In a world permeated with opinions and the complexity of choice, the idea of reconciliation and unity can seem based on a fairytale. Personally, I’ve struggled with people all my life. Since young, I’ve generally gravitated towards people that weren’t afraid to be vulnerable. And even with these sincere, humble people that were led by love and compassion and possessed the tendency to sacrifice, I still hit walls.
Why is it so hard to get along? Why must it be such a struggle to see eye to eye? It’s because we are all struggling to make something of ourselves and of the world around us!
I can totally understand that for this reason, we hold back. So there are two things: first there is self, where our identity comes from, and then, there is the world around us, where we derive our mission.
Identity is commonly found through relation. It is how we relate and respond that we learn more about ourselves. It’s also through what people see in us. It’s plain to see how in many ways this can go wrong, making it absolutely frustrating, especially dealing with others that also struggle themselves. Ultimately it is what God has predestined that is truly programmed within us and it is in this identity that we may live in real freedom!
Additionally, there is a plan for the world—a mission to heal it through a united church. We all have our own ideas about this and how this could work and that right there is the beginning of our problem (we all have our version) – which is why understanding our own predestined identity and call doesn’t end right there. But as it is said in John 17, it is in unity the world may see and be compelled to come—this is the mission. So in this, there is also a predestined plan that we need to live out. This is the lens in which we should see each other and the world. So in all that we look at, there is a Christ context to it, especially when we look at others.
Yes, in many ways we are different, but we were made to work in perfect unity harnessing these differences—in strength, capabilities, and points of view.
So let’s go back to the essential law of the bible: love thy neighbour as thyself. Do we not struggle to make something of ourselves and our place here on earth? Well, we must also recognise that equally hungry spirit with an equally allocated plan in the other person. Reconciliation and relationships are to be fought for. Take courage and fight for the Lord by fighting for His people! The walk with Christ is a journey of relating to God, an intimate relationship that twists us to our very core! But we must wrestle to see what God sees in them. Most of all pray for the eyes of Jesus! That you may see Him so that He may work through you.
At the end of Job’s troubled life, he found God. He was the perfect man and didn’t sin even when everything was devastatingly taken away from him. In Job 42, one of the last things he says is “God I have heard of You, but now I see You”. Though He was already the ‘perfect man’ before the troubles, because of the way he chose to live his life, he still had not known God. But through his struggles, full surrender and the precise Godly application to life, he saw Him and He was full.
We hold back on giving time, our relationship, or our sacrificial love. We live with this fear of pain, both for ourselves and the other. We are terrified of losing! In complete truth, most of us are just afraid to appear weak and be made a fool of, whether directly or indirectly.
But to me the biggest fool is that person that holds back and although is socially accepted in the moment, totally misses the picture of eternity. No I’m not talking of hell, I’m speaking of the wonderful dream of God—a kingdom dream that would drive you to bear with the suffering, a dream that would be worth of a few cringy moments. Sometimes to find our calling, we have to forsake our comfort.
We are commanded to live in such a way that is worthy of Christ. That in suffering we are to live as champions and victors of Christ! (2 Cor 4:16-18). We are called to be the ‘unmistakable aroma of victory’ (2 Cor 2:15) – a perfume of life!
If you are asked your age in English you would simply say, “I am 21 years old” (if of course you were 21). But if you were to respond in French, the direct translation will sound more like, “I have 21 years”. In the same way, let’s stop saying, “yes I’m saved” and start saying, “I’m a follower of Christ!”
Possess your salvation! Take a second to reflect and see how far you’ve come. I don’t doubt how proud you would be!
You see, there’s a paramount difference between knowing your salvation and possessing it. When you possess it, you begin to live out your predestined life! Furthermore, possessing it gives you the eyes of Jesus that you may see people and the world for its predestined plan. In this way, you can impart prophecy and encouragement to build unity.
As I pressed on in prayer and worship, I couldn’t help but think about John Chau, the missionary whose questionable methods resulted in his death by tribesmen of the Sentinel Islands off the coast of India. While his actions seemed unwise, I can’t help but think about that heart that was completely sold out to the mission of sharing the word! The love he had for these people he hadn’t even met almost seemed Christ-like. Because of how these Islands were protected, the people had no way to receive the gospel. So it wasn’t even a question, he simply had to minister to them.
I want to have that same heart! It’s inspiring to think how tangible it was for him—this salvation he possessed, this reality of being God’s beloved child (Romans 8:16)! Despite his actions being seemingly foolish and widely made fun of, these forgotten tribespeople were at the forefront of every form of media globally for weeks! And now we have intercessors praying and missionaries globally dedicated to reaching these unreached people! It’s amazing to think how God makes one foolish act on earth mean EVERYTHING in eternity. We may call John Chau a fool, but as he now basks in the presence of Christ, he is a hero and a co-heir! I pray that we all may have hungry and expectant hearts, that we may come to realise the MAGNITUDE of our existence and pursue what Christ has for us and in turn overflow into the lives of others. I pray that we may be compelled to compel!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:6
In a big way, Christ’s order contradicts much of what our cultures and upbringings dictate. It is because of this precise reason that we must wrestle with it to truly understand it in theory and application! To truly own it is to know it, which requires discovery. It is a journey, but if we remain anchored to a turning point in the past, we will continue to live in the past.
Similarly, reconciliation and relationships are to be fought for. The walk with Christ is an intimate relationship that twists us to our very core. In ways and measures it slices off things that cling so closely that we shouldn’t have picked up. We must seek His truth and His Godly sorrow to better understand His heart which enables us to see as He does and be as He is (1 John 3:2).
The future awaits our action! The lost, blind, dead in spirit and soul, the weary and poor await our action!
We reside in a broken world with broken souls. Assured that in different ways, we too are somewhat broken, but it is through our brokenness that God will use us. It is in our weakness that His strength is made perfect (2 Cor 12:9). Instead of shying away from it and feeling ashamed, revel in it and possess the light and easy nature of freedom in Christ.
It’s not uncommon that God reveals such love and vision to me, and how I treasure it when He does! Use this to build, to build up, to love thy neighbour as thyself, and to invest in a life, especially those of the weak! Surely it is in this kind of living that we can bring about unity and reconciliation. If it’s an impossibility, why then has God tasked for it to happen? It can happen, believe it. Don’t live for survival, but live for victory, for kingdom!