What are some of the things that stop us working together as a community of God?
Pride (that is, my opinion is right and the best opinion – confidence in one’s own opinions)
Spiritual Pride (that is, just pride again but bringing God in to support your views)
Sin (that is, hidden and unhidden sin that distracts and also has people walking in the flesh and not the Spirit)
Lack of faith (that is, an unwillingness to trust and obey, so the default is working in your own strength)
Lack of Humility (that is, unable to sit under leadership – pride again)
Failing to see the church as Christ’s body in the world (lack of Biblical understanding and understanding of the heart of God)
People not truly Born Again (People walking in their own strength and not the Spirit)
Grumblers (People that not set free and who have pot shots from the side lines)
Procrastinators (People not set free and who are ruled by laziness and fears)
Glory Seekers (People who want to be in the limelight and who aren’t so therefore switch off or give a percentage of effort)
Satan (Satan is working hard at keeping us small and insignificant in the Kingdom of God through deception and distraction)
Lack of prayer and fasting (Seeking the Lord in everything that we do)
Time Issues (people not structuring their life and time around the body of Christ)
Financial Issues (people not supporting and structuring their finances in to the body of Christ)
Is there something else? I am sure there are heaps! But what about…
“Babel or Pentecost”
Jesus came to give us LIFE, TRUE LIFE, REAL LIFE, ABUNDANT LIFE! But what if we are not walking in the light and the life – is there something else that separates us?
In the Old Testament, tucked between the flood and the call of Abram(later Abraham) we have a story about the Tower of Babel…
11:1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel — because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth. NIV
The Lord caused confusion in the language of the people so that they could not understand each other – they could not work together and they were scattered. In other words the Lord took hold of their tongues to bring disharmony and confusion and scattering.
Contrast that with these verses in Acts…
2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11(both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs — we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” NIV
Again, God, by His Spirit, takes hold of peoples tongues, but this time not to scatter and bring confusion and disharmony but to usher in His Kingdom of God – a Christ centred community of love and oneness in Him and each other. The ‘curse of Babel’ that hinders mankind from working together in community is broken by the blood of Jesus! Oneness with God and oneness with each other is restored by the work of the cross though the power of His Holy Spirit.
20 “I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message [Ed:that’s us!]. 21 I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one , just as you and I are one : 23 I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me. (GNT)
Just a thought…