One of the things I like to do in my down time is binge watch entire television series’. Presently, I am watching House of Cards. The content and characters of the show are far from Godly, but every now and then, fundamental Biblical truths pop their heads up. The truth that is most commonly portrayed is the unstoppable unity between the main character, American President Frank Underwood and his wife Claire. The most recent episode, depicted the discourse and fallout that had taken place in global politics. The story hints that this fallout was a result of the discourse in the characters’ marriage. By the end of the episode the marital discourse had been rectified. As a result of their renewed, unstoppable, and resolute unity, the political challenges faced were all of a sudden corrected. Of course these results were in direct relation to corruption, manipulation, and blackmail. However, I couldn’t help but think about my own failed marriage as well as my faith in relation to this truth. Unstoppable unity is more than just fiction on our televisions. It is a mandate given to us by God for the benefit of our lives and His Glory.
Unity in Marriage
I am certain that my ex-wife would agree when I say that when her and I were united, there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish. When outside opposing forces confronted us, we would set aside any differences and unite against anyone that would come against us. We protected our family at all costs. Still do to some degree. However, when we allowed division to creep in, anything and everything expanded the divide. Though there were many reasons why our marriage failed, I believe the war began with the battle for unity.
In Genesis, God makes it very clear that when a man and woman are married, the two become one flesh. This isn’t just poetic symbolism for the beauty of marriage. It’s a holy mandate to live by. God in His infinite wisdom knew what the end result would be for Adam and Eve. He knew the trials and struggles that they would face; that all marriages face. He also knew what it was going to take in order for marriages to overcome these challenges. That answer is unity.
The devil, in his crafty and clever schemes, also knows what it will take to destroy our marriages; division. When sin entered creation, the devil really didn’t have to work all that hard. Our own sinfulness and selfishness does the work for him. James 4:1 puts it best, “Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you?”
Unity in our marriages requires self sacrifice. It means dying to yourself every day in the same way Jesus (the groom) died for us, His church (the bride). It doesn’t stop there. After we accept Jesus’ invitation, He then asks us to be willing to die for Him. Unity means all parties willing to play their part and do what it takes for the unity to remain strong. Which is great segue into talking about unity in the church/body.
Unity in the Body
When Jesus was praying the night before He was taken into custody, He prayed that all believers would be one, just as He and God are one. Just like in our marriages, if we remain united, there is nothing that the church won’t be able to accomplish. Jesus goes so far as to say, “The gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” It is clear that the oneness of the first century church certainly charged the gates of Hell and prevailed. Our culture to this day exists as a result of the unity of the early church.
Just like in our marriages, division is the scheme of the enemy used to render the body of Christ as ineffective. Again. the divisions that happen in the church body are a result of selfishness. Whether it be jealousy, hypocrisy, greed, lust, power, etc. All these things focus on self and result in creating division in the body.
Unity in Faith
There is only one solution to this problem of division in our lives; unity in our faith. This means walking in The Spirit verses the flesh, which then prompts unity with Christ, who is then one with God. It doesn’t get any more simple than that. However, unity with the trinity means death to self which will be the most difficult thing for us to do.
I am sure you have realized by now that there is either unity or division. Selflessness or selfishness. The things that kill our unity with God? Fear, doubt, greed, etc. What do all these have in common? Self preservation. Nothing will divide you in your faith more than your human instinct to look out for numero uno!
By now you should see the pattern here. However, I want to make sure one point is clear above all. When you as an individual choose to be united with Christ and truly surrender yourself and your desire to preserve yourself, there is a chain reaction of events that are unstoppable. The church begins to change culture, marriages are able to endure and overcome the most dire of circumstances, and God is glorified.
It all starts with individuals choosing to die to themselves. Anything short of that will only cause division and as Jesus said, “A house divided against itself will not stand.” The opposite is also true. A house united within itself will stand forever. Thats The Truth!
“But they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”