Hugh Laybourn: Being One With God

Hugh Laybourn.1

Hugh Laybourn

     Jesus came to reveal the Father. Remember when Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us (John 14:8, NKJV).” Jesus said, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9, NKJV). Jesus’ mission was to reveal the Father in his character and his nature, and that is exactly what Jesus did.
    To the hearts of the hungry this was exciting, but to the hearts of the religious this idea produced anger and even hatred. “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5:18, NKJV.) Jesus’ claim to be God’s Son stirred up extreme anger and hatred in the Jewish leaders.
    We can see the human analogy of being one with God in the picture of the marriage relationship. In Genesis the physical union between husband and wife is described as the two becoming “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). In the marriage of two believers, they also become one in spirit. However, notice that there is still something in the two that is becoming one. Both their flesh and their souls are becoming one. That’s why they don’t think alike, they don’t desire the same things. They’re still becoming one!
    Do any of you have conflicts in relationships? Are any of you married and you see things differently or disagree with your spouse? Any of you? It’s because you’re still becoming one!
    In the same way, if we are believers, we are one Spirit with Jesus in God. We have the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead in us, and in Ephesians 5:30 the apostle Paul wrote, “For we are members of His body, of His flesh and His bones.” We’ve become married to him, in a sense, as members of the Bride of Christ. But guess what? We’re still becoming one with Jesus. Because even though we are believers, we’ve got a lo-o-o-ng way to go to become like Jesus. John 17 is the key passage about being one with the Father. Jesus prayed, “My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” (John 17:20).
    Hello, we may be Christians, but guess what? Whoa, it’s a process! The process begins by talking about oneness with one another. We begin working through relational issues. Jesus said, “. . . that all of them may be one, Father just as you are in me and I am in you.” (John 17:21). Although it’s apparent that we need to be one with each other, we need to one with God first. That process is also happening. Furthermore, we need to be one with one another, in the same way as the Father and Jesus were one. Why? Jesus said, “May they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21). This is not some side issue is it? This is an important concept. To be one with God and one with one another is vital!
    We are not going to win the world, we are not going to impact the world, unless unity with God and unity with one another exists. In spite of our differences, if we can’t learn to love one another, and love authentically, we are not going to change the world. Do you see how important this is in the heart of God? Unless we find out how to walk in unity and walk in love, the world will not believe! The heart of God is throbbing with this message: Jesus came to earth to win the world; Jesus came to turn the world back to Him. Jesus died on the cross to make a way where there was no way. It’s the glory of God!
    What is the glory? It’s Jesus. He is the glory! It’s his presence. Becoming one with Jesus is the only way we can ever hope to become one with one another. The more we get filled with the Holy Spirit, the more we connect with the body of Christ.
    You know what? Humans are not easy to love. I mean just generally, humans. We can look around the world and say, humans are tough to love. There’s some bad stuff going on isn’t there? Just open your newspaper and read about it. “For God so loved the world,” (John 3:16a) – the whole world! Give me that kind of love, Lord.
    I confess to you, I am not there yet. But I want to be there. I need more of the glory. I need more of the life of God in me. I know I’m one with God. I know his life is in me, but I want more of the glory! I need an exchange, because I still see a lot of flesh, a lot of bad attitudes in my life. Jesus said, “I have given them the glory that you [Father] gave me.” (v. 22). You can’t buy the glory. You can’t work out a deal with God. Jesus settles it in this verse, “I’ve given them the glory.” If the Spirit of God is in you, then the glory is in your life. We just need to let the glory be in charge! We just need the glory of God to bring those changes in us and we need to get out of His way and let the glory be revealed. “I have given them the glory you gave me.” Was Jesus glorious?
m trying to stir you with a greater desire for intimacy with God. We might know intellectually or theologically that we are one with God, but there is a gap between what we know and what we experience.
    The glory of God, the fragrance of God, is not exuding from us like it did from Jesus. Jesus said, “I in them, and you in me (v. 23).” Just close your eyes for a second and say that with me, “I in them and you in me.” Jesus is saying, I’m going to be in them like you’re already in me. So guess who else is in us? The Father is living and abiding in us. Jesus describes this indwelling of the Father in this way “. . . I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23). It is a process, isn’t it? See, God has created us, God has bought us, and transformed us, that we might exhibit the love of the Father to the world. The people in the world are not going to read the Bible without knowing Jesus, having the Holy Spirit to teach them. They might read the Bible intellectually, but they will not understand it. However, they will read you. You are the one who will exhibit God’s glory to the world. You’re the one, as you love the unlovely that will reveal Jesus. Something has to happen inside of us so we love one another blemishes and all. There’s not one perfect person alive on earth, yet God loves us. Heavenly Father, give us this kind of love for one another, love that loves beyond the blemishes.
    First we need to be one with God in intimacy. Second we need to be one with him in proximity. In other words, we need to hang out with him. Jesus said, “. . . I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20, NKJV).” We need to be one, in his presence. We need to wake up in the morning and get into God. Don’t let the morning start without getting into him, and then walk all day with him.
    Third we need to be one with God in security. Jesus said, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. (John 10:29, NKJV). In conclusion, be with Jesus, be intimate with Him, find yourself in proximity with God, and abide in Him.
    Build your confidence. Paul wrote in Hebrews 13:5, “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Build your confidence, knowing nobody can pluck you from God’s hand. Put your confidence in his strength, his ability, not your own resources.     I’m so glad God is the one who pursued us and grabbed us. Paul wrote: “There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
     That’s where we want to live, every day, with that sense of unity. No matter where we are, there is a presence, a glory. God wants us to be conscious of His presence. Someone defined the fear of the Lord in this way: to have a constant awareness of God’s power and presence. I like that. We are one with Him. Let us be continually aware of His presence with us.
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