By Fred Pruitt
In Isaac is the laughter of God. Though there is awful sorrow and insane conflict in the world, in God there is still joy unspeakable, because these are the pangs of a wonderful birth. Laughter of joy is coming and is even now here!
These are just some thoughts & scriptures regarding what “union” means to me ….
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” (Eph 5:8)
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col 1:13)
“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Col 1:21,22)
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thes 5:4,5)
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet 2:9,10)
“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Col 2:10)
“But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Cor 6:17)
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2:16)
Thomas Merton once described life in Christ as a “wide impregnable country.” I like that. A LARGE country, with WIDE borders, and impregnable — safe from fear, completely secure. Tom’s view has to be correct, because life in Christ IS in a “wide impregnable country,” because that “country” is Christ Himself. And this is what, to me, life in Him, which is a union-life, oneness of person with the Lord, is all about, that we “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph 4:15). From the moment of “new birth” on, consciously or unconsciously, we are growing up into Him in all things.
From day one, we are “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth,” even though we cannot yet grasp it, even as a newborn babe cannot yet grasp his place & who & where he is.
From that moment we have passed from darkness unto light, from Satan unto God. Our sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west, and no more enter into the mind of the Father. Why should then we be troubled about them?
From that moment He has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts whereby we cry, “Abba, Father”!
From day one, we have entered into His Kingdom, where “the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord” (Ps 37:23), and though we would hardly consider ourselves “good men,” the Lord sees otherwise because He looks at us and sees the Son in whom He is delighted and well-pleased! Therefore all our steps are ordered of Him! As a potter molds clay so He molds us into His image that He wants to portray as us in the world. And then every day He perfectly portrays that image of Himself in the clay pot which is us.
For us, it seems a long struggle to find the Pearl of Great Price, but He has been ours since day one, in all the completeness, fullness, perfection of Himself, dwelling almost as a stranger in our midst, unrecognized yet somehow known.
It has been and continues to be Love which propels this onward. And that’s why we can find rest, because if it’s purely by formula, or experience, or knowledge, or something we can do, or some sacrifice we can make to appease the Deity & get him to bless us, then there’s never any rest there, because you cannot ever be quite sure of any of those things, if you’ve done enough, have the right ones, did the right things. But in Love is the rest. This Love which does not originate in some compulsion in ourselves, but Another Love, Unfailing Love, Unending Love, the Eternal Love of God in Christ, is beyond all those things, encompasses them & supersedes them, enfolds everything within itself so that everything is seen within its borders. This is the Stranger in our midst, maybe unrecognized for a long time, maybe with a special empty chair for him at the passover table, where he sat though we did not discern him. Nevertheless, like with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, He has ever been with us and revealing Himself.
This Love is the cosmic gravitation that holds the union together …. HIS love, which is grace & miracle, astounds us with its tenacity and staying power. It won’t let go! There was a song in the 70s by Bonnie & Delaney called, “I’ve Got A Never Ending Love For You,” and that is God’s Love, which has bonded with our spirit in LOVE LOVE LOVE, not just sentimental puppy dog love, but hard-gut-wrenchin’-stay-with-you-when-you-screw-up/love-you-til-the-cows-come-home-and-all-night-too-even-if-you-throw-up-in-the-trash-can kind of love.
And in that Love He completely reconciled Himself to us and us to Him, and by that reconciliation made us one spirit, one person, with Him, which is beyond all comprehension, all human reason, all common sense, against everything that is seen or conceived. And yet it is true.
But this is what we wake up to, that the Stranger in our midst, the One who we’ve always seen just out of the corner of our eye, is really us, He as ourselves, we are one together. It has always been so, though we did not see it. He took Satan out of our lives in the beginning, so it couldn’t have been because of Satan that we couldn’t see Him. We have nothing to do with that snake anymore. He may come but he has nothing to grab onto in us. But the fact that for so long we did not see Him in us as our very selves is because this was all part of His “growing up into Him” process, ordained by Him, every step of the way. Only HE can make Himself known, and He always does that in the perfect fullness of time in His own way. So that it does not come of human effort or instigation but out of the “exceedingly above all we could ask or think” as a gift of Love.
If He is ourselves, He is our mind, He is our wisdom, He is our power, He is our revelation, He is our will, He is our Love, because He is All in All. There is NONE but Him!
The scripture says when Jesus walked the earth He was the “fullness of the Godhead bodily,” and now that is Who we are, for He lives in us to walk and live and be our mouth and hands. His Love-force is now the driving dynamo of our lives, and He walks bodily in the fullness of the Godhead in us in our world. As Jesus walked in a human body born of Mary and yet was the perfect image of His Father, even so does He walk our our human bodies born of our mothers, and portrays as us the perfect image of His Father. He measures by His reckoning, which sees only righteousness, holiness, and the outflow of love.
Because He walks as us, we now “Let this mind be in [us], which was also in Christ Jesus” — the “mind” that emptied itself of His Deity, and became a man among men, who walked by faith, even as we do.
Therefore we are human as human, who walk by faith, who live in the fullness now, yet also see a coming Day. As He was, so too are we “tempted in all points,” but know the upholding of the Father (Isaiah 42:1). We walk in the fullness of the human experience but we are purposed because we have been called to join in its redemption & reconciliation.
To “see” union, is simply to recognize what already is. We don’t call it into being by our word, but open the floodgates when we confess our identity in Him — “I and my Father are One” …. “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth!”
Definitions will come, insights will pop in, but they will never override the reality of the Truth because the Truth is HE Himself, and not our definitions and insights.
He REVEALS HIMSELF as us …. and further, He reveals Himself behind everything …. wherever you look, inside, outside, up, down, past, future, present, there He is, All in all, “upholding All things, by Him all things consisting” ….
There is nowhere, where He is not …. HE IS, I AM ….
When we see that, we truly do see we live in a “wide impregnable country!”
When we hear the least whisper of, “I am living as you, be free, I AM your life, the Light of your Life, your Way, Your Truth, all that is ME, and all that is You, because in my death I bought you and in my resurrection I came to Live in You and to cause you to walk in my ways,” then we may be incredulous and say, “No, this is too good, it can’t be so”, but it’s only Sarah’s laugh, wondering in herself how could a child be born to one so old but laughing anyway because Something inside her made her believe that it was true.
And you may be incredulous that we could be Free, that there really could be rest unto our souls even in the midst of chaos, and we begin to believe that this thing which is TOO GOOD to be true could really maybe be true …. that maybe a child could be born to one so old!!!! ….
And gingerly we believe, and step inside a “wide impregnable country” ….
“So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Mark 4:26-28)
“The seed should spring & grow up, he knoweth not how.” Relax in Him, the kingdom will grow up of itself, for He will see to it that His will is done.
The requirements are simple: “Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you” ....