When I was 23 years old I went on a prayer outreach to Tunisia. Once in Tunisia, I joined a team of 7 other prayer warriors. On day 6 of our outreach, after we had been interceding for various things as the Lord had led us, we felt it was time to step up our intercession.
One of the prayer team members immediately became fearful and doubted the leader’s guidance. He questioned him and the legitimacy of the next step suggested. The leaders immediately said that we could not go on into stepping up our intercession as there was a break in the chain of unity.
I was indignant, and immediately went on my own to do the intercession that had been suggested. Some of you might find the next statement I’m going to make hard to believe but, truthfully, it was my sincere, felt experience.
I had acted in presumption, arrogance and pride – outside of my authority.
As I stood in front of the Old City (called the Medina) of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, and uttered my first words of prayer, I instantly saw into the spirit realm for a split second. I saw a massive, grotesque creature that flashed from the entrance of the old city right up to my face. I was probably standing about 2-3 km away. I got such a fright and immediately went into a travailing repentance. I had acted outside the decision made by the leaders and what was agreed upon by the team. I had acted in presumption, arrogance and pride – outside of my authority. But God is so merciful that I instantly experienced His protection and such beautiful peace.
The Blessings of Unity
In Psalm 133, it speaks of the blessings and rewards which God ordains when we are united in and through and under Him. In verse 1 it says, ‘how wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony’. This speaks of a place where we, as children of God, experience such a sense of well being with Him and one another.
The blessings of this harmony are blissful joy, salvation, an atmosphere of contentment and an inexplicable inner peace. It has a mood and feeling and knowing of absolute safety. When this kind of unity exists, God’s will and dreams are stimulated and burst forth in in our hearts and minds. We see this in the lives of the first church described in the books of Acts. It is a place where we have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8). Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the Godhead in one, and in complete unity they created the world and the whole universe.
This is what it means to have the mind of Christ – not only in our love for Him, but in our love for one another.
The number of insect species vary from the lowest estimate of 2 million to the highest estimate of 30 million. Scientists have discovered 925, 000 species and millions have still to be discovered and catalogued. This is the fruit of our Creator – a united Godhead – whose creative abilities are released in unity, when we submit to Him, His will, His way of doing things and His love.
Heaven on Earth
This is a place where a piece of heaven touches earth. It is a place where we, His children, experience heaven on earth. Such was the case in the first church, as described in the book of Acts. In the book of Acts 2:32-37 and v.42-47, we read of heaven touching earth – where the ‘Our Father’ prayer literally comes to life as ‘..on earth as it is in heaven’.
Unparalleled unity and exuberant love for God and one another is evident with statements such as ‘devoted themselves’, ‘fellowship’, ‘sharing in meals’, ‘met together in one place’, ‘shared everything’, ‘sold their property and possessions and shared the money’, ‘worshipped together’, ‘great joy and generosity’, ‘enjoying the goodwill of all the people’, ‘united in heart and mind‘ and so forth.
How To Live It Out
What gave rise to this state of heart and mind of unity?
Spend Time with Jesus
It happened after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13), after being in His presence and learning from Him for 3 years. It happened with Him teaching and renewing their hearts and minds and ushering in His kingdom here on earth with miracles, signs and wonders. It happened after they had seen Him ascending to heaven. The disciples ate with Him and lived with Him. They copied Him and followed Him with all their hearts. Jesus was their all in all. They had become “Jesus Junkies”.
The closer we draw to Him, the more we get the mind of Christ. His mind is described in Philippians 2:5-8 with key phrases such as: ‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, very nature God, did not consider equality, to be used to His own advantage, made himself nothing, nature of a servant, humbled himself and obedient to death’.
It is evident that unity cannot be achieved without massive and significant humility, where I become nothing in my own eyes. My primary goal is to live for Christ and to serve my spiritual brothers and sisters, even at my own expense, even though it costs me everything.
Just remember that after every Holy Spirit-led death-to-self, there is a Holy Spirit-guaranteed resurrection and a very significant breakthrough. A breakthrough of unity. The supernatural hand of Christ starts to spread like wildfire, where the totally lost and broken radically come to Christ.
In a healthy biological family, siblings quarrel and fight. Yet very quickly they forgive each other and play on again. How often do they have to forgive one another in one day? How often do spouses have to forgive one another? Who shares your private space more than your family? Who invades your private bubble more than your family?
We are called God’s children and not His adults, so we too have to have the same heart and mindset as siblings growing and practising His love and patience toward one another. On the playground, if another child had to say something negative about your sibling, what would your response be? I dare say you would defend him or her for dear life, even if you had just had a massive altercation with him or her before going to school.
Be Your Brother’s Keeper
Unlike Cain, we are our brother’s keepers and we are one family of believers invading each other’s space and giving all of ourselves to one another, as seen in the book of Acts. We belong to each another and need to look out for and defend one another. This is what it means to have the mind of Christ – not only in our love for Him, but in our love for one another.
None of the above-mentioned is possible outside of our pressing into Christ and His ways and His love. As you lose yourself in the reality of His love for you, your love for the unlovable explodes. You begin to see others with His eyes and mind and heart.