastors and other church leaders spend all nights in prayer, working hard trying to build their congregations, with small success and few results. The same men sometimes burn out. They may quit the ministry, go into business, and go on to make a lot of money and have success in other ways. There was no problem with their effort, so what was wrong?
One significant factor that is lacking nearly everywhere is that the people of God are not in unity. They don't have one heart and one mind. This means that power is missing from the church. Here are a few reasons why the unity of God's people is essential.
Matt 18:19 says that if “two of you agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (NIV) It's clear, that when we are in agreement, it gives power to our prayers. But if we are in disagreement it robs power from our prayers.
In John 13:35 it says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” And in John 17:22-24 Jesus is praying and asked the Father saying, “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 you sent me...” (NIV) When we are in unity, and we love one another, then the world will finally understand the gospel message, and believe.
In 1 Corinthians 11:29 it says that “those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgement on themselves.” (ESV) In other words, when we fail to recognise the other believers (the Body of Christ) and give proper place in our heart and mind, we eat and drink judgement. And the inverse is also true. Honouring and accepting God's people (the Body of Christ) bring blessing.
In Psalm 133:3 it talks about how wonderful it is when God's people are in unity and it says, “For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life evermore.” (NIV) When God's people are in unity, God can't help but pour out a blessing.
In answering this question, I have hardly been exhaustive, and yet 4 points have emerged as to why God's people must be in unity because...
- God answers their prayers.
- It makes the Gospel convincing and gives the Gospel power.
- Without it we actually are under judgement.
- God commands His blessing on His people when they are in unity.
Without the people of God being of one heart and one mind, we are no different to any other association of people in the world. It is our brotherly love (the nature of God) which differentiates us from all other things. So being in unity is essential for God's holy people as that is the nature of God Himself.