A Spirit of Unity
Yesterday, we took note of the fact that believers live in the already/not yet of Christ’s Kingdom. His reign has been inaugurated, but not consummated. This is the position God’s people found themselves in when David is anointed King, but Saul’s reign is still in effect. By seeing how they lived in today and tomorrow’s devotionals, we’ll see how we ought to live. Today, we’ll look at 1 Chron. 10: 13-14 and take note of the fact that the people live with unction and with unity.
First, the people live with unction. To live faithfully in this present age, we need the Holy Spirit. We need to have what’s sometimes called unction. This is nothing new but has always been the case for God’s people. Notice that the Spirit is with those who confess David as King:
“Then the Spirit clothed Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said, “We are yours, O David, and with you, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to your helpers! For your God helps you” (12:18).
The wording of “the Spirit clothed” is actually quite rare in Scripture. Interestingly, it’s used again by Jesus—seemingly quoting this very passage—just before He ascends to Heaven. Luke records Jesus as saying:
“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
To live faithfully in this contested age, God’s people need God’s Spirit. One can almost hear the Welsh brogue of Martyn Lloyd-Jones thundering in his admonition, “The knowledge indeed is vital, for you cannot be witnesses without it, but to be effective witnesses you need the power and the unction and the demonstration of the Spirit in addition.” We need to have right knowledge of the word, to be sure, but if the Spirit isn’t with us, we won’t be able to discern between that which is of the world and that which is of the age to come.
Second, the people live in Unity. In the battles that lead to David’s triumph, those who were working toward that end lived in harmony:
“All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with a whole heart to make David king over all Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king” (12:38-40).
Now, I’m sure there were still differences of opinion within the ranks as to strategy and the like, but the point is obvious: they all wanted the same thing, to see the reign of the anointed one of God fully realized. God’s people today are called to no less a mission and therefore should have no less a unity.
Indeed, the surest sign that we have the Spirit is that we’re living in unity. We are a people of Pentecost: we have the spiritual language of understanding. However much Christians are marked more by in-fighting than by evangelizing the nations, tells us how much we’ve taken our eyes off of the main objective: to have Christ’s reign recognized by every tongue, nation, and tribe through gospel-proclamation and acts of mercy.
Dustin Messer is Pastor for Faith Formation at All Saints Dallas (AMiA) in Downtown Dallas, TX.
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully
restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may
share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our
humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.