Undivided: We Go Together

Devotional

Unifying Endurance and Encouragement    


By Danny Saavedra


“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5–6 (NIV)


What does it take to experience unity? What does it take to put aside individual agendas and ambition or personal preferences and philosophies in favor of the collective mission and unified voice? How can we bring a group of diverse people together under a single accord? 


To be fully honest, we can’t. Even when there’s a unified vision and collective, there will always be individual agendas and philosophical differences in approach. Consider how X-Men, an immensely popular comic book property, which also happens to be a social commentary and allegory for the civil rights movement, revolved around two key leaders—Professor X and Magneto (representing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, respectively)—and their fight for mutant-kind. Both characters were united in their desire for mutants to live in a world where they weren’t mistreated, discriminated against, and hated, but their approaches were different. 


It’s impossible for humanity to experience real unity without God! It’s only by the power of God that we can walk in unity by His Spirit, His mind, His will, and His Word. Notice in today’s passage, the apostle Paul essentially prays that we would have “the same attitude of mind” toward each other that Christ Jesus has towards us. That’s the key to experiencing unity; having the mind of Christ. And what was that mind? To take “the very nature of a servant,” to humble oneself like Jesus (Philippians 2:7–8 NIV). What was His driving force? It was “the joy set before him” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV). 


Unity can only come by the sanctifying power of God’s Spirit that changes our heart, mind, character, nature, and will and makes us more like Jesus. Think about it: The reason even the noblest of human causes and most dynamic human leaders ultimately fail to bring true unity is because these causes are driven by individuals with their own hearts, minds, and wills. But with our mission, with our Kingdom cause, we can share one heart, mind and will, because we all have the same Holy Spirit who indwells us and brings us into this beautiful unity. 


Thus, as we collectively become more attuned to the Holy Spirit’s voice, as we are continually conformed to the image of Christ, as we abide in Christ and receive endurance and encouragement to walk in the will of God “with one mind and one voice,” we can live and breathe the mission as one and draw people to the gospel. This is how we will “glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


PAUSE: Why do we need the endurance and encouragement that God provides in order to walk in unity?


PRACTICE: Unity comes through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in us. This week, craft a plan around engaging in spiritual disciplines to help you grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus and become more like Him. 


PRAY: Father, I pray that by Your Holy Spirit, You will draw me deeper into intimacy with You. Help me become a little more like Jesus today than I was yesterday. Help me abide more in Him so I may be able to walk in greater unity with my fellow brothers and sisters in our common faith. Amen.