Unity in the Essentials, Liberty for All: Moving Forward
Unity has been the cry of many recently. Yet, more than unity, God calls us to obedience. Taking God’s Word to heart means the whole and not just the parts we deem worthy of a shout out. My pastor of twenty years used to say, “Unity in the Essentials and Liberty in the Non-Essentials.” Today, I’m taking that a step further and crying out for freedom instead. Because it’s essential.
Freedom Requires Surrender
Yes, liberty for all begins with raising the white flag of surrender. Though we may not get our way, have all our heart’s desires met, or receive the answers we long for from God, His Word is clear on how we must live. Indeed, the Bible tells us what to do and exactly what God requires of us.
God has shown us what is good for unifying our hearts as one with His.
No, He hasn’t just told us what to do like a bossy babysitter. God has shown us what unity actually looks like. When we’re aligned with God’s ways, we have the ultimate unity. Otherwise, we remain in bondage to sin. And, friend, that is not freedom. Our liberty is at stake right now. It’s beyond loving our neighbor and showing compassion for other’s view points. We’ve moved way beyond that at this point.
Unity Calls for Humility
Two scriptures come to my mind when I think about how to proceed from here. Micah reminds us of the simplicity. Second Chronicles reminds us of the gravity of the heart behind our actions. However, it’s more than mere words,. Integrity must weigh heavier on the scale in what we actually do as God’s people. One is worthless without the other.
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously. Micah 6:8 MSG
Together: Fire Falls from Heaven & Glory Fills the Room
When Solomon finished praying, a bolt of lightning out of heaven struck the Whole-Burnt-Offering and sacrifices and the Glory of God filled The Temple. The Glory was so dense that the priests couldn’t get in—God so filled The Temple that there was no room for the priests! When all Israel saw the fire fall from heaven and the Glory of God fill The Temple, they fell on their knees, bowed their heads, and worshiped, thanking God:
Yes! God is good!
His love never quits! 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 MSG
AN UNDIVIDED HEART: UNITY IN THE KINGDOM
Solomon completed building The Temple of God and the royal palace—the projects he had set his heart on doing. Everything was done—success! Satisfaction!
God appeared to Solomon that very night and said, “I accept your prayer; yes, I have chosen this place as a temple for sacrifice, a house of worship. If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.
God’s promise to hear humble prayers & stay with us
From now on I’m alert day and night to the prayers offered at this place. Believe me, I’ve chosen and sanctified this Temple that you have built: My Name is stamped on it forever; my eyes are on it and my heart in it always. 2 Chronicles 7: 11-16 MSG
Liberty & Wholeness come with a cost
God continues to tell Solomon that if he will live in God’s presence (as his father, David did), God would give him favor. Furthermore, the condition was that he must be pure in heart and action, living the life God set out for him with great attention to obedience to His guidance and judgments. Only then, would God back his kingdom —making it a sure thing on a sure foundation. Undeniably, there was a key to his success. Indeed, there was a cost to having a life of liberty and wholeness.
This may come as a shock to those wanting their own way. Yet, aside from aligning our hearts with God’s, there is no path to unity in Christ. Ultimately, these words still apply to us today as God’s chosen people.
So, what must we do now?
- do justly
- love mercy
- walk humbly
- belong to God, be called by His Name (i.e. profess to be a Christian, a follower of Christ)
- humble ourselves (yes, God repeats the importance of being humble)
- seek God’s face
- turn from evil ways (meaning to repent- to forsake with sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin)
Prayer for Unifying our Hearts with His:
Father God, only You are sovereign. You are our sure thing. Though our hearts be heavy with fear of the unknown, we surrender our ways to Yours. Because we know that You desire a pure heart, we ask your forgiveness for our sins.
Yes, we come before You with humble hearts, seeking Your face in our time of need. There is a great darkness in our land; it is sin. Reveal what is not of You. Shed light on any and all evil and unscrupulous deeds. Rout out the enemy.
Please, bring Your Truth where lies and deception have come to steal, kill, and destroy Your will. We ask for justice, mercy, and love to reign. Not man’s justice, but Yours alone. We do not want mercy for the sake of false unity, we ask for Your purifying fire to fall heavy and let Your Glory be shown, In Jesus mighty name, we pray. Amen.
Interested in cultivating a powerful prayer life?
If you’ve read this far, please know this:
I believe in prayer. I’m a good girl; I love my mama, Jesus, and the United States of America too. Also, I love Tom Petty’s music. But, make no mistake; I stand with the President(DT). In my humble opinion, he should continue to fight the good fight. And, actually, I think we should be right beside him. In fact, I am praying like never before.
Our fiercest battles are fought on our knees. Real Victory lies in the power of prayer. ~ Amy Elaine Martinez, Real Victory Radio
Finally, check out this Real Victory Radio episode on HOW TO HAVE A BETTER THOUGHT LIFE
© Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com, 2016-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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Great post friend! So many lessons from Solomon and I love how you remind us of the importance of obedience to God for unity.