Did you know there is a very common word used in our culture that you cannot find in the Bible? It is the word “competition.” Jesus never talked about it, but he did talk about the opposite of that word.

What is the greatest catalyst that allows the unsaved to make a decision for Jesus Christ? It isn't prayer, though this is important. It isn't good deeds, though deeds indicate a fruitful relationship with God. It isn't good behavior, though Christ commands us to be obedient as sons. The greatest power God's children have over darkness is unity. Jesus talked a great deal about His oneness with the Father and the importance of unity in the Body of Christ. It is the most difficult command Jesus gave to the Church, because it wars against the most evil aspect of our sin nature - independence.

The walls of division and competition among His Body are a stench in God's nostrils. He sees the competition and the pride of ownership and weeps for the lost who cannot come to Him because they cannot see Him in His Body. When His Body is one, the unbelieving see that Jesus was sent by God. It is like a supernatural key that unlocks Heaven for the heathen soul. The key is in the hand of Christ's Church.

When there is unity, there is power. Scripture tells us five will chase 100, but 100 will chase 10,000 (see Leviticus. 26:8). There is a dynamic multiplication factor in unity of numbers. We are a hundred times more effective when we are a unified group. Imagine what God could do with a unified Church.

Jesus prayed that we all might be one, as the Father and He are one: "That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me" (John 17:21). He wanted the same love God has for Jesus to be in each of us. When this love is in us, we are drawn to each other with a common mission. The walls fall down. The independent spirit is broken. Competition is destroyed. Satan's accusations are thwarted. Our love for each other is manifest to the world around us. Lost souls begin to seek this love that is so foreign to them.

A story is told about F.B. Meyer, the great Bible teacher and pastor who lived a century ago. He was pastoring a church and began to notice that attendance was suffering. This continued until he finally asked some members of his congregation one Sunday morning why they thought attendance was down.

A member volunteered, "It is because of this new church down the road. The young preacher has everyone talking and many are going to hear him speak."

His name was Charles Spurgeon. Meyer, rather than seeking to discourage this, exhorted the entire congregation to join him and go participate in seeing this "move of God" as he described it to his congregation.

"If this be happening, then God must be at work."

Meyer, even though he was an accomplished preacher and teacher, recognized where God was at work and joined Him in it.

Can you imagine this story taking place in our spiritual climate today? Competition has penetrated the Church so much that many churches and Christian organizations approach ministry like a sports event. They view their mission as a business that seeks to gain market share among Christians - donors, members, influence - all under the name of God. I am sure God looks down at us and asks, "Whatever happened to John 17:23? " Sometimes we must remind our fellow servants that we are all on the same team! We should be seeking to impact the Kingdom of God, not concerning ourselves with our own market share.