How Do We Grasp Our Union?
By Fred Pruitt
So Fred, when you know you can’t do anything – that it all comes from Him. What do you do with this desire to know our Union? I have zero ability to grab it, but the desire is still there. With the self-consciousness appearing to rule around me, it’s almost miserable.
Let’s start with a couple of basics. First, the “self-consciousness” will be with you the entire time of this life. Your reaction to that might be, “Oh, no!” but I assure you it is a good thing. First, it keeps you “human” and on the same plane with everyone else. Jesus was saddled with the same “self-consciousness.” Had He not been confronting the same obstacles we confront in coming to and living in God, then He was not really our brother nor our forerunner, but more like an advanced “being” from outer space, whom we “worship” because He is so much more powerful and righteous than we are. But He was not that; instead, He came as the “Son of Man.” Why Son of Man when He said also He was the Son of God? Because He was both Son of Man AND Son of God, and the significance of that to us, is because that is what He has accomplished in us by His intercession, so that, that same joining of heaven and earth that occurred in Jesus, also occurs in everyone of us who are His. He comes and “tabernacles” or dwells, in us, so that we become exactly what He was, except that He is the Only Begotten and we are created sons who have Life only in Him. When we walk around we are not just or “only” ourselves, but He in us, and we live a “I live yet not I but Christ” kind of life. It is “us” but it is Christ. The unruly “self-consciousness” that you are referring to, now belongs to Him, as does everything else about us, and He uses it (our self-consciousness which now belongs to Him) as He sees fit. That is one of the things the Spirit is teaching us, to trust Him as much for the “outer self-consciousness,” as we have trusted Him for the inner reality of union.
Now, regarding your continued “desire” to know your union. There isn’t anything wrong with that whatsoever. That is what brought you here in the first place. But understand, it is the Spirit that brought you here, whether it occurred to you or not, and it is He Who will bring you whatever “understanding” or “knowledge” you need to know in His own way and time. You are living a Spirit-taught life, and at bottom, we trust Him in ALL THINGS, whether good or evil, and daily He brings us along to greater understanding.
It may be, when you are speaking of wanting to “know” the union, that you are looking for some kind of tangible sense that it is so. In effect, it may be that you are looking for something to “happen” or for some “change” to show up in your behavior or attitudes, etc., that gives witness to this truth of union with Christ. The reason I say that is that for a long time it was the case with me and with many others I have known.
But you cannot “know” it that way. It very much has to be entered into through the darkness of faith. Union with Christ is not something we objectively “know,” like I know 2+2=4, but always something we “are.” The word “know” in Bible context, means “mixed with what you know.” In other words, I do not know something as a “fact” outside myself. In that context, it is hypothetical to me. Or theoretical. It is “truth,” but stands as it were, “outside” of me, so that I do not utilize it as truth, but only admire it as truth from a distance.
“Union” makes no sense unless we are participants. It is not something we admire and believe “from afar.” It is part of our gift of salvation. In fact, union with Christ IS our salvation. It is the most basic truth of our existence, our “being-ness,” and the only way to “enter” union is by simply realizing the truth of it first of all, truth given by the Spirit, and not just stopping there believing, “Oh how wonderful, this is true,” but to go the further step, believing and saying that my inner reality, my inner truth, is Christ in ME! This is true IN ME! It leaves the objective, “over-there” aspect as it relates to us, and moves US into true “inner knowing,” because this kind of “knowing” is the “Adam-knew-Eve-his-wife” kind of knowing. We do not “know” truth at that point, but ARE truth. We do not “know” the Lord anymore in an objective “according to the flesh” way, as if He is “over there” and I am “over here,” but we come to “know” the Lord in our humanity as we walk around being Him everywhere we go.
Union with Christ IS your reality the moment you are born again. We do not yet know it because we start out as spiritual babes even as we started out physical babes, and we have to learn to come to maturity. Perhaps you had this experience in your beginning years that I had, along with countless others I’ve heard about through the years. The experience I am referring to is “feeling saved” one day, and not “feeling saved” the next day. When I first began to know the Lord (not yet knowing I was already “one” with Him), I only knew Him in an outer way, and my whole life up to that point had been a whole lot of going on “feelings.” In my initial “salvation” experience, though it did not happen the first day, after a time I began to get the “joy” of my salvation, and for weeks and weeks it seemed like most days were heavenly, I was so enthralled at this new “relationship” to Christ. But some days I would not feel like that, and my “faith” that I had been “saved” almost went out the window with the feelings. So I had to learn, as we all do, to believe I was “saved” because of God’s promises and not according to anything I did or did not do or what I felt or did not feel. I lived like that quite a while, taking my daily “spiritual temperature,” and basing my findings on how I was “feeling” about it all.
But this union truth promises no “feelings.” I’ve seen people get all excited at discovering union for the first time, just like I have seen people get very excited at discovering Christ for the first time. But like the post-salvation euphoria that for most fades over time, so does post-union-revelation euphoria fade over time.
It MUST move deeper than our feelings, and it must be more dependable than our feelings! I’ve been married to my wife, Jan, going on 41 years. “Romance” is the same way — it often is the igniter that gets man and woman together — but it is not always romance, as anyone who has been married more than 5 minutes already knows.
“Feelings” come and go; they are part of “soul life” which you will learn more about later. In marriage, hopefully, “romance” (while always available when needed) deepens into a more permanent kind of love, which has nothing to do with feelings. Love is not a feeling, though it may produce feelings, but love is love whether there are “feelings of love” or not. The LOVE is the important part, not the feelings.
Now this union life is the same way. You’re just you. You feel like you, you think like you, you react like you, simply because God has made you, to be YOU! Now, God doesn’t come into that picture and turn you into Jesus. He turns you into You, the real “you,” which is not a standalone “you” at all, but a union, Christ in you, where He is now the Life and the Love and the Righteousness and the Wisdom and the Power, all of that in you, while on the outside you seem and feel and act and think like the human being you are, and who God created you to be. You just begin to accept it, by faith, that you and He are one, and that you died in Him in His Cross, and even though you “died,” still you are alive, but it is no more little “standalone” you, but now Christ in you as your expressed outer life. You just take it by faith, which means you are believing something which you do not yet see, but believe anyway. That is always the faith life. If we saw it, no need to believe in it! But for this time God ordains that we walk in the body by faith seeing nothing but Him flowing out of our lives, in everything we do and are. There is neither secular nor sacred with Him. If you are in Christ and He is in you, and I take that to be fact about you, then everything in your life is sacred, holy ground, whether it is “mundane” daily human activity, or doing something more plainly “spiritual.” All the same to God; He is All in all in all!
And so are you. Jesus did not say to try to be the light of the world or the salt of the earth. He said we ARE. Let us take Him at His Word!
Glad to hear from you again. Feel free to write anytime!