First, a random thought. Over the past two days, the Holy Spirit has laid it upon my heart to pray for Angelina Jolie. I know, weird huh? But not really. I am by no means a prayer warrior, but I do occaisionally hear from God. And her social status is irrelevant to God’s desire to transform her life.
Just read a passage out of Nehemiah and I am stirred again towards unity. For most of us it is difficult to understand how torn Nehemiah’s heart was, because the American culture tends to be individualistic. We could care less if there were Americans living in Canada, England or Germany. Wouldn’t bother us at all. Not so for the Jews. They were God’s chosen people, called out of Egypt and redeemed by His hand. So Nehemiah finds his heart torn in a moment of dispair, desperately desiring for His people to be reunited. Listen to this torn man’s heart in chapter 1:
Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those who have sinned against you.
We’ve treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you gave to Moses your servant.
All the same, remember the warning you posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you, I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.
Well, there they are-your servants, your people whom you so powerfully and impressively redeemed
Wow! I have been there! Finding myself in those moments of anguish, and out of no where, the Holy Spirit quickens my heart to remember the promises of God. When I survey the Body of Christ today, I can hear the words of Nehemiah echoing in my heart. As a Christian, I am not concerned with the physical location of the members of the Body as I am the spiritual distance we have placed among ourselves. Christ didn’t save me to become a Baptist, a Methodist, or an Episcopal. Nor did He save me to become a protestant, a Greek Orthodox, or a Catholic.
I pray that one day our unity will be restored. That we as His people do return to Him, singing in unity the song of the redeemed, sharing Nehemiah’s heart for His people.