In a word: everything. If you bear in mind the true end of Worship and the beautiful dream Jesus has for us – the reconciliation one day of God and all God’s children with Him and with one another – you’ll understand why a spirit of Unity is so essential to a life of Worship. Worship is a beautiful, mysterious, life-altering thing but even Worship is not an end in itself. God desires our honest, humble, unified Worship, not because the Creator of all there is and ever has been needs anything from us. God wants our hearts to be in the right place with Him and with one another as part of Worship, because that is the path to restoration of all God cares most deeply about. Over and over again in the Scriptures, the Unity of believers in true, God-pleasing Worship emerges – from the earliest references to Worship in the Old Testament, to Jesus’ comment that the Pharisees’ worship is a farce because their hearts are distant from God and from others, to the mystical descriptions of all humanity worshipping God at the end of human history. There’s no mistaking it: God knows the profound role Unity plays in bringing healing and wholeness. And this unspeakable, near-unfathomable harmony is so the desire of God. All you have to remember to realize this is to think about what God has already done, through Jesus, to draw near to us. God wants Unity for us and with us, maybe even more than we want it for ourselves sometimes.
First, leave your offering and go get right with your brother. It isn’t necessarily easy to understand that trying to get right with God requires us to try to get right with one another but it is simple – and true. Even the fallen Jewish King, Saul, understood this; Saul, in 1 Samuel 15, confessed being a sinner to the Jewish priest, Samuel, and asked for Samuel’s forgiveness, so Saul could then go worship the Lord. If genuine Worship involves anything, it involves sacrifice and humility. And it takes a sacrifice on our part sometimes to put Unity before our own thoughts and feelings. We need to be in a process of trying to do all we can to be right with those God has put in our sphere of relationships before we can have a chance to be right with our Creator. This is true whether it’s an individual believer and his circle of family and friends, or an individual body of believers with one another, or the global Body of Christ.
Further, when we act for the sake of Unity, we are acting according to an uncommon, others-oriented love. And when we tap into that kind of selfless love, and we make it more important than issues or opinions, we are embracing the very Spirit of God and joining the Spirit in His work of reaching others who don’t yet know Jesus and of growing believers in their faith. This work makes possible the most improbable, most majestic of scenes – “all humanity will come to worship” (Isaiah 66) and “I will give them one heart and mind to worship” (Jeremiah 32).
Finally, without the Spirit you cannot have worship that is pleasing to God. It says in Palms 5 that if we’re truly on the path to understanding God, we will enter the Temple “with deepest awe.” Let’s face it: We cannot possibly be in a state of awe of the Creator if we’re holding onto harmful, painful, division-causing things against a part of His Creation, including somebody in God’s family or our own. Jesus emphasized this so strongly in Matthew 15 when he said of the Pharisees and religious scholars: “Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.” And what are the greatest two commands of the God of the universe? Love God. Love others. Everything else is a distant third. The Pharisees’ worship was false, Jesus said, because their hearts were “far away.” There was neither love nor unity. Where there is Unity, there is love. Where there is love, there is God. Where there is God, there is the Spirit. And where there is God’s Spirit, there is the potential for every good thing. Which is the very thing God has had in mind for us since the beginning of days.