In a con­ver­sa­tion with my spir­i­tu­al direc­tor I men­tioned that for many years I have made it my goal to be one with God. Some­times the term that is used is hav­ing union with God. My direc­tor ref­er­enced Thomas Mer­ton who said that one­ness with God has already been achieved. This was a tremen­dous gift to me. What it means is I can stop striv­ing to become one with God and begin to live more ful­ly in the one­ness that has already been pro­vid­ed in God’s grace.

It was close to 40 years ago that I real­ized that when we allow God to take up res­i­dence with­in us, it is all of God that comes. God does not dole out only cer­tain aspects of him­self a lit­tle bit at a time. The full pres­ence of the God­head, Father, Son and Holy Spir­it, live with­in each one who has giv­en their lives to the Trin­i­ty. That means that we don’t have to ask for more of God, we only have to find ways to appro­pri­ate and live into the full­ness of God that already dwells with­in us. It seems to me that it is only a small leap from this under­stand­ing to the idea that we are already one with God, but for some rea­son it took me 40 years to make it.

So, if I am already one with God and I have the full­ness of God dwelling with­in me, why am I not expe­ri­enc­ing all the promis­es of God? Why is the char­ac­ter of Christ not more evi­dent in my life? Why am I not ful­ly aware of the King­dom of God? I think it’s some­thing like cor­ro­sion on the con­tact points of a flash­light. The bat­tery is good and the con­tact points are okay but the cor­ro­sion gets in the way of prop­er func­tion­ing. Get­ting rid of that cor­ro­sion (which takes so many forms in our lives) is the pur­pose of Chris­t­ian spir­i­tu­al formation.

Just to be clear, when I talk of one­ness with God I do not mean equal­i­ty. One­ness is the depth and ease of rela­tion­ship that our first ances­tors, Adam and Eve, had with God, their cre­ator, before their dis­obe­di­ence. One­ness comes as a result of God’s grace, mer­cy and love. It is mine only through Christ and the gift of the Holy Spir­it. God remains God and I am always crea­ture, but we are one. 

Learn more about Charles Ayars’s Tall Oaks Min­istries by vis­it­ing his web­site.

New Online Course: Liv­ing Inside the Lord’s Prayer

Author, teacher, and song­writer Car­olyn Arends pulls back the veil of famil­iar­i­ty to throw fresh light on the bril­liant­ly suc­cinct prayer Jesus taught his dis­ci­ples to pray. Launch sale: 30% off through May 17.

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