Why Can’t We Be Friends?
For the body is not one member, but many. [1 Corinthians 12:14]
As we embark on another year, the church is filled with excitement and celebration in anticipation for all the great things the Lord has promised to do! We here at Crossroads believe this year will be marked as the year when the Winds of Change will blow the favor of God into the lives of His people like never before. Not just in this local assembly, but the Body of Christ universally will experience the four winds of God blowing them into divine destiny, for those who may need a brief reminder of the veracity of the Breadth of God. One epic account of the wind of God blowing was in the story of Moses as he led the childhood of Israel out of Egypt through the Red Sea. The bible says, “Moses stretched out his hand…and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land. [Exodus 14:21] That Heavenly Wind is blowing again to bring God’s people out of and into his promises. Amen! The one barrier I see challenging such a move of God is the clandestine disunity in the Body of Christ. If the Children of Israel were not in one accord, it would have been impossible form them to make the Exodus out of bondage. It is now the time to stop acting like we have fellowship issues in God’s church. Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week. I cannot remain silent on the subject any longer, this pink elephant is getting on my last pink nerve. We as people of all backgrounds can get together over sports, work, and to a degree – politics but not Jesus? People either say, “those people are too emotional over Jesus, or too dead over Jesus,” it just seems everybody has their own prejudice as to why we can’t be friends, despite the fact we all live in the same house. [1 Corinthians 12:14]
We Shall Overcome
Please don’t misunderstand me, this is not a plea for social justice or racial equality. I am a not a civil rights activist or a religious zealot. This is simply one believer’s cry for unity, no more no less. A cry for unity within the bonds of Christ, not a compromise of anyone’s Christian disciplines and or denominational absolutes. There was a song we sang growing up in the Baptist Church, “Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.” We have preached a many of sermons on our eternal fellowship with God; this is surely the basis of our new beginning and blessings, but it can also pose a barrier if not approached with proper balance. One of the symbols of our salvation is the cross of Christ. Notice how it was constructed to go in two directions, vertical as well as horizontal. Most Christians do well with their vertical relationship with God, but it is in the area of the horizontal relationship with other Christians they struggle. Jesus did say, love thy neighbor as yourself. [Matthew 22:39] Well, the question may be asked again in this setting, who is my neighbor? Jesus does answer this question with a response I felt was most consistent with the text found in Matthew 12:50. Anyone who does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother! The fact that we are speaking in reference to the Body of Christ it seems more appropriate to cast the light on the integrity of brotherhood and sisterhood. The only way to accomplish this is by faith. Whenever we as Christians face overwhelming impossibilities, we always overcome them by faith in God. [1John 5:4] Faith is our victory and that same faith we used to cure cancer and stop wars. It is that same faith that can make us one in Christ. in a neighborly manner.
The bond of Fellowship is the key component to the Gospel being most effective. It is designed to unite, bridge gaps, and destroy barriers. The Gospel reaches its apex when barriers amongst the body are non-existent. Jesus was well aware of this, which is why he prayed so vehemently in John 17 for unity. Jesus knew a house divided against itself cannot stand. [Matthew 12:25] The blessing of God is going to be directly related to us unifying in this season. We must kick satan and his spirits of division out from amongst God’s church. The Lord has richly prepared blessings for each of us in this new season, therefore we must release the baggage and barriers that have separated us in the past if we are to receive them. Barriers such as racial, cultural, religious or denominational, socio-economic and all other barriers that keep the world from seeing the fullness of the power of God in his church. This year, as a member of the world church of Jesus Christ, do not allow anything to separate us from the love of God. It is certain that we want to see God’s glory shine through his church here on earth.
I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ. [Colossians 2:1-2]
The Irreducible Minimum
Humility! That is the key if we are to experience that love that binds us together as one. The devil is trying to use the fact that we all may not be the same age, the same race, of the same backgrounds, the same gender the same denomination or of the same socio-economic background to keep us divided. But what he forgot is we all have the same salvation, born again of the same spirit. We read the same Holy Scriptures and provide the same service and that is to “win the lost.” Oh yes, we all have the same Savior, and his name is Jesus! Hallelujah to the Lamb. Am I talking right? In light of this, all our excuses for not being friends are just cop outs to protect one group’s comfort and security. If the gospel unites and makes the declaration that we are all one, why are we allowing these weak satanic barriers to keep us from coming together?
An Eye Opening Experience
If we want to show the mystery of the gospel and the fullness of God [v2] we must find at least one reason to be friends. The church must get a revelation that we are not the enemies of one another, but it is satan who is the enemy. [Ephesians 6:12] We need to redirect all this negative energy against our brothers and sisters that divide us toward the forces of hell and then we will be unstoppable in this season. Anything that weighs us down, leave it and let God tie up the loose ends! Get ready church, just like our forefathers in the book of acts, we unite in fellowship having all things in common we are going to see exponential growth! [Acts 2:42-47] to taste and see the goodness of the Lord! The Lord is spreading the table for his people in this coming year. He is supplying more than your needs according to his riches and glory! The Lord is revealing himself as “El Shaddi” the God of more than enough and not only in provisional blessings but also in healings, miracles, and spiritual manifestations! God is showing himself strong to those who have waited upon him to perform his word. This is the promise of church that will walk in unity, for there will I command the blessing [Psalm 133]
Pastor E. Ford