"Immerse them in the truth, the truth Your voice speaks. In the same way You sent Me into this world, I am sending them. It is entirely for their benefit that I have set Myself apart so that they may be set apart by truth. I am not asking solely for their benefit; this prayer is also for all the believers who will follow them and hear them speak. Father, may they all be one as You are in Me and I am in You; may they be in Us, for by this unity the world will believe that You sent Me. All the glory You have given to Me, I pass on to them. May that glory unify them and make them one as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may be refined so that all will know that You sent Me, and You love them in the same way You love Me." (John 17:17-23 The Voice Translation)
One of the most important ways we manifest kingdom in the earth is to live in unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. When God looks at the church, He doesn't see denominations; neither should we. I believe as the Bride of Christ we are awakening to this truth, but it is only the first step! Not only do we have to be awakened to this truth, but we have to begin to manifest it in the earth.
Even now there is an unholy coalition forming in the earth, and God is wanting His people to counteract that move with a HOLY coalition. We are to lay down our denominational differences and major on the major. Because we are different personalities with different gifts, we will never agree on everything. God does not want us to. We were all uniquely created to reveal a different facet of who He is.
But if we are going to be a catalyst to advance the kingdom on earth, we MUST yield to the fervent prayer of Jesus in John 17:21-22. His desire is that we may be one in the Father and Son. We can only do this by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us! And Jesus says this unity will cause the world to believe! Isn't that what we're after!
He then makes a statement I think is often overlooked..."All the glory, Father, that You have given Me, I pass on to them. That glory will unify them and make them one as We are one." Every person that has accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior has the potential to carry His glory. It is a gift that Jesus has given all those that are His. And listen...it doesn't matter the denomination a person has chosen to identify with! The truth is, if you are born again, you have the gift!
And then He goes on to say that this glory He gives us will unify us and make us one, as Father and Son are one. Here is a secret to kingdom identity...seeing everyone who is born again, no matter what denomination, as one with you.
God began to reveal this truth to me a number of years ago, and I have learned to live this way. There is such a freedom in it! This is a truth the enemy does not want us to understand, because there is POWER in unity! Jesus said it is to our benefit that we be set apart by the truth! (John 17:19 The Voice)
Are you ready to be set apart by this truth? Are you ready to experience the power of unity? You won't experience it unless you are willing to negate the minor differences in denominations different from yours and come into agreement with the entire body of Christ.
This kind of unity will free you from a judgmental and critical spirit, and cause you to truly experience the freedom and power of unity that God intended! That is what Jesus refers to as being ‘refined’ in John 17:23. Our kingdom identity will flourish and the kingdom will advance through our choice to come into, and stay in unity with our brethren.
And one last thing…the same love that the Father has for Jesus, He will put in us! (John 17:23) This is such a powerful truth! Whatever pride or self-exaltation we have to confess and lay down is completely worth it!! His refining process is forming us into His holy bride, without spot or wrinkle. Selah…