“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.”

// Acts 4:32

“Of one heart and soul.” Imagine sharing a soul with someone – being bonded closer than flesh and blood in a relationship that transcends space and time.

Our soul is our essence, our self, our desires and needs, our emotions, our psyche, our living being, and only by a unifying spirit can it be truly one with another – or indeed with a company of others.

A football team has oneness of soul. They share a goal (both literally and figuratively) and are unified in its pursuit. They are all submitted to obeying the directions and orders of their coach. They enable, empower, encourage and lift one another up in their aligned vision of victory, never competing against one another or jostling for position, but taking intense pride and joy in one another’s achievements – each team member knows a victory for their teammate is a victory for themselves.

And although they are bonded together through purpose and vision at all times, there is nothing like tough opposition to strengthen the resolve of a team, solidifying their allegiance to one another and spurring their unrelenting passion to fight for their shared goal of victory.

Peter and John had just been confronted by intense opposition in the form of imprisonment, threats and restrictions on their freedom to worship when they returned to the safety of their spiritual family to share their burden and pray about the situation all together. It’s interesting that they didn’t pray for God to advocate or elevate Peter and John’s ministry, but together they asked for full freedom to fearlessly declare His truth to the people and for His will to be done in the lives of their community.

Spurred on by the opposition to pray more fervently, to speak more passionately and to stand even more determinedly for His name, the apostles received an increased outpouring of the Holy Spirit – a Heavenly revelation so strong it shook the room in which they stood.

The aftermath of this outpouring was not only an increased freedom, boldness and courage to speak the Word of God, but a supernatural alignment of their hearts and souls into one. It was a new level of unity and generosity of spirit, that each would consider one another as being of equal importance to their own selves and a practical application of the notion that – much like a football team – by benefiting their brother or sister they were benefiting themselves.

For a spiritual family (or church) with a heart after God’s heart, a vision for His will, a unanimous submission to His plan and a resolve to obey Him no matter what, staying aligned and unified is inevitable.

To be of one heart and soul, unified by a bond closer than flesh and beyond space and time, we need the Friend who sticks closer than a brother.

// Alicia Hosking