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By Jeremy Lopez
"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling…" (Ephesians 4:3-4 KJV)
Throughout the world today, there are currently more than 33,000 Christian denominations and various faith groups who profess Christ and more than 7 billion individuals in existence within humanity. Within such a staggering number is the realization that within the global Body of Christ exists great diversity.
Prophetically speaking, there is a heavenly power in this uniqueness which reminds us of the need to become much more aware of the beauty of "differences." Differences exist for a very real and very heavenly reason. In my newest book, Attracting Your Godly Spouse, I included a chapter titled "The Beauty of Difference," and, prophetically speaking, I believe the message to be a clarion call to the Body of Christ as a whole. In Ephesians 4:16, the Apostle Paul reminds us, "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." These "joints" which he describes, according to him, "fit" compactly together to perform a great work within the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, all of the various connections – all of the various, different parts – exist for a reason.
Biologically speaking, joints are structures within the body, which allow bones to move relative to each other – even when the bones are seemingly unrelated. My friend, if ever there was a time within the Body of Christ for the prophetic gifting to declare the importance of valuing the beauty of "differences," the time is now. This message is a call for unity within the Body. It is the "unity of the Spirit" which bonds us together; however it is the "bond of peace" which reminds us to be respectful, tolerant, and above all, much more loving to those with whom we disagree. From the very beginning, even in the garden paradise, differences existed. Far too often we allow ourselves to be conditioned to dismiss and to fail to honor individuals and their unique gifts and callings simply because their gifts – and their beliefs – seem so different and so unfamiliar to us.
Dismissiveness Over Differences
This dismissiveness of others over "differences" stifles the miraculous and the working of the supernatural within the Body of Christ more than all else. This dismissiveness of others – this judgment – is actually a form of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost because it says, "I don't trust the Holy Spirit to lead others into truth." This judgmental dismissal of others seemingly different from us shouts, "If you're different, then you're wrong." How absurd and how audacious this spirit is. How very arrogant and prideful. Is it any wonder we often fail to see the miraculous now working within our churches? Rather than loving, we would rather protest against the rights and beliefs of others. Rather that honoring those seemingly unlike us, we would rather seek to discredit and to malign them, slandering them for not agreeing with us. As a result, church attendance is in decline and ministries have to "edit" miracles for their television outreaches just to draw crowds. This judgment and pride is rebellion in the Kingdom and a spirit of witchcraft - manipulation and a desire to control others, disguising itself as "faith." It's the work of an Antichrist spirit. Will He not do the work of drawing all men and women unto Himself as He promised? Is He not the head of all things? Aren't all things in Him and even by Him? Even those which seem different?
The "unity of the faith" says, "I trust the Holy Spirit to lead all men and all women into truth." The "bond of peace," though, says, "In spite of our many differences, I can respect the unique journeys of others." This message is a clarion call not only for unity within the Body but also a call for common decency, respect, and civility again. If you truly want to experience a revival of miracles, signs, and wonders, begin by seeking a revival of love again. As I was completing my doctoral dissertation all those years ago, becoming more aware of my own prophetic gifting, I was so taken aback by the accounts of the early evangelists of the Apostolic Age. Even in the moments of confrontation and debate and heated theological discussion, there was always, always, always a desire to include all people – even those who seemed so very different on the outside. This is why miracles occurred. This is why believers of the first century experienced the Open Heavens. It was because, in spite of disagreement, there was the force of the love of GOD in full operation. With Apostolic authority, more than the need for apostolic power and dominion, comes the need for an Apostolic love and understanding of all people. In even the most obvious of differences, it is time for the Body to begin to say, "There is a place for you here."