Summary: We’re to be united as believers in order to accomplish God’s mission. But being united doesn’t necessarily mean being unanimous on everythig.
-->Sir Francis Drake once expressed this prayer: “Disturb us, Lord, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we have sailed too closely to the shore. Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wilder seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land we shall find the stars.
<>There are many things involved in accomplishing God’s mission, but the two most important are:
---a) BELIEVING TOGETHER in the big dreams God places in our hearts.
---------->Placing no limits on what god can do through us.
---b) WORKING TOGETHER to see those dreams become reality.
---------->Placing no barriers between ourselves.
-->In other words, we must be united, working together, “on the same page,” pulling in the same direction.
------When that happens, God is free to work through us, and miraculous things can happen.
------But if we’re NOT united, nothing really good ever takes place.
-----ILL>When our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin stood and boldly declared to the signers as they disbanded: “Gentlemen, now we must all hang together, or surely we shall all hang separately.”
<>Today we’re focusing our attention on WHAT UNITY REALLY LOOKS LIKE.
---I invite you to open a Bible and turn again to Philippians, chapter two.
-----ILL>In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy demanded that Linus change t.v. channels, threatening him with her first if he didn’t. Linus asked: “What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?” Lucy: “These five fingers...Individually they’re nothing, but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.” Linus responded, “What channel do you want?” Then, turning away, he looked at his fingers and says to them, “Why can’t you guys get organized like that?”
<>WHAT UNITY REALLY LOOKS LIKE...WHAT’S INVOLVED IN OUR BEING UNITED TOGETHER FOR HIS GLORY...
1) BEING UNITED IN OUR CONSECRATION.
----Ph.2:15 -- “Be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.
----Heb.12:2 -- “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith...”
--->We need to be united in a God-centered perspective, a single-minded, God-centered focus.
--------To be united, our focus must be on how we can please God...how we can grow in our love for, and our commitment to God.
------Quote -- A. W. Tozer once profoundly observed: “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other?”
--------->As a musician I really appreciate that analogy. If you’ve ever been to an orchestra concert, you’ve no doubt noticed the Concert Master or Mistress (just a fancy title for the first chair violinist) stand and play a single note, a concert “A”. Then, all the instrumentalists begin playing concert “A”’s on their instruments and sometimes other notes, with the effort being of tuning their own instrument to that one single tone of the Concert Master.
--------->That’s how it works with many things...In the church, we’re to “tune” ourselves to Jesus, the Concert Master of our lives, the “orchestrater” of our lives. And when we do that, we will find ourselves remarkably “in tune” with one another also.
---->You see, the secret to keeping your marriage strong, keeping a husband and wife closer and closer to one another...growing more and more united and strong, being the best couple you can be involves understanding what I call the Pyramid of Pursuit. (Picture of a pyramid with God at the top, man on left lower corner, woman on the right lower corner).
--------When the husband seeks to grow closer to the Lord, to pursue God’s will for his life...and when the wife likewise focuses her attention on the Lord, seeking to grow closer in her relationship with God, pursuing God’s will for her life...THAT is when they come closer together as a couple.
--------If they focus their attention merely on one another, striving to grow closer to one another, they will always be the furthest they could be from one another.
---->The same is true with the church, the bride of Christ.
---------When each one of us is “in tune” with God...we grow closer and closer to being the church He wants us to be...because we’re united with a central focus.
----<>The rest of Tozer’s quote: “They (the one hundred pianos) are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers (meeting) together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.