By Kathi Pelton
Do you know what was Jesus’ last prayer recorded in the scriptures? It is recorded in the 17th chapter of the Book of John,
“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17:21 NLT
This is the greatest evangelism key that there is— when the world sees that we are one with God and walking in oneness with each other— THEN THEY WILL BELIEVE!
Therefore it’s no surprise that the enemy seeks to divide the family of God.
Yesterday I was a part of a conversation about this very subject with some of the most beautiful people that I have the privilege of knowing. In this conversation one man said a very interesting thing that struck my heart. He said, “The enemy doesn’t divide the church, individual people divide the church. The enemy merely sends attacks against individual’s minds to cause them to become critical, offended, opinionated, disagreeable, politically motivated and slanderous against one another.” This divides the family of God.
The war against oneness in the church begins in the mind of every believer. God loves unity but he has provided for oneness which is much deeper— and is founded in covenant. It is what Jesus had with his Father as he walked the earth (and still today). It is what he has offered those who believe.
We have been invited into this oneness and if our oneness will cause the world to know and believe then we need to seek this with all of our hearts. This begins with our own hearts and minds— the battleground of the mind is where it begins and where it can be won.
As a pastor, I have noticed a great increase of people experiencing “mind wars.” I receive calls every week from people who are experiencing about tremendous warfare in the area of their mental capacity. They are struggling to remain in the peace of Christ and the truth of his Word. Between the demonic and highly politically charged narrative from almost every media (communication) source— as well as being infiltrated with so many opinions and the provocative rhetoric through social media sites, the enemy has managed to cause the mind that is continually exposed to these things extremely vulnerable. Then, he comes and adds his own agenda by accusing a brother or sister in the Lord or using them to offend or stir up conflict. Gradually even the believer’s mind can be poisoned with slanderous thoughts against one another that are backed by strong opinions that we dare to call “justice.”
As much as we believe in fasting from food, we need to begin to partake in fasts from those things that pollute the mind. This allows the Spirit of the Lord to purify our minds from the continual stream of negativity and demonic rhetoric. We must allow God to saturate our minds in what is good, righteous, pure and holy. He desires to wash and renew our minds from every sinful thought, wrong belief, from all defilement and divisive agreement that separates us from his love and from one another. Compromise begins in the mind that is allowed to be subjected to the programming of the atmosphere of demonic chatter and worldly opinions.
It is time to spend time in the presence of God and in the atmosphere of the angelic. We must saturate our minds in God’s Word— in his truths, his ways, his sounds and his message. We are counseled in the Book of Philippians with these words,
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phil. 4:18
Meditating on these things will bring you into hope, joy, peace and the love that God has for you and for your brothers and sisters. If you spend your days thinking critical and syndical thoughts— they will poison your heart. Or, if you spend your days thinking continually of political or opposing opinions, you will most likely find yourself believing some new conspiracy theory or taking sides against another. We do not want to set up opposing “camps” in the body of Christ but rather to seek oneness with our whole hearts. Jesus is the source of that oneness.
Therefore— let’s not be unaware of the true battle— it is a war against oneness; because if we have oneness— then the world will know and believe. We must put on the full armor of God so that we can protect and posture our lives (minds and hearts) in what protects us from being used to divide his body.
At Jesus’ crucifixion, Roman soldiers divided the garments that had been placed upon him— the very garments placed upon him to mock him as he was brought before Pontius Pilate. May we never enter into dividing his church or be a part of mocking his bride. We have been clothed in Christ’s righteous as one body.
Let us repent and return to the Lord, asking that he would renew our minds, cleanse our hearts and make us ONE! We must be intentional about being purified and allowing our hearts to be cleansed so that his prayer for oneness can be fulfilled in this day and so that we can leave an eternal inheritance for our children.
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