By Our Love – We are One in The Spirit

Today, I had the second confirmation of hearing from the Lord in the spirit regarding some music I have selected to use as a dance teacher. God speaks to us in all things, if only we have hears to ear.

I decided several months ago in the fall of 2020, to use this song, We are One in the Spirit from the Azusa Now: The Coming Sound album along with For King and Country’s song, By Our Love off of the soundtrack of the album, A.D. The Bible Continues for a choreography piece. Links to both of these songs are shared below.

This morning during a daily prayer call for America and Israel, the host played Track 8 from this same album entitled Sound of Rain. Also, several months ago the first confirmation came when I learned that in the 1970’s, students on college campuses marched together singing this song in the midst of the social injustice and unrest at that time. A clip from one of these Crusade for Christ marches is shared below.

Let me encourage you that when you set your heart to seek God through His Word and in prayer as a lifestyle, He will speak to you. This is just a simple example; it happens frequently, but just decided to share this today, and it has turned into a rather longer post than I planned.

You will know it is God’s Spirit speaking when what you hear aligns not only with His Word, The Bible, but what other Christians are hearing too. I use the term Christians in its true meaning, which is Christ followers or literally a person who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. These Christians are the ones who not only hear by the Spirit and through the Word of God, but also follow and obey the truth they hear. Today, many claim to be something they are not.

It is never wise to listen to or set ourselves in agreement and unity with other so called “believers” or even pastors, teachers and leaders whose lives do not have a track record of living a lifestyle of obedience to the Word of God. Jesus told us, not only will they know we are His true followers by our LOVE, but also by our FRUIT, and this fruit is from obedience to His Word.

Matthew 7:13-20:

“Come to God through the narrow gate, because the wide gate and broad path is the way that leads to destruction—nearly everyone chooses that crowded road! The narrow gate and the difficult way leads to eternal life—so few even find it!” “Constantly be on your guard against phony prophets. They come disguised as lambs, appearing to be genuine, but on the inside they are like wild, ravenous wolves! You can spot them by their actions, for the fruits of their character will be obvious. You won’t find sweet grapes hanging on a thorn bush, and you’ll never pick good fruit from a tumbleweed. So if the tree is good, it will produce good fruit; but if the tree is bad, it will bear only rotten fruit and it deserves to be cut down and burned. Look at the obvious fruit of their lives and ministries, and then you’ll know whether they are true or false.”

Amen. “The Bible continues” and God and His Spirit are continuing to speak to us through the Bible, God’s Holy Word.

The question is: are we listening and obeying?

If the true followers of Christ do not join in unity aligning with God’s Word, the world will not see that we are one in the Spirit. How will they know we are Christians by our love, if we do not walk as one in the spirit of His LOVE?

Will we be known by our love? A passionate heart of love for God, for other fellow Christians, and, yes, love for even those who do not believe in God or The Bible, and those who may disagree with us politically, professionally or theologically? We can love and pray for those who do not agree with us or believe differently. Even if we passionately disagree, we can speak the truth in love by the power of God’s Spirit helping us. This is not to say we must be “one in the Spirit” with people who do not believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible as the holy and infallible Word of God. However, it is to say they will know we are Christians by our love for each other and by our love and respect for all people.

It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit of God that we are one in the Spirit. We, the followers of Christ, need a fresh baptism with the Holy Spirit, to live empowered to walk in love, and demonstrate this love to those who do not love us or God.

Baptism from the Greek root word baptizo means to immerse and baptism from the Hebrew mikveh meaning immersion. Immersion means completely surrounded by, covered with and engrossed in, overwhelmed and/or overtaken through a deep plunging. When we truly experience the amazing love of God, it should be overwhelming to us. The Greek term, agape, describes this highest form of unconditional love. This is the love of God from the God who is love (1 John 4:8). His love is not based on our performance or our ability to love Him back. This is the love of Christ that should fill the hearts of those who are in Christ.

Romans 5:8:

But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!

So, how can we show we are one in the Spirit and one in the Lord? How can we live in such a way that people will know we are Christians by our love?

The first place to begin is to receive and be immersed in the amazing love of God for yourself personally. We can never release what we have not received. If you are full of God’s love, it will overflow. It will show. Love is a verb. People will see it not only in our words but in our actions.

How can we know God and His love without knowing His character, His heart, and His will?

The character, heart and will of God are revealed in His Word and through our worship of Him in spirit and in truth. We also receive and experience His love as we worship Him and we experience His presence in worship. In order to be immersed in His love, we must also immerse ourselves in the Word of God. Jesus and His Word are one.

We must go deeper in prayer. Prayer is communication and communing with God. In communication, we talk and we listen. We do not just make requests to God in prayer, but we receive spiritual insight as we wait, and are still and silent. This is a lost art in today’s fast paced, over visually stimulated culture. After meditating on a portion of God’s Word or while worshiping through a song that focuses on the holiness and greatness of God, pray, “Holy Spirit speak to me, forgive me, fill me, and help me to hear and obey what you are speaking to me.”

If we love God, we will obey Him. We will not create a God who aligns with our own thoughts, our own ways, and our own agenda – that is called an idol. Instead we will adapt and adjust our thoughts, our ways, and our agendas to submit and follow His. None of us are getting this completely right, and we all fall short. We are not called to perfection, but we are called to obey and to be holy – meaning set apart, and there should be some fairly consistent and fruitful evidence in the lives of those of us who claim to be Christ followers. More could be said, but this post is getting too long.

Real love for God will take us beyond our response to the atmosphere created by the worship team or our worship playlist. We should enter into worship expecting God to inhabit our praises and expecting to encounter His presence. Our worship of God may sometimes become clouded with being more about the enjoyment of the song. Beyond engaging with the music in a worship setting, it is most important that our hearts open up to worship the Master of the music. Real love and worship of God ignites our hearts to desire to worship even when the song may not be one of our favorites. Real love and worship awakens the desire to know God more intimately through His Word, and live a lifestyle that pleases and honors Him.

This is living as an overcomer in Christ and also fulfilling the ever famously quoted verse in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” One of the first of these “all things” we can do, is the most important command Christ has called us to do:

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 NLT

We do not need to concern ourselves with some major accomplishment for God and His kingdom if we cannot first just love Him and love people. Read 1 Corinthians 13 and let’s be reminded that the greatest of all gifts is love.

Well, can you love? Well, can you forgive? Well, can you remain in unity with your brothers and sisters in Christ who are following God and His Word? Yes, but only as we are one in the spirit with the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit of God within us will be evident by this kind of fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

John 17:14-23:

I have given them your message and that is why the unbelieving world hates them. For their allegiance is no longer to this world because I am not of this world. I am not asking that you remove them from the world, but I ask that you guard their hearts from evil, For they no longer belong to this world any more than I do. “Your Word is truth! So make them holy by the truth. I have commissioned them to represent me just as you commissioned me to represent you. And now I dedicate myself to them as a holy sacrifice so that they will live as fully dedicated to God and be made holy by your truth.” “And I ask not only for these disciples, but also for all those who will one day believe in me through their message. I pray for them all to be joined together as one even as you and I, Father, are joined together as one. I pray for them to become one with us so that the world will recognize that you sent me. For the very glory you have given to me I have given them so that they will be joined together as one and experience the same unity that we enjoy. You live fully in me and now I live fully in them so that they will experience perfect unity, and the world will be convinced that you have sent me, for they will see that you love each one of them with the same passionate love that you have for me.”

We are called to be the answer to the prayer of Jesus in John 17.

John 17:26:

I have revealed to them who you are and I will continue to make you even more real to them, so that they may experience the same endless love that you have for me, for your love will now live in them, even as I live in them!”

Ephesians 4:3-6:

Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace, being one body and one spirit, as you were all called into the same glorious hope of divine destiny. For the Lord God is one, and so are we, for we share in one faith, one baptism, and one Father. And He is the perfect Father who leads us all, works through us all, and lives in us all!

1 John 5:3-5:

True love for God means obeying His commands, and His commands don’t weigh us down as heavy burdens. You see, every child of God overcomes the world, for our faith is the victorious power that triumphs over the world. So who are the world conquerors, defeating its power? Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

A Prayer from Ephesians 3:14-18:

So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. And I pray that He would unveil within you the unlimited riches of His glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with His divine might and explosive power. Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life. Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is His love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

Amen – so be it.

Scripture references above are from The Passion Translation unless otherwise indicated.

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