“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
What if we redefined what a relationship with God means? We have relationships with our friends. We meet with them over coffee, dinner, or activities. They support us in our trials, and we cheer them on in their victories. Our relationships tend to be meet-ups.
Do we think of our relationship with God that way? Do we meet-up with God on Sundays, in small groups, and other activities? Maybe some of us schedule time with God on a daily basis through prayer and Bible study.
Is that the intended relationship with God?
Dave Hickman thinks not. In Closer than Close: Awakening to the Freedom of Your Union with Christ, Hickman reminds the Christian that Christ has taken up residence in us–we are one with Him.
“C.S. Lewis once described the relational union between the Father, Son, and Spirit as a kind of ‘dance’ where all three persons of the Trinity make room for the others in a perpetual circle of self-giving and self-receiving love.” (p. 52)
The Greek fathers understood the Trinity as being “eternally ‘present with one another, for one another, and in one another.’” (p. 52)
Once we awaken to the love that union with Christ brings through salvation, we are free to walk with the Lord in complete delight and praise. “Fear gives way to faith. Doubt turns into assurance. Insecurity is replaced with security.” (p. 98)
As we walk in this freedom, we begin to delight in others and in ourselves as God’s beloved. That is when Jesus transforms us, making us more like Him.
If we truly “live, move and have our being“ in Jesus, we must practice being aware of God’s presence in our lives.
This unity extends to the church, for we are one with the body of Christ.
Jesus prayed for those who were His, present and future, that they would be one with each other. He said that people would know that they were His by the love that they had for each other.
Yet, surveys show that non-Christians view the church as divided, legalistic, judgmental, and condemning rather than loving and united.
Hickman asks “What if the church united around what we are for instead of what we are against?” (p. 152) This is the story of Charlotte/ONE. Pastors and youth leaders united to reach out to 20 and 30 somethings to bring them together to impact the City of Charlotte in a positive manner. More than 400 individuals united to make a difference in Charlotte.
This is a deep book. It is not a quick read. It is an important book that warrants thoughtful consideration and prayer.
Now, more than ever, this is a much-needed book.
I received a complimentary copy of this NavPress published book from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest opinion.
Father, thank You for Dave Hickman and the wisdom that You have given him. Pour out the awareness of Your union with, in, and through Your children. Cause us to recognize You in a deeper way, so that we walk in delight and praise of You, Your creation, and Your people. Praise You, Father. We adore You, Jesus. Thank You, Holy Spirit. Amen