Towards Unity

As we come together to pray later this month at the National Solemn Assembly, I am not so much looking to place petitions before the Lord, but for the Holy Spirit to renew our minds, to guide our thinking for action in the current challenges.

But my experience tells me that the Holy Spirit does not turn up unless the brethren are in unity, and looking across the membership, I must ask: do we have sufficient unity for a successful meeting?

I am talking here about that like-mindedness, that soul-unity, that ‘being in one accord’ that Paul was speaking about in Philippians 2:2. I trust so, because I am keen to hear what God has to say in these troubled times.

At the present time, there is a wide variety of traditions in the membership, and it would be easy to argue that there is a lack of common thinking. Clearly, we have a less than perfect understanding of God’s thinking at the present time (Isaiah 55:8), and that is leading to a range of practices that do not measure up against God’s righteousness.

The key scripture for the meeting (2 Chronicles 7:14) exhorts us to put aside our ‘wicked ways’, that is, the things we do that are not in sync with God’s thinking. But that is only possible when our minds are renewed, and only God can do that.

At the present time, most of us can agree that God is on the throne, and His grace has been extended to us as individuals in a most remarkable and undeserved way. And this being so, we can receive one another as brethren on a level playing field, and come together in that spirit of humility shown by Jesus, that Paul looked to solve the unity problem. (Phil. 2:3-4ff)

Hopefully, this will be enough unity to get God’s attention on 26 September. This, and the fact that we are keen to get involved in God’s end-time program and assist Him in any way that we can. I think He will respond to that. Let us hope so.

As for the rest, I see a massive job to bring us all to a common perception of how the Kingdom is to manifest in Australia. But this is where the New Covenant is so important; for it tells us we need not worry about this, for God has taken on that job Himself, and we can, and should, leave that matter with Him:

“… and they shall not teach everyman his neighbour, and every man his brother saying: ‘know the Lord’, for they shall all know Me from the least to the greatest.”
~ Hebrews 8:11

My wife and I often find ourselves responding to situations in different ways. Over time, we learned to stop defending our own position, having had grace to understand that, on such occasions, we need input from a third voice — that of the Holy Spirit.

When we seek His wisdom, we discover that neither of us was completely wrong, but neither of us had the whole truth. When we put it all together, we have a clear unified strategy to meet the situation that confronts us, and unity is restored.

Over time, I began to see that the reason my wife and I see things differently. In our thinking space where we commune with the Lord, each of us ‘eats the showbread’ (drawing on the principles of the Judaeo-Christian culture given to us by our parents). But Judy spends most of her time at the ‘altar of incense’ seeking the Lord for a word in season. I, on the other hand, spend most of my time at the ‘lampstand’, seeking revelations about ways and means.

Now, no individual can minister at the altar of incense and the lampstand at the same time! Individualism is out in God’s business; we need each other and Him (teamwork) in the decision-making process, whether it be in the home or in the ecclesia.

On the weekend of 26-27 September we will assemble, with the expectation that Jesus will be in our midst by the Holy Spirit, bringing His divine insights into the problems that currently confront us. In particular, we will be seeking guidance on two crucial matters:

  1. how to hold the line against the neo-Marxist onslaught against our Judaeo-Christian culture; and
  2. what we as God’s sons should be doing to advance the Kingdom in these times.

It is my belief that concentrating on the latter cause will be the best way of meeting the former; when the Kingdom manifests, we will not have to worry too much about the enemy’s agenda.

But I do not discount the need to hold the line where we can; and I look forward to receiving strategies from the throne room to address the attack on our families, our children in schools, in particular.

Each of us has been seeking guidance in these matters individually over time, and each of us has some half-formed ideas as to how to tackle the problems. The Assembly will be God’s opportunity to build our individual insights together into a master plan for the nation.

The prophets will speak, I trust. I am not talking about super-Prophets (we need to repent of this nonsense). Paul is insistent: “you may all prophesy, one by one.” (This is in line with Peter’s announcement that Peter Walker has brought to our attention: “… this is that spoken by the prophet Joel… your sons and your daughters shall prophesy… and your servants and handmaidens… shall prophesy.”)

Beyond that, we will need people (sons of Issachar) to interpret the messages and build them together, so that the church of Australia will know what it has to do.

Then will come the action phase. The timing is good. The feast of Tabernacles is scheduled for the 2nd to the 9th of October — one week after the Assembly.

I believe we can anticipate receiving specific individual orders as we sit in booths from 2 to 9 October ,in line with the general instructions we receive at the Assembly! (NB: The National Assembly is scheduled on the Day of Atonement 2020 — was this a deliberate choice? Encouraging!).

Brethren, I am not promoting a slavish attitude towards feasts, but it has been my experience that the Lord has ordained a distinct prayer season followed by an action season each year.

The blueprint for this is the Year of the Priests (month 1-6 in the Jewish calendar) and the Year of the Kings (months 7-12/13) of the Jewish Calendar. The action phase commences with Trumpets, New Year (!) on the first day of the seventh month, Tishri.

Follow-up action is crucial. Jesus was clear about that (Matt. 7:24ff). My belief is that we need to get beyond national happenings (which are important), and start building strong local action groups across the land. Mark Latham has just introduced an Act in the NSW Parliament to maintain the right of parents to dictate what their children learn and do not learn at school. I deeply regret the fact that we do not have local groups in place across the nation to rise up with one massive voice to support this Act.

Being under-prepared, we continue to mount rearguard lobbying actions, rather than getting on the front foot in the battle. Jean Ousset sets out how to bring down the enemy in the political arena in his book Action (IHS Press Virginia).

It is time we got off our butts and got things moving in the right direction. Hopefully, we will get the motivation we need for this at the coming Assembly.

I hope to see you there!

[Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash]

By |2020-09-14T10:49:11+10:00September 14th, 2020|Australia, Faith, Indigenous, Prayer|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Potter was born in South Australia in 1934. He is married to Judy and has four children. John began professional life as an agricultural scientist with the South Australian Department of Agriculture 1957-1976. In 1976 he and Judy were sovereignly called of God to work in Africa. This led to involvement in education and a return to academic life for a season, first as a student and later as a lecturer. John holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, a Bachelor degree in Education Management, and a Master degree in Education Philosophy/Psychology.

Throughout his life John has maintained a strong Christian worldview. He and Judy have led fellowships in both Australian and Africa and taught at a School of Mission in South Africa. John’s book The Way Things Are tells of his walk to freedom from the mire of religiosity, distractions and distortions that so profoundly impact the post-modernist world.

In 2000, John was awarded a Doctor Letters degree for his collected papers on Biblical Hermeneutics and Practical Theology. He is currently the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Paraclete Institute, domiciled in Morayfield, Queensland.

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