“But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him”—1 Corinthians 6:17
“There is a profound cry, deep in the heart of man, for a heart connection with God. You were created to abide in Christ!
“God has shown Himself to be so much different from what we would have thought. He longs for us, to be one with us, to have one heartbeat with us. The ancients had a term to describe these higher dimensions of spiritual intimacy, which they called ‘union with God.’ This is the connection with God for which the human heart burns. Jesus came to make us one with God (John 17:21-23). It is in union with God that we find the greatest exhilaration, and it is also where we discover the most glorious enticements to explore the cavernous depths of God’s burning heart.
“God breathed into the human soul a profound desire for union with Him. Then, He equipped us with the vocabulary to talk about it when He gave us the model of marriage. He said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24). The union of marriage was to serve as an example that would give us a mental template for understanding spiritual union.
“Now, why do a young man and woman choose to get married? Is it for romance? Well, a couple can enjoy romance within courtship without getting married. They can have love, intimacy, friendship, companionship, communication, fellowship—all those things—and still not get married. (I am speaking of courtship in its purity and innocence.) So why get married? Because while a couple can enjoy all the above benefits of relating to one another in purity and integrity without getting married, there’s one thing they can’t have. Couples get married, essentially, for union.
“We know there is a day coming in which we will be joined to Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb, but the Scripture has clearly shown that there are dimensions of union with Christ that are available to us in the here and now. The fullness is coming later, but what is available to us now is deserving of our diligent pursuit.
“There is one verse, above all others, that has drawn me into the pursuit of union with God. It is tucked away in such an obscure way that I had moved right past the verse many times before. But one day the verse snagged me: ‘But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him’ (1 Corinthians 6:17). In context, Paul is speaking of the union that happens through sexual relations. His inference is that the sexual union is somehow pointing to a kind of spiritual union that we have with Christ which far supersede the physical/sexual plane.
“Here’s what grabbed me about the verse. It says the Lord and I are one spirit. When I envisioned spiritual communion with the Lord, I always envisioned two separate spirits, as though His Spirit and mine were kissing. But this Scripture reveals that when we’re joined to Christ, we are no longer two spirits but one. One spirit with God! The idea is so fantastic as to almost appear preposterous or absurd. When I surrender to Christ, we two become one.
“Christ in me, the hope of glory! The highest heavens and the earth cannot contain God (Acts 7:49-50), but somehow God has created the human soul with the ability to be a habitation for Himself. There is something within us that is broader in its ability to contain God than the universe. This is the wonder of what God has made us to be. I can ‘be filled with all the fullness of God’ (Ephesians 3:19), with the fullness of ‘Him who fills all in all’ (Ephesians 1:23). The highest heavens can’t contain God, but the human spirit can. Wow!
“Let me illustrate this with a question. If I were to pour a cup of pure water into the ocean, would you say the ocean is now diluted? No, you would say that cup of pure water has been totally absorbed and lost in the vastness of the ocean. That’s what happens in union with Christ.
“When I am joined to Him, I lose my identity in the ocean of His greatness, so that now I can say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). I am one with Him, and my identity is gloriously lost in the immensity of His majesty and splendor.
“Do not take me to mean that we become God. Far from it. We are eternally the created, and He is eternally the Creator. The chasm between Creator and created will remain forever. But in some glorious way, the created becomes one spirit with the Creator, joined together in eternal affections of love and devotion.
“If this thought seems mind boggling to you, it has the angels absolutely dumbfounded. From eternity past, there is a fiery furnace of love that has been limited to but Three. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost have enjoyed an affection of astronomical proportions that is so fiery in its intensity and scope that no other creature would even dare step into this blazing furnace of divine love. Oh the love that draws the Father into the heart of the Son, and the Spirit into the heart of the Father, and the Son into the heart of the Spirit! And now, as the angels gaze into this blazing inferno, they see the form of a fourth walking in the midst of the fire. And this fourth person has the appearance of the bride of Christ! Fallen mankind has been elevated to oneness with the Godhead! The ramifications are beyond comprehension to even the brilliant ones who blaze before God’s throne.
“We are one spirit with God! And all that’s required is that
we be ‘joined to Christ.’
“But what does it mean to be joined to Christ? The Old Testament word for ‘joined’ has a variety of colorings in its meaning. One fascinating sense of the word is found in Psalm 63:8, “My soul follows close behind You.” The original word for ‘follows close”’ is related to the word ‘joined.’ So the idea of the word literally is, ‘to pursue with the intent to overtake.’ David is saying, ‘Lord, I am pursuing very closely behind You, and I am determined to overtake You. And when I do, I will lay hold of You and will never let You go! I will be joined to You forever!’
“So to be joined to Christ is to chase Him with abandoned intensity—to pursue Him with the intent of laying hold of Him. This is the holy chase to which we’ve been invited, and it is the magnificent obsession of the secret place.
“When I think of being joined to Christ and how I might illustrate that truth for you, I am drawn to the example of Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene represents the endtime bride of Christ who is pursuing Christ with the desire of being joined to Him. Christ had cast seven demons out of her, and because she had been forgiven much she loved much. That love was evidenced in the way she wept at Jesus’ tomb and was the first one to seek Him on resurrection morning. Mary had taken up the holy chase, so when Jesus revealed Himself to her she instantly wrapped her arms around Jesus’ feet. Her heart craved union with God.
“Like Mary, the bride of Christ stands today, at the end of the ages, looking with longing for the appearing of her Lord.
“‘Heavenly Father, where have You carried Him away? Bring Him to me, and I will draw away with Him, for I long to be with Him.’ And so like Mary at the tomb, we are looking, weeping, longing, yearning, watching. Surely He is coming back to reveal Himself first to this bride who longs for Him most! And when He comes this second time, we will have found the one for whom our soul longs. Our pursuit will be ended, for we will overtake our Beloved, lay hold of Him, and never let go.
“In that moment He ‘will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body’ (Philippians 3:21). This heavenly Bride and Groom will walk the aisle of Glory together, and be joined together in holy matrimony under the officiating ministry of the Father of lights. Nothing will ever separate us again. There will be no more crying, no more pain, no more tears. The Desire of the Nations will be fulfilled. And so we will ever be with the Lord!
“But until then, I will retreat to my secret place, a heartsick, lovesick bride who longs to behold her Bridegroom. I will pursue Him with the intent of overtaking Him. And I will exult in our quiet secret—the place of highest intimacy—for here I am joined to Him and we are one spirit.”—Bob Sorge
“Oh Lord, I am Your lovesick bride. I am waiting restlessly for the day of our full union. In the interim, I will remain in the place of abiding and I will enjoy as much as I can possibly experience of our intimacy. I imagine what it will look like when my spirit is finally inducted into the holy furnace of the eternal divine union. Today, I experience a measure of that reality but how I long for more—the fulness of which is yet to be revealed. I am obsessed with this holy desire, and nothing on this side of eternity will ever satisfy the deepest aching and longing of my soul. What wretchedness are we when meager material possessions are able to satisfy us!! What wretchedness indeed—when we take our eyes off the Bridegroom to seek to find rest in transient perishable vanities of earth. What wretchedness. I want the fullness of God. Christ is already in me, and I have the hope of glory, but I want to experience the fullness of the Godhead in me and the fullness of His glory. That is why I cannot leave chasing after You, Lord. I need Your fullness revealed and poured into my spirit. Thank You Lord because Your promises are true. As I abide in You, there will be an incremental experience of that glory, even while I live in this tabernacle. I know I cannot see and experience the fulness now, but I will keep up the chase and I will gladly receive the increased tokens of Your manifested presence released into my spirit. I am joined to Christ and through You Lord, I am joined with the Godhead. This is the substance for which I live and die for. Thank You Jesus. I wait in hope for the day when I will walk with You in the fullness of the fires of eternity and swim with You in the oceans of Your divinity. Until then, I rejoice and pursue; content and yet pursuing; rested and yet restless. Glory to God for the privilege to be one with Him through Christ. Amen.”
Our 52 Day Pilgrimage ends today but the pursuit continues. Feel free to go back and start again from Day 1. Keep up the search. Never take your eyes off the ball. Never rest until you enter into His fulness. Let the chase continue. Let intimacy with God through Christ be your only passion. Let the vision of living in and experiencing the fullness of God drive you constantly into the secret place. And refuse the satisfaction that comes from shallow Christian religiosity. Long for Christ. You were created for intimacy with Him, and by the Spirit and His Word, and as you grow in private retreat with Him, you will increasingly enjoy that secret fellowship that your spirit has ever longed for. Amen.