“And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and His name one.” – Zechariah 14:9
What better reminder could we find today? As millions of people who are called Christian meet in tens of thousands of worship centers with hundreds of differing denominational splinters dividing us, this bold prophecy from nearly 3,000 years ago points our hearts forward to a time where we will be in utter oneness. This is not some sentimental gushing. What I write of today concerns the fullness of God’s glory in the redeemed, and the untainted promise that God will consummate the end of the age with a perfect people who will reflect His name and His name only.
There will be no Baptists then. No Pentecostals nor Methodists will be found. If you are seeking a Catholic or a Presbyterian in those days, you will be wasting your time. It won’t be about the Reformed, the Arminians, the Neo-Calvinists, the Fundamentalists, the Charismatics or the Orthodox. There will be only one flame in that appointed time, and it will burn so brightly that the silly wicks we strive to keep aflame in our day will long since have smoldered away. I have this holy hunger in my heart today. In a few hours I plan to gather with a group of people, among whom you would be hard pressed to find three that agree perfectly on all things Christian. We work through those differences, we humble ourselves, we have learned diplomatic silence as well as intentional reproof. Our hope is not our consistent agreements in all Kingdom matters. There is no assurance in the false assumption that we have it all right. We have seen enough from God to know that there may be a thousand things we do not see at all, or perhaps see inaccurately. In the final day of God, when all focus is deservedly resting upon the Risen Lamb, not one single pilgrim who has been translated to God’s paradise will be thumping his chest or pointing his finger. My desire is that all of that nonsense would stop long before we arrive to that moment that Zechariah described above. My hope is that we can lose ourselves and the microscopic components of our individual kingdoms of dust, so that we can be caught up in Him for just a few moments on this Lord’s Day. Sundays should stir us for the hope of full unity that is promised to us and will be unavoidable when we are all together in His glory.
Before you leave for your local church gatherings, bend your knees and beat your chest in an expression of humble need. Call yourself the desperate one. Sing as one who has had his sins wrenched from him, and a white robe wrapped around the scars where the sins were once embedded. Pray with assured joy that the mercy seat has atoned. Lift up holy hands with palms wide open to signify that you know that you have nothing which God needs in those empty hands; let that same gesture display to His omniscient eyes that you must have those hands to be filled with what He offers. Grind the idols of your dead, mindless traditions to dust if you no longer know why they are there. Church fads and fanciful ministry trends are a hollow wisp of air to the Almighty, so please don’t play the fool who mistakes something cool for something consecrated.
This is a great season for us to slow down. Sitting in stillness is not a virtue to very many people these days. We are more likely to view ourselves as human doings instead of human beings. Rather than flailing through another Sunday, restless within and squirming without, perhaps you and I might intentionally ride the brakes a little in order to see if God might be accomplishing His best works in low gear today. Intentionally getting small and still, breathing in deeply, exhaling with measured intent…waiting on the Holy Spirit, listening to the voice of the Shepherd, fixating on the sovereign timing of the Father.
Oneness and stillness: what a novel concept for a Sunday.
And then get ready once you have been stilled before God and stitched with His other children.
He is still a God who moves powerfully among us when He becomes and remains the abiding focus.