By Maria Fontaine
September 19, 2023
Jesus said: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35).
In today’s virtually connected world, where literally anyone around the world is just a moment away through online communications, we might feel like we’re more connected to others than ever before. Information travels everywhere almost instantly. We can read snippets of people’s lives on social media. However, just knowing about others doesn’t create the powerful bond of genuine unity that is formed through close interactions. In fact, many people seem more isolated than ever.
Many seek to be in unity by conforming to what they perceive others think or how they act. But true unity isn’t about conformity or being informed about others. Putting on façades to fit in with others can’t truly bond your spirit with theirs in a meaningful way.
Unity is about the shared love that God’s Spirit creates in us. That unity of spirit defines who we are as His followers. His spirit of love is the only force in the universe capable of providing the power to have this kind of unity and oneness.
People call many things “love,” but His love is so powerful that if we will allow it to guide our lives and shine out on others, it not only changes us but also anyone who is touched by His Spirit in His children and receives it.
One of the greatest challenges throughout history has been to unify people. Some try to do it by force, oppression, fear, or using lies to persuade and blind people, deceiving them into thinking that the pathetic imitations foisted on them are the full reality. But inevitably it will ultimately fail because those things can never change a person’s heart and spirit in a creative way.
Only the spirit of God’s love can ever draw humankind into true unity. And His love has to be willingly chosen. It cannot be forced. Those who open their hearts to Jesus possess the ability to experience and share His spirit of love with others. God’s love in us can be the spark that others see that draws them out of the darkness and into the light. Our unity, through having Jesus as the center of our lives, can draw their attention. Then Jesus can open doors in ways that He alone can for them to come closer and closer to Him.
This reminds me of a testimony I heard about a Hindu woman. She had been drawn to some Family members by their kindness and love. She had been deeply immersed in Hinduism her whole life, but they suggested that as a first step, she could put a picture of Jesus alongside the idols she prayed to.
Some time later, she came to them a changed woman. She said that she had put a picture of Jesus in her prayer room beside the other gods, and she began praying to Him as well, and every time she prayed to Jesus, it was as if a fragrant aroma seemed to fill the air and the answer to her prayers always came! So, she became a follower of Jesus. I watched a video the other day which is a beautiful proof of this unity that Christians around the world can manifest. It is a moving song called “The Blessing.”1 It is based on the blessing found in Numbers 6:24–26: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
The video is a compilation of brief clips produced by World Blessing—Hope without Borders of people from around the world singing this song in 257 languages in 154 countries. This song was first produced in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic and has had more than 93 million views and has received thousands of comments.
The diversity of cultures and language, combined with the power of God’s Spirit shining through His children around the world, amplifies the fact that we are one in Him. It is one of the most powerful songs I have seen or heard.
According to one site, this song has been sung in over 3,000 languages now. Because the lyrics are scripture and there are an estimated 3,500 languages into which some portion of the Bible has now been translated, it became a hit around the world. It was put to music by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes in early 2020, and the Lord has caused it to spread among His children like a freedom cry of His Spirit.
Differences in doctrine, language, culture, and many other things demonstrate the diversity of God’s followers, but His Spirit beaming from each of His children bears witness to the most important thing: We are one in Him!
His love can shine regardless of troubles or suffering or whatever this life may bring. Here are some of the comments posted on YouTube about this video, followed by the link to the video. I included an English translation for the comments that were in other languages. I hope you will enjoy watching it.
Comments about the video:
Maria: We may not know the future, but we know who holds it in His hands. He’s the one who loves all His children with the love that created us and the whole universe. How can we keep from singing!