Conscious Oneness with Christ
All the dealings of God with the soul of the believer are in order to bring it into oneness with Himself.
This divine union was the glorious purpose in the heart of God for His people before the foundation of the world.
- It was the mystery hid from ages and generations.
- It was accomplished in the death of Christ.
- It has been made known by the Scriptures; and
- it is realized as an actual experience by many of God’s dear children.
But not by all. God has not hidden it or made it hard; but the eyes of many are too dim, and their hearts too unbelieving for them to grasp it. It is therefore for the purpose of bringing His people into the personal and actual realization of this that the Lord calls upon them so earnestly and so repeatedly to abandon themselves to Him, that He may work in them all the good pleasures of His will.
All the previous steps in the Christian life lead up to this. The usual course of Christian experience is pictured in the history of the disciples. First they were awakened to see their condition and their need, and they came to Christ and gave their allegiance to Him.
They followed Him, worked for Him, believed in Him; and yet how unlike Him! Seeking to be set up one above the other; running away from the cross; misunderstanding His mission and His words; forsaking their Lord in time of danger; but still sent out to preach, recognized by Him as His disciples, possessing a power to work for Him.
Then came Pentecost, and these same disciples came to know Him as inwardly revealed; as one with them in actual union, their very indwelling life. Henceforth He was to them Christ within, working in them to will and do of His good pleasure, delivering them by the law of the Spirit of His life from the bondage to the law of sin and death under which they had been held. No longer was it between themselves and Him a war of wills and a clashing of interests. One will alone
No longer was it between themselves and Him a war of wills and a clashing of interests. One will alone animated them, and that was His will. One interest alone was dear to them, and that was His.
And surely you can recognize this picture, though perhaps as yet the final stage of it has not been fully reached. You may have left all to follow Christ. You may have believed on Him and worked for Him and loved Him. Allegiance to Him you know and confidence in Him you know, but not the deep union with Him which I describe. There are two wills, two interests, two lives. You have not yet lost your own life that you may live only in His life. Once it was “I and not Christ.”
There are two wills, two interests, two lives. You have not yet lost your own life that you may live only in His life. Once it was “I and not Christ.” Next it was “I and Christ.” Perhaps now it is even “Christ and I.” But has it yet come to be “Christ only,” and not I at all?
Let me urge you now to take the definite step of faith which will lead your soul out of self and into Christ, and you will be prepared to abide in Him forever and to know no life but His.
Dear friend, I make the glad announcement that the Lord is in your heart. Since the day of your conversion He has been dwelling there. Will you now invite Him into your innermost chambers and say “Yes” to His longing for union with you? With a glad and eager abandonment will you hand yourself and all that concerns you over to His hands? Will you consent to all this?
The steps are but three:
- first, we must be convinced that the Scriptures teach this glorious indwelling of God;
- then we must surrender our whole selves to Him to be possessed by Him; and
- finally we must believe that He has taken possession and is dwelling in us.
Christ left all to be joined in this divine union with us. Shall we not also leave all to be joined to Him?
Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911) was a well-known author, evangelist, and advocate of Christian holiness known both in the United States and England. This selection is condensed and edited from her popular book The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, which is regarded as a classic devotional volume.
Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911) was a well-known author, evangelist, and advocate of Christian holiness known both in the United States and England.