Striking the Balance of Harmony Within the Body of Christ
Musically speaking, a chord is a set of three or more notes you hear as if they are all being played together, although they do not have to be played at the same time. Harmony is the use of these chords simultaneously. Typically, harmony is referred to as vertical in nature whereas the melody, what drives the movement of the song, is seen as horizontal. In Western culture, we know what sounds pleasant to the ear. There is a balance that is struck within the composition of these notes thus creating the pleasant connection with the listener. An imbalance with the notes is referred to as dissonance. It clashes.
We are chords. We are harmony. We must balance and create connection with our listeners, for we have a magnificent calling to share a special kind of music…the gospel of Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 1:10 tells us that by His name, we are to be in perfect harmony and in full agreement, with no dissension, factions, or divisions among us. It tells us to be united in common understanding, opinions, and judgments. These tactics of the enemy (dissension within the body) cripple us, throw our song off balance, and render futile efforts toward Kingdom building. Talk about clashing! We cannot achieve unity in the flesh, but we can in the Spirit, hallelujah!
Unity is a global topic of debate. The world contends that those of us who do not condone, accept, practice, or admonish what seems to be the “current, cultural norms and practices” are disingenuous and part of the disunity, ironically, within society. Many of us actually take that bait, and we conform or stand idly by not wanting to cause discord. After all, we want to fit in. But, because we were made to be part of something magnificent and eternal, we strive in the flesh to fit in to a space we were never meant to fit in; we strive to be a part of something that is only a cheap imitation of the “body” we were meant to be part of and serve. We become less bold, immobilized, weak, and ineffective for the Kingdom.
We can view the body of Christ as the melodic movement, or horizontal movement, helping to facilitate and deliver the message of the Cross. However, each person has a part to play in the vertical movement of this music. These are the day in and day out opportunities we have to grow, connect, build bridges, serve, love, walk alongside one another through suffering, bear sweet aroma of grace and mercy, edify, be accountable, and so on. We are created uniquely and individually to play in the larger Spirit-led, Spirit-filled symphony that carries the gospel message all over the world. Each “note” is irreplaceable in bringing honor and glory to God.
How does being unified practically play out? Matthew 18:19 assures us: If you agree/harmonize/make a symphony together about anything, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven. John 17: 22,23 says: I have given them glory and honor which you have given Me, that they may be one as we are one, I in them and You in Me, in order that they become perfectly unified that the world will know and will recognize that you sent me and that you love them as you have loved me. When we are unified, God moves. Things come to pass. His honor and glory are upon us, and the world recognizes the One who sent us and that they are loved by Him.
At the end of the day, every boat sits on it’s own bottom, so my Momma still tells me. We are responsible for ourselves only. One day, those in Christ will stand before the Father with opportunity to lay crowns at the feet of the one who ALONE is worthy. Will we have anything to offer back to him? Which crown(s) will we be able to lay at his feet? This propels me in the faith and in sharing my faith, even when I feel alone. I want to offer him all I can with all my heart. I do not want to fall before Him empty handed.
We cannot hide or pass blame. We must be in the Word seeking hard and pressing deeply into the Father’s plan over our own personal lives. Are we praying over our “harmony?” Are we diligently seeking ways to balance the body with who God has created us to be?
We will never be able to achieve harmony or unity unless Matthew 6:10 is at the forefront of our mind: “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” Unity will never take place as long as we are looking to please self, rather than make ourselves surrender in obedience to Christ. As my brother, Andy, always says, “Peace is not the absence of some THING, but the presence of some ONE.” If we really want unification, we must concede that it starts with our individual lives being opened up and poured out for the Lord.
Our outlook should always and forever be eternal. Keep spiritually minded. Be obedient to Christ, and give your all to the One who alone is worthy. We are most unified as a body when we are dead to ourselves and alive in Him! The irony! I fully believe as we press hard into His word and in relationship with Him, the Holy Spirit will move us in supernatural melodic direction.
Let’s be who He’s called us to be. Let’s do what He’s called us to do. On that day, may we have crowns to lay at His feet and say, “Thou, Oh, Lord, are worthy!” It will be worth it all! May the literal, moving power of the Holy Spirit fall fresh on us, moving us onward for our good and His glory.
Worship Choir, Alto