What is unity?
Unity can be described as a state of oneness and harmony where there is freedom that allows for the individuality and the uniqueness of each person without threatening the integrity of the whole.
It is that unique characteristic of a relationship that allows us to rest, knowing and trusting that other/s are for us and that they feel the same about us; our goals are the same and we are committed to helping each other achieve those goals.
Unity can take a number of forms, but ultimately it is an undivided consistency of purpose, or intention within a personal relationship, a group of people or even a nation. This purpose can be found in a spiritual unity based on doctrine that bonds a people together in a common belief for a common purpose. While this bond strengthens and keeps one group together, it can at the same time separate it from others who do not share the same view or purpose.
The greatest and most powerful kind of unity is the unity we have with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no greater form of unity.
With Christians, the oneness with Christ Jesus is manifested by the fruit in our lives that flows out through us in the form of grace, love and hope. As His Holy Spirit indwells us, we exhibit the same nature and intent of His character.
This “Unity of spirit” creates the attitude and purpose of Christ’s Kingdom in us and one another. It is expressed through our ability to see beyond ourselves, determining to live in a Kingdom mindset, which often requires a radical change of view about who we are and how we relate to others. Kingdom unity requires preferring others to the point of sacrifice.
The purpose of unity
Lack of unity or agreement on the vision and purposes of any group or organization becomes a built in self-destruct mechanism. The organization will not last.
In the world, whether it is a corporation, a sports team, or an army, the need for unity is a primary focus of those in leadership. Anyone in these organizations who is not a “team player” is considered a liability and a detriment to the objectives of that organization and therefore must be removed.
We seldom look at this principle and apply it to the life of the church or for that matter to our own lives. Anytime there is division in our personal lives or the life of a community of believers, there is a falling away from the purposes of God.
The inability to come into unity and see life and this world from a Kingdom perspective, whether in our relationships, marriage, businesses or church is one of our greatest points of vulnerability, and where the enemy makes the greatest advances against the members of the kingdom. We are often divided in vision and purpose. We fail to see that the enemy is not the church down the street, or even that “certain person” in our own fellowship, but our inability to see things from a Godly perspective.
Why is it so important?
"If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
26 “If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!
In our Christian walk we must be prepared for the enemy that is coming against us. Being aware of our strengths and weakness and those of our brothers and sisters is critical to maintain the unity in Christ Jesus.
Our strength is in Christ. He is our head and the ultimate authority in our lives; however we do create huge blockages through our inability to see the importance and value of being one with each other in Him.
Disunity is one of our greatest weaknesses and therefore an easy access point for the enemy. Our almost constant inability to come into oneness, or even believing that it is needed or possible, keeps us in a place of extreme vulnerability.
However, unity does not necessarily mean that we have to agree on everything or with everyone. There can always be room for differences, but the call of God on our community cannot be compromised because of our differences. Our purpose is to fulfill the call, the mission and the vision God has given for our personal lives and His body the church, and on that we cannot disagree.
Differences can be used to clarify the vision and specific purpose for the community. The free flow of give and take is healthy and often necessary to make the course corrections that are needed in any venture.
Even in the early church there were differences that were resolved through healthy and probably heated debate.
In the end they resolved the differences, but stayed in unity.
In the commitment for unity, we are determined to be there for one another to fulfill the objective of the mandate of Christ Jesus on the earth.
If we cannot agree with the aim of a group or organization, and how the vision is to be implemented we should feel free to leave those we cannot agree with, but we must do so in the peace of Christ with a mutual agreement and blessing wherever possible. Whenever we leave in anger we have sown the seed of division; that is a sin and creates an open doorway for the enemy.
Once we determine to be strong in unity, we are building up a most powerful defense against the enemy, and we can expect the blessing of God to flow. The unity in a church, community or region becomes our fortification or shield which defeats the enemy’s purpose. We need to grasp firmly the fact that our disunity is the area of the enemy’s greatest strength and our area of greatest weakness; the enemy will exploit that weakness, that open door, to the fullest as he comes against us.
As we become more aware of this principle we can pray and work for unity, knowing that it is the best way to prepare ourselves to resist any attacks that are sure to come our way.
Satan and his legions are our enemies; they are united in their determination to keep us from unity that strengthens us, and the fullness of all God has for us.
The Ultimate Goal of Unity
The goal of unity is to make us strong and therefore able to make a difference in the world around us, and the world at large. We are commanded to “go” and to “make,” but if we “go” in opposition to one another, all we “make” is a clear path for the enemy to block and assail us. In unity we can go much more easily where there is a need for change that comes from life in Christ Jesus. We are to make disciples, teaching them the truth of unity in Christ and with one another; a unity that gives them fullness of life. We teach them to bring that truth and the life that flows through unity to others and their community.
Without unity in Christ and through Christ we are at best little more than a hindrance to the enemy.
However, once we come into unity, we are prepared and blessed to move in strength against anything that sets itself up against the Kingdom of God.
A Song of Ascents, of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron's beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing--life forever.
 All Scripture is New American Standard unless otherwise noted.