The whole world agrees we are in need of peace and unity. Governments turn to force and strict laws to keep people from destroying each other. On a much smaller scale, millions of families and married couples have their own difficulties as they seek to find enough common ground to live in peace with each other.
God, on the other hand, expects Christians to “be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:2, kjv).
Why is unity so important to God? Paul Billheimer explains the reason in his book Destined for the Throne: Before the world began, the Father wanted to find a Bride for His Son, so He created us. God didn’t look for many brides, but only for one Bride. The purpose of the cross is to make millions of people from a million different backgrounds and races into one individual—the Bride of Christ.
In the light of this high calling, it is so serious and of utmost importance that each of us is “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit . . .” (Ephesians 4:3). “Endeavor” is another word for try, attempt, labor, strive, exert and struggle. Just by looking at these synonyms, it is obvious that it is a very deliberate, conscious act. We cannot simply say to one another, “Well, if you agree with what I say and if you eat the same food I like, I will sit at your table and we will have unity.”
In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us in the same text of Scripture exactly what we must do to be able to attain this unity: “I . . . beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). What Paul is expressing is that we should do everything we can, even at the expense of our own feelings, to maintain this unity of the Spirit.