SCRIPTURE: Psalm 133:1 (NIV)
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp.
When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ's commands. Then they came together. Francis Schaeffer, who told of the incident, asked a friend who was there, "What did you do then?" "We were just one," he replied. As they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control, the Holy Spirit created a spirit of unity among them. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred.
When love prevails among believers, especially in times of strong disagreement, it presents to the world an indisputable mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ.
Oh to experience the sheer power of God’s love is magical indeed! To arrive at the point so that we can experience God’s love, as the story above illustrates, takes a lot of soul searching, prayer, confession, and forgiveness. It is more than just a desire to move on. This experience begins with the willingness to be transformed at our very core… to have our DNA rearranged… to take the necessary steps to tear down walls, set aside feelings, and to become what God has created us to be. When we are willing to yield to God’s control then the Holy Spirit can do his work in us.
O Holy Spirit do your transformational work on us… in us… through us!