This month’s Heart of Womanhood Blog really hits home. Discord within our families, our churches, our hometowns (especially ours in Louisville, Kentucky), our nation, and our world can leave our homes and hearts feeling hopelessly splintered by racial tensions, pandemic pressures, and political divisions. But this sister in the Lord has been ONE who has always marched forward to the drumbeat (heartbeat) of the UNITY found only in Christ! Although she prefers her name to be anonymous, her passion is ONE with Jesus. Together with her husband (a pastor for local hispanic churches) they lead a non-profit ministry named UNO to promote biblical ONE-ness within the family of God. I love the way this gifted teacher once beautifully unwrapped truths from John 17 highlighting how Jesus PRACTICED oneness with His Father, He PORTRAYED oneness with His followers, He PRAYED for our oneness with each other, and He PROVIDED for our oneness with God! Wow! As God’s moms and daughters, we will be wise to continually march together in step with God’s drumbeat as Women of Oneness.
All the division I see around us lately moves me to ask a question: Can we, as the body of Christ, actually be one? Jesus prayed that we would be. And not just any kind of oneness, he prayed we would be one as he and the Father are one. That is perfect unity! Is it really possible? It seems to me that it must be possible if Jesus asked for it. He even gave us what is necessary for it to happen:
“I have given them the GLORY that you gave me, that they may be ONE as we are ONE—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete UNITY.” (Jn.17:22-23)
So, where is this glory Jesus gives that will bring us to complete unity? I believe I came across it again recently while preparing for a study on Colossians. Paul has this mounting build-up to the revelation of a mystery that has been hidden ‘for ages and generations’ but is now his privilege to reveal. And the mystery is … [drum roll please]
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
There’s our hope of glory: Christ living in us! It can become so familiar to us that it seems mundane, but that was an outrageous idea at the time.
First Jesus modeled for us what it looks like to live under the direction of the Holy Spirit, then he gave us the same Spirit so we could live that way too. With Christ in us we have the opportunity to share in the oneness of the trinity. That is absolutely amazing! So, if each believer is one with Christ, that should result in oneness with each other, right? Perfect unity. But sadly, that is not our reality. Not even close. Why? I believe the key can be found in Colossians as well.
Paul reminds us what being united with Christ really means. It means we are alive, really alive for the first time, as we are raised to live a new life in him. New creations. Old is gone, new has come. How exciting! But, where’s the old? Dead. Buried. Crucified with Christ, as Paul put it to the Galatians.
To the Colossians he said, “For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Col.3:3)
There you are in the trinity! Did you see it? Your life, with Christ, in God.
United. One. Hidden.
How does it feel to be hidden? Oh, we love it when we’re facing an enemy and instead of being vulnerable and exposed, we are hidden in Christ, shielded from the deadly attacks. When we mess up royally and are ashamed to show our faces, how comforting it is to know we are hidden from the condemnation of the accuser. And on judgment day, that terrible day of wrath, I can think of no other place I want to be than hidden in Christ as I stand before a Holy God, where by grace I am saved by a righteousness that is not my own but is mine in Christ.
Hidden can be very good.
But there are days when we don’t like the idea of being hidden. When we do something great and want the praise we think we deserve, it’s not a good day to be hidden. When we work extra hard and think we’re entitled to some recognition, it doesn’t seem fair to be hidden. Or on those days when we feel lonely and overlooked, we certainly don’t want to be hidden. We want to be seen. We want to be noticed. We say, “Hey, what about me?! What about my feelings?! My needs?! My rights!” And I hear the echo of Colossians 3:3 saying, “You died and your life is now hidden…”.
Hidden can be difficult.
I don’t think anyone looks at the prospect of dying and says, “Yay, sounds like fun!” Dying to our selfish nature is a challenge. Staying dead is even harder. I’ve heard it said that the problem with a living sacrifice is that it tends to crawl off the altar. Thankfully, we have a patient, merciful, gracious God who sees everything.
We are not hidden FROM him. We are hidden FOR him.
He keeps a record of every good work that seems to go unseen and every tear that falls. When we crawl off the altar he gently convicts and gives us the courage and strength to put ourselves back up there again and say with Jesus, “Not my will, but yours be done.” And when we manage to stay a while and let him shape and mold us, something beautiful happens. We begin to look more like Jesus. We become conformed to his image. After all, even in our imperfection, we are his image bearers.
Jesus, the perfect image bearer, is the image of the invisible God. (Col.1:15)
He said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (Jn.14:9) and “I and the Father are one.” (Jn.10:30)
When Jesus walked the earth he only said what he heard the Father saying and did what he saw the Father doing. His will was totally and completely wrapped up in the will of the Father. He had no other agenda. And maybe that’s where we need to start. Giving up our own agendas. Laying down our own will.
Becoming completely wrapped up in the will of the Father.
I believe that is the greatest step we can take toward truly being ONE with Christ, which in turn, will bring us to ONENESS as his family.
So, the next time you’re tempted to seek your own promotion, elevate your own desires, or push your own agenda, instead let’s try to listen to the Holy Spirit and remember we are not our own. We were bought with a price. We are hidden with Christ in God. But a day is coming, my friends, and is not far off, when the children of God will be revealed. All creation waits in eager expectation! (Rom.8:19) Our King Jesus will return and all will be made right. There will be no more disunity, no more injustice, and no more feeling unseen, because we will no longer be hidden. There will be no need. No one to hide from. I didn’t tell you what verse four says:
“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Col.3:4)
Oh Father, how we long for the day when Jesus will appear, and us with him, finally attaining to the ONENESS you desire and have provided for—complete UNITY. Until then, help us let go of our own agendas and fully embrace your will alone, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
— A supporter of Heart of Womanhood, who is hidden in Christ.
The heartbeat of Heart of Womanhood Ministry is to encourage moms and daughters to seek ONENESS with God and ONENESS with each other through the unifying study of His Word! Heart of Womanhood Bible Studies So, click this link, check out our Bible studies, and pursue ONENESS with Christ together…today!
ONE in HIM,