By Dr. Rick Chesher
Every year about this time people within the faith community begin to talk about unity, especially those in the community that follow a Biblical Roots perspective, and rightly so, it is the festival of Sukkot. This is the time of year we believe our Messiah will return for His bride and take us to be with Him forever. This implies that we will be unified and there will be unity within the body. But I think it needs to start happening before His return. It is nice to think that He is some how going to bring about unity without us being part of that is immature at best.
If you look at 2 Peter 1:3-4, you will find that it says that through His Divine nature we have everything needed for life and godliness, so, if that is the case we have everything we need to come together as a body and be unified into the one body He is calling us to be. I believe if we are going to be unified, there are three things that must be addressed and we need to look at very hard, and not just look at these, but look at them in light of ourselves. It is not enough to look at these things and judge others, in fact, that is not the way we are to judge. We are to judge our own life in light of these three things.
The first of these is love. As we look at the fruit of the Spirit, the first fruit we come to is love. In other word’s the very first characteristic of the Holy Spirit is love, and I believe that, we couldn’t carryout the other two without first getting our heads around this one. The kind of love that I am talking about is a love that can only come from our Heavenly Father. If you look at Exodus 21:5, Scripture talks about a man that is a slave and has the opportunity to go free the time period for him to go free has come. It says that if the slave loves his master, and his family he is to state so and they take him to the door post and they are to pierce his ear with an awl and he can say.
What an amazing thing, he has the opportunity to leave and be free, but because of his love for his master he can stay. That is the picture of Yahshua and us! We first need to fall completely in love with our Master, and make the decision we don’t want to be free. I believe the very first position of our love needs to be with the Master. If we are not completely in love with Him, it will be impossible for us to be in love with anyone else. In Revelation 2:4, Yahshua tell the congregation in Ephesus that what He had against them was that they had left their first love, and the call to them was to return to their first love. Look at this closely, they had done all that most of us think we should be doing, they were working, and they were laboring, they were enduring, and they could not tolerant evil. They tested those that called themselves apostles and were not, they found them to be liars. They had tolerated many things because of the Name of Yahshua. They had not grown weary. But look, at verse 4, they had abandoned their first love. They were so caught up in the battle, they lost sight of the reason they were in the battle in the first place. The call was for them to return to their first love.
The second is pride, turn with me to Leviticus 26:19, it says that Yahweh will break down our strong pride, and that He will make our sky like iron, and our land like bronze, and if you look at verse 20, it says that our strength will be used up for nothing. This passage comes from Yahweh telling Israel that they have before them blessings and curses, these verses are in the midst of the curses for disobedience. So, the sign of pride is disobedience, and disobedience brings with it the signs that comes from curses. In Psalm 31:19-20, it says that we can receive His goodness for those that take refuge in Yahweh. And it continues to say that for those that take refuge in Yahweh he will hide them from the pride of man which is
His presence, His presence is our protection. Proverbs 8:13 tells us that to fear Yahweh is to hate evil, and goes on to say that He hates arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech. So, if we are operating in pride then our works will be fruitless and it will zap our strength. Pride robs us of the labor we labor in.
The third is not walking in the light. Look at 1 John 1:5-10, it tells us that Yahweh is light and that there is no darkness in Him. That should tell us all we need to know, if there is darkness in the community, it is because we are not walking in the light, because He is light and there is not darkness in Him. Look at verse 7, if we walk in the light with Him, then we are able to have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahshua cleanses from all sin. If we have no fellowship with each other it is not because of someone else, it is because we are not walking in the light with Him. This is a problem that we need to look at. He is talking about walking in the light with Yahshua brings the cleansing of sins and fellowship. So, just asking for the forgiveness is not enough, we also need to make that decision to walk in the light with Him.
So really, we can’t say that these things are impossible for us today. I have heard some say that we will not be able to do these things until Yahshua returns, but that would go against what Scripture says, once again, in 2 Peter 1:3-4, we have all that is needed for life and godliness. I guess it comes down to this, what do we believe? Do we really believe what His word says, or do we just say someday that will happen? The truth is, if we believe, then we will begin to live this out in our lives. So maybe the fourth thing we need is to walk in faith.