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Union. Dictionaries have many definitions for the word union, but the very first one in the American Heritage Dictionary is this: "The act of uniting or the state of being united." The second is this: "A combination so formed, especially an alliance or confederation of people, parties, or political entities for mutual interest or benefit."1

Jesus was so connected to His Father, so united with Him in purpose and in thought that He said, "I don't do anything without my Father's approval; it's my Father in Me who does this work! All I am is a vessel for My Father to flow through" (John 14:10).

In John 10:30, He said, "I and my Father are one."

You can't just believe this stuff. You've got to get beyond, "Oh, I believe it," into the realm of "I know it." Real belief isn't passive; it's active. Knowing something means that you've become involved. You've allowed it to become a part of you. You don't just believe it's true, but you know it's true!

When you know the power of God's salvation, you know that through the blood of Jesus the dominion of sin has left your innermost being. Yes, you can deliberately yield to sin, but it takes just that - a deliberate yielding. When a choice to sin is presented to you, your spirit will quicken something in you and you will know what is the right choice. Your spirit knows what to do. Why? Because it is united to the very Spirit of God. It is connected to that Spirit. It is in union with that Spirit.

Real Unity
Unity is a fundamental basis of power within you, and within the body of Christ. Now, you and I both know that Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20). That's a powerful promise from God, and it shows us how important Christian relationships are to the Lord.

When we come together in the unity of Jesus' name, we create an atmosphere for God to move. We give Him an opportunity to be in our midst. This is why you see people healed so often when another person prays for them with the laying on of hands. There are two people uniting with the purpose of tapping into the healing power of the blood of Jesus. And that is a powerful thing to God. He recognizes unity, both in the physical presence of two people and in the spiritual presence of two people.

In other words, if you're fighting like cats and dogs with your wife and holding resentment in your heart for her, just because you say a nightly prayer together doesn't mean that you're coming together in the unity of Jesus' name. Your bodies may be there, but your hearts are far, far away from each other. And you're not in unity!

The husband may be thinking, Woman, you're nothing but a pain in my neck! And the wife thinks the same thing! The Bible says that each spouse's prayers are hindered when the two aren't in agreement.

When it comes to the prayers of married people, 1 Peter 3:7-12 puts it in black and white:

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

This Scripture is for married people, but what it all boils down to is forgiveness. Unforgiveness toward another person is a surefire way not to receive from God, regardless of your marital status. Just check out Mark 11:25-26: "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

That goes for everybody, you know. Even the people you don't necessarily like. You don't have to like them. You don't have to hang around them every day. But you'd better forgive them if you want God to forgive you, because remember, without forgiveness you aren't righteous. And without righteousness, you don't have access to God. See the connection?

So check your heart. Go to God about it. Allow Him to help you get any hindering stuff out of your heart. That's called allowing Him to abide in that area of your life and wash it clean with His blood. There is no point in muddying up your prayers with stupid stuff like unforgiveness. Let God clean you out. Give Him every opportunity to open His ears to your prayers - forgive.

Unity of the Name of Jesus, Not Religion
I can hardly imagine what would happen if everybody who claimed Jesus was the Son of God came together in unity. Imagine the power of our prayers!

That would be a really hard thing to do today. It seems like people will gather together in the name of Baptist, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Word of Faith, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Catholic and every other Christian religious sect. But few are putting aside their differing interpretations of God's Word and gathering together simply in the name of Jesus.

The Bible is an interpretive book. Until Jesus comes and sets us all straight, there is always going to be one group of people who interpret one Scripture to mean one thing and another group of people who interpret the same Scripture to mean something else.

A man asked me the other day, "Are you Word of Faith?" I could tell he was a little irritated about the prospect of my being in a group like that.

I said, "Well, what are you - Word of Doubt?"

I don't like to be labeled. I'm a believer. I love Jesus. Next question.

I believe that we're all Word of Faith! If you're a Baptist, it took the word of faith to be a Baptist. If you're a Methodist, it took the word of faith to be a Methodist.

It takes the word of faith to be Catholic, Church of Christ, Assemblies of God or full gospel. It's all done by faith! So we're all word of faith. We all believe the Word by faith, so we must all be Word of Faith!

What I'm saying is that I'm tired of people trying to separate the family. We are the family of God. Let's get together!

I realize that we may not be able to agree on a single religious affiliation. We may not all be able to agree on all the teachings of the Bible, but wouldn't it be nice if we could unite in our agreement that Jesus is Lord? Jesus is God's Son!

Most Christian denominations agree on that - otherwise they wouldn't call themselves Christian. And isn't it enough for all of us to gather in His name?

I know some people who can't worship God with me. I've got a friend. I like him. He likes me. But when I asked Him to come and worship with me he was all shook up about it. He said, "Jesse, I just can't!"

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you believe in tongues. I think tongues are of the devil."

"Well, let me ask you something. Do you think I'm going to heaven?"

"Yeah, I know you're going to heaven."

"Well, if you can't fellowship with me here, how are you going to fellowship with me there?"

He blinked his eyes a little, trying to digest it. He was confused. I guess so - he was trying to understand a confusing doctrine. But regardless of whether he chose to believe in it or not, he could have come and worshipped with me.

Tongues - It's Not Just a Lot of Babbling
As for the issue of speaking in tongues, I can understand why people misunderstand. Really, it is sort of strange. Nobody can understand you, and it just sounds like a lot of babbling.

But you know, I could say the same thing for the Chinese language. Or Russian. Or Italian. Or any other language that I don't personally know. You could too.

If you don't understand a language, does that mean it's a bunch of babbling? Does it mean that it comes from the devil? No. You just don't understand it.

I know that if tongues were of the devil I would have found them when I was living for the devil. I would have been the most tongue-talking man on the planet, because I served the devil with some serious gusto! I loved sin. It was my favorite thing to do.

I lived to get drunk, take drug trips and run around with women. I was a rock musician, and the girls just loved that. It was fine with me. I'd slide on over, drunk as a skunk, and say, "Whatz happnin, Mama?"

If tongues were out there, I would have found them. But they weren't. Tongues were just in the church.

Personally, I believe that tongues are for today. I don't believe that they passed away with the first set of Christians. I don't believe that the devil resurrected them and is passing them off in churches across the world. When was the last time the devil gave you something that actually drew you closer to God?

Now, you don't have to believe it. I can't force anything on you, and I don't want to. But even if you and I disagree with each other on this subject, isn't it possible for us to unite as believers? Sure it is.

Here's a little lesson for you, and it's important when it comes to your love walk. The next time your Christian friends or family members say something that you completely and totally disagree with, don't get all shook up and go into attack mode. Share what you believe. Do it in love. And if they don't accept it, don't keep homing in on them. Don't keep at them until they say, "OK, OK! Whatever! Leave me alone!" You'll just drive them away. But more importantly, you'll break down the union that you have with them in Christ.

Instead, say something like, "Well, at least we agree on one thing: Jesus is Lord, and He saves! Thank God for Jesus because hell sure is hot!" If you can, agree on something! If not, at least smile.

Sometimes it is good when people disagree with you. It stretches you a little. If anything, it makes you realize what you really believe, or else it makes you question and go searching in the Word. Either is good.

You are commanded to love - that's just the way it is. If you want God's presence in your own life, you've got to be in union with other people. Isn't it about time we all realized that? Isn't it about time we let our differences fall by the wayside and focus on what we do agree on - Jesus!

1 The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992), s.v. "union."

Source: Breaking The Power of Natural Law by Jesse Duplantis
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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