When Nehemiah returned to his beloved Jerusalem he had it in his heart to rebuild it. He went out at night to inspect the walls that had been broken down and then shared his plan with the Jewish remnant to start rebuilding. Nehemiah knew that every breach in the wall was a place for the enemy to enter. In unity, the families in Jerusalem repaired these openings. They "did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other." (Nehemiah 4:17) A trumpet call was their signal to join together in unity. Scripture says, "When the seventh month came (the month of the fall feasts) and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate." (Nehemiah 8:1) A key to their success in rebuilding was the spirit of unity that was upon the people of Judah. Protection and authority was theirs because they stood together.
One of the prayers that Jesus prayed to His father on behalf of His disciples was for protection and unity. "I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:11) Then Jesus prayed for all Believers. (That includes us.) "...I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one. Father, just as you are in me and I am in You...I have given them the glory that you gave me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:20-23)
The apostle Paul understood the importance of unity and wrote about it to the church at Corinth. "I appeal to you brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." (1 Corinthians 1:10) He told the church at Ephesus: "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:3) This is how we attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ and defeat the enemy from tossing us around. Christ is the one who holds us together and builds us up in love. (Ephesians 4:14-16)
Dear ones, we need one another to withstand and repeal the attacks of the enemy. It is only in a spirit of unity that we are strengthened and can overcome him. In an Elijah List post on August 19 Kathi Pelton encouraged us to "Make no room for the enemy." She recounts a true story that was on the news about a couple "who were walking hand-in-hand when the young man was struck in the head by lightening. The electricity was transferred through his body, through both their hands, then down her body and out her feet. The doctors who treated them said that they were alive because they 'shared the strike.' Had the young man taken the full force on his own it most likely would have killed him, but because they were joined, neither of them was seriously injured."
The Church needs to understand and embrace God's plan for us to bind together in the love of Christ. When we make it a priority not to judge, to extend forgiveness, have mercy, act justly and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8) and stand together in love, God's protection and authority is present. We need one another! Let's join together in that bond of peace and watch what God does.
Joan E. Mathias