A common vision is what unites a variety of differences in this life. This is true in marriages, communities, states, congregations, and countries. Scripture addresses this issue in many ways. One way we see it is: “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (a) [See end notes for all Scriptures] “Without a vision (dream, revelation), people perish (cease to be together).” (b) When the vision for living together is ignored, forgotten, or dismantled, the strengths that are featured in the union diminish.
When the first gathering of “My People” failed to keep His covenant, (c) God announced He would make a New Covenant by “writing His instruction in our perceptions and on our expressive hearts.” (d) Jesus introduced this New Covenant vision as “The Kingdom of God in your midst.” (e) Responders would be “fruitful people” (f) who experience “abundant life” (g) and are earthly visuals of the “Body of Christ.” (h) The reality of this vision would never cease and would continue to increase until its experience eventually filled all the earth. (j) Jesus even said; “My presence will always be with you.” (k)
As we conclude our “Vision Series,” let’s understand how a common vision unites our differences. Where is this unifying vision seen and experienced today?
Uniting Our Differences
A strong measure of this Kingdom Covenant is seen in the lives of Christians. The life improving responses to God and His ways, although far from perfect, are very visible in everyday life. While many differences exist, the unifying vision of Christ among us and in our midst is clear.
Another uniting example is America. The unifying idea of a nation that acknowledged God as its ruling King has come to be known as the American dream (vision). Its founding fathers sought to form such a nation and framed its founding documents on the freeing principles of Christianity.
America is known as the land of the free, offering liberty and justice for all. Such freedom gives everyone the opportunity to improve the quality of their life. This is visually demonstrated in various businesses as owners, managers and employees work together to produce products and services that support and improve their life and the life of others.
A strong measure of the Kingdom Covenant is seen in the lives of Christians.
Understanding The Divide
The phrase “Divide and Destroy” is a common way to break up the strength that exists in groups. This is a variation of an ancient phrase used in war: “Divide and Conquer.” A divided people can easily be controlled because they are unable to effectively oppose the bad ideas of leaders.
When a stabilizing vision becomes foggy or is lost, it allows different views to be silenced and removes the freedom of expression. The ideology of Socialism and Communism are masters at dividing people to establish control. They stir up strife between workers and employers, races, and religions, and then offer solutions that eventually produce levels of enslaving captivity. Scripture encourages us to “turn away from those who cause dissensions (division, discord).” (l)
Enlightening discussions of different views allow everyone to find common ground and discover peaceful ways to improve and move forward. When discussions deteriorate into arguments, differences become contrasts that divide and destroy unity.
Whenever people view each other as different, by race (one is better than others) or religion (I’m right and you’re wrong) they tend to lose sight of the unifying vision. This is true of the unifying vision of marriage, Christianity, and of America. When we see differences as contrasts rather than compliments, arguments and warlike fights occur and separate. The evil of destructive division usually follows.
Enlightening discussions of different views allow everyone to find common ground and discover peaceful ways to improve and move forward.
God is our primary source of enlightenment and people are expressive reflections of the Light we are able to receive. When people with different perspectives share their light and discuss issues under a common vision, they can be an overcoming force. (m) This is why we need to share our light with one another as unifying factors, so we all can see more clearly.
The level of light we see and project can be kept a secret or as “hidden under a lamp shade”. (n) God prefers, even in our partiality, to “let your light shine.” Sharing discussions tend to produce greater clarifying light. As God’s light in us shines brighter and brighter, levels of darkness in us are dispelled and the extremities of evil that seek to divide cease to control.
Who among you is wise…Let him show by his good behavior…if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart…this wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural…But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits. (o)
While light is a feature that comes from a source, darkness has no source. Darkness is just the lack of light, a place, condition, or perspective in this natural life where light is not shining. The only appearance of power in darkness is its ability to remain light-less. Is your light shining as a contributing factor that helps others view God’s vision for life more clearly?
God is our primary source of enlightenment.
a) Mark 3:25; b) Proverbs 29:18; c) Psalm 78:10, 56; Acts 7:53; d) Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews 8:6, 8, 13; e) Luke 17:20-21; f) Matthew 21:43; g) John 10:10; h) Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12: 27; Ephesians 4:12-13; j) Numbers 14:21; Daniel 7:13-14, 18; k) Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5; l) Romans 16:17-18; m) Isaiah 1:18; n) Matthew 5:15-16; o) James 3:13-17
Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder