Press Together

When the flood reached the old structure, something wonderful happened.

In our small community, not everyone had agreed with the mission of the organization that used the dilapidated warehouse. In fact, sharp things had been spoken — cutting, nasty words that over the years built a seemingly impenetrable wall of misunderstanding and distrust.

When the rains came down and the floods came up, the water rose inexorably until it became more than just a threat. The old building, settled into a low spot near the river, was the first to be hit.

Those nearby rushed into action, gathering valuables and removing them for safe-keeping or stacking them high above the water. Others joined in, working feverishly to beat the rising tide. Little was said. It was a time for action, not talk. Everyone instinctively knew what must be done.

But there, in the heat of the battle, the miracle happened. People who had not spoken a kind word to each other in months, worked side by side, petty differences put aside for the greater good.

The rains eased, the waters receded, the crisis passed. When all was cleaned up and back in its place, people went back to their differences and disagreements. The miracle faded. A lesson was lost: The petty should never push aside what is truly important — especially for a flood.

In Revelation 12, the apostle John in his allegorical vision describes a flood with which the great dragon seeks to overwhelm the woman. When his efforts fail, the enraged dragon determines to obliterate the woman's offspring — the remnant.

His methods have been many. He's tried persecution, but the martyrs' blood, like seed, inspired growth. He's tried economic hardship, but God has opened the windows of heaven.

When minds and hearts are unified, there is little the enemy can do to diminish the work of God. So he has resorted to distraction, nudging us all imperceptibly in different directions. He fills up our daily to-do lists with things — even good things — while God's apocalyptic purpose is put on the shelf for a rainy day.

The antidote is central to Ellen White's admonishment: "I have heard the angel voice saying, ‘Press together, press together, press together. Do not let Satan cast his hellish shadow between brethren. Press together; in unity there is strength,'" (Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 374).

Pressing together is not a natural response for those of us who value independence. But when the enemy comes in like a flood, those who find unity centered along the master strokes of the Kingdom will be enabled to meet the challenge — together. That's the remnant of Scripture: those who make the daily choice to be completely committed and loyal to Jesus.

The flood will come; the response is up to us.

"The crisis passed … people went back to their differences and disagreements. The miracle faded. A lesson was lost: The petty should never push aside what is truly important — especially for a flood."

September 01, 2010 / Let's Talk
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