“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippian 2: 2-4
Times have not necessarily changed. Technology has increased and innovations have made life easier… maybe. Wars and political conflicts are cyclical. Nations still rise and fall. Churches are established and sometimes crumble. The nature of people is also persistent. While there are many different names and faces, similar attitudes and dispositions prevail.
Consider Paul’s appeal to the church in Philippi. He knew that the devil could not destroy them. He understood that worldliness, though a formidable foe, was not their greatest threat. The damage of the body would always come from within the body. Division in the church, which he called “schisms,” would always be the greatest hinderance. Thus, Paul instructed them to be in one accord and in humility toward each other. He did not want them to simply “look out for themselves.” He taught them to consider the interests of each other.
This conduct, if enacted in its Biblical form, leaves very little room for independence and self-preservation. It makes a demand of strong-willed people to be more considerate of those who might struggle. But as we know, being likeminded is a daunting task, especially among the American church. People want recognition not obscurity. They want to state their case and make their claim, not turn the other cheek. Paul wrote of esteeming others better than yourself. That does not sound good to the individualist. It leaves a bad aftertaste to the person who deems themselves more spiritual and more knowledgeable than those around them.
The battle for unity will always revolve around the deeds of the flesh. Demonic spirits have no power against the Holy Ghost filled saint of God. “Greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world.” Sin is a constant opponent against us. However, “where sin abounds grace doth much more abound.” The battle is over the human spirit and the unity of the body. Now and forever we will fight for unity. If the church ever comes into submission and unity, through humility and lowliness of mind, then we will have exceeding power and revival. The Harvest field may very well be contingent on church that is in one accord, with one mind. It was Paul’s desire and it is mine… it is my joy when we are in unity.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole