One of God’s wonderful assurances is His promise to release a special blessing and anointing on those willing to dwell together in unity and fraternal affection. Psalms 133 declares,
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon coming down upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing– life forever.
On Saturday morning before the Day of Atonement 2006, I received a spiritual dream that communicated a message consistent with this theme. Wanda and I were involved in the “Engaging Heaven” conference with our friends Brian and Candace Simmons in West Haven, Connecticut.
At 2 o’clock in the morning, the hotel fire alarm was activated requiring an evacuation of the hotel. This in itself conveyed a spiritual message for this season. Our enemy will constantly be activating false alarms to keep us in unrest. We must keep our minds focused upon the Lord at all times.
Once it was determined that there was no real danger, we returned to our rooms. As soon as I was able to sleep, I immediately went into a dream. The context of the dream was set around the TV program “Survivor.” It was incredibly vivid and detailed. Every circumstance that we discover on this program was involved in this dream. A group of people were delivered to a remote island with little or no provision.
Each person was placed within a tribe with whom they would live, survive and depend. Part of the program scenario centers around challenges that promote teamwork and communication.
There is a reward challenge to hopefully acquire the essentials necessary for survival on the island. The other is a competition to determine which tribe must eliminate one of its members.
Immediately I recognize the only hope for survival in this context was to form an alliance with others that I completely trusted. I was able to locate three other men that shared common views with me. We committed ourselves to an unbreakable alliance built around trust and open communication.
The dream continued for four consecutive hours until the time came to be awakened for the morning conference meetings. When I was awakened, the only “survivors” that remained were the four of us in the divine alliance.
Instantly, I knew the heart of the message conveyed in the dream. The days ahead are going to be difficult and trying. Much of what we have readily depended upon for day-to-day life will be removed. Our hope for survival in the coming season is a willingness to form divine alliances and friendships with others we thoroughly trust.
Communication and trust will be two of the most indispensable commodities discovered in ministries and Churches that flourish. I remember thinking at the end of the dream that I was pleased to be awakened before another member was to be removed from the island. I do not believe any of the four of us would have broken the alliance.
An alliance is defined as a formal agreement that establishes a relationship or partnership between other parties to achieve a particular goal. It is an association built around common interests and goals. It is primarily established to advance a certain cause or agenda. An alliance is sometimes referred to as a treaty of friendship.
As 21st century Christians, we have the greatest cause of all…to advance Gods Kingdom and the revelation of Jesus Christ. Many in the world are asking pointed questions concerning the conditions that exist in the earth. We as the Church must provide the answers.
It is now time for a transition to take place where we lead by example. Divine grace is being released from heaven that will allow Christians to trust one another once again.
There is going to be the revelation of a high calling around which many will build their entire lives. This realization will so profoundly impact many that they will willingly lay aside personal agendas and ambitions to embrace this mandate.
Great strength and advancement will be discovered by those determined to enter in to such an arrangement. Divine alliances will not only produce substantial results but also a sphere of safety.
The uniqueness of divine alliances allows for Churches or ministries to maintain their own identity and vision while also joining in agreement with others to advance a common cause. If the Lord can find just three or four Churches in a region to dwell together in harmony and support one another in friendship, then great advancement can be achieved in that territory.
Avoid Unholy Alliances
The Bible also contains numerous examples of unholy alliances that were displeasing to God. These however were centered on compromise and idolatry. As always, our adversary seeks to pervert everything that is fruitful.
It has been our experience that those to whom we are to be joined in covenant relationship are made evident. Marriages in ministry are very similar in this context to the marriage of man and woman.
It must be a divine arrangement with those to whom we are equally yoked. Trust, communication and mutual vision are all essential ingredients that formulate a successful union. The Lord will bring into our lives those to whom we are to be joined in long-term relationship. It does not have to be something that we force into existence.
In the Order of David and Jonathan
The Bible provides numerous examples of New Testament leaders who established ministry covenants. Peter and John clearly functioned as a team as discovered in Acts 9. Paul and Barnabas illustrate one of the earliest examples following the Day of Pentecost.
However, one of the greatest alliances in the Bible that advanced God’s cause existed between David and Jonathan.
Jonathan said to David, “Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the LORD, saying, “The LORD will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever.”‘ Then he rose and departed, while Jonathan went into the city – 1 Samuel 20:42
Jonathan recognized in David the future of Israel’s prosperity. There was a cause that he discovered that was worthy of sacrifice and commitment to achieve. Furthermore, the LORD imparted genuine affection in their hearts for one another. Theirs was an unbreakable bond of commitment that resulted in David’s survival and Israel’s welfare.
The entirety of 1 Samuel 20 provides a vivid portrayal of the commitment that existed between David and Jonathan. They entered into a divine alliance that provided safety and strength. They enjoyed clear and concise communication that facilitated the plan of God and the future of Israel.
Joined in Fraternal Affection
The concept of fraternal affection and brotherly love is emphasized in the ascending pyramid of graces and Godly attributes discovered in 2 Peter 1:5-8; these are essential in our quest to become one spirit with the Lord.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Greek word for “brotherly kindness” in this passage is “philadelphia;” It is defined as “fraternal affection; brotherly love (kindness) or love of the brethren.”
From a position of fraternal love we move forward into the “agape” of God. If it is our hearts’ desire to participate in the harvest of the ages and the healing of the nations, then it must be from a position of authentic compassion birthed in love. These can only be imparted to us through the Holy Spirit.
As summarized through the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, we are to abide in faith, hope and love. We dwell in faith through the conviction and belief of man in his relationship with Heaven as well as hope, which is our confident expectation of redemption. But the greatest of these is the true affection for God and man expressed through saints; it is generated by a deposit of Heavenly virtue resident in us- LOVE.
The truth to be greatly emphasized in this generation is the transference of our lost nature for His divine nature. We have the precious and magnificent promises by which we become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption of this world and its lusts.
By virtue of being joined with Him as His body in the mystery of incarnation, we likewise share in His heart of love and desire for the brethren as well as lost humanity.
As the Lord declared in John 17:23,
I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
We are being sent in this generation in like fashion as the Lord Himself was commissioned by His Father. We are to be carriers of His heart.