Religion makes us feel separated from God, on our own, an independent ‘self’ that must do all the right things in order to get ‘closer’ to God..union with God is seen in religion as the goal to strive and strain toward..yet within religion this union is an unattainable goal since noone can meet the supposed ‘requirement’ of perfection in conduct, words and belief. Religion tells us we must be perfect in order to be close to God, acceptable to God. But grace, the good news of Jesus, turns religion on its head! Grace says we already ARE in union with God and that we can’t get AWAY from Him! Our minds may be confused, we may be living as if separated and feeling so alone, yet this is just a lie – we are always with Him and He with us, and that has always been true! We were made of His very substance, His very DNA and divine being, so that we can truly say He is in us as the most real, basic, fundamental part of who we are. And our spirit is of His Spirit, thus we are always connected with Him spiritually. Also, since He fills the whole universe and holds all creation in His hand, we exist in His Presence at all times and there is no part of this whole creation that is outside or truly ‘separated’ from Him!

Yet religion, with knowledge of good and evil, its requirements and obligations, its system of performance-based acceptance, of ‘you must earn blessings by good works’ and ‘you are cursed for your bad works’, only makes us feel separated and hopeless to ever have union with God. Because of religion we think we don’t have what we have – union – and thus we can’t enjoy this union we have! We pull back from God mentally and emotionally and feel awkward about opening up to Him. We don’t really enjoy real relationship, openness or fellowship because of fear – fear that God is a fair-weather friend who will only be there for us if we behave right, who will desert us or reject us if we fail, fear that He is only nice to us (blessing us) when we behave, and that He’ll turn on us in anger and punishment if we mess up (cursing us). Who can feel close to a god like that? Religion’s god is unapproachable and union relationship with him is unattainable – so religion is a game that is unwinnable!! Yet if religion is a game that is unwinnable, grace is a real love commitment that is unlosable!! For He has permanently shown His commitment to love and be with us forever in Jesus’ incarnation!

Jesus came and tied us to God permanently (I believe we were already tied together and in union in our spirits and now we are tied together even more strongly in human flesh – at least that is the way I understand it right now). Jesus is God and He is man. He is God and man in one body! Jesus shows us what we humans are, that we are in union with God, God compatible – not separate from God but made of Him and existing in Him and even indwelt by and in union with Him! He shows us we aren’t hopelessly alienated from God – that is only in our minds, heaped upon us as we try to live under religion’s demands and perspective. We are actually one with God and He with us! Union with God isn’t an unattainable goal but the starting point of our journey from which we launch out into real life and the pleasure of enjoying friendship with our Father! Our reference turns out, not to be Adam (who felt he was ‘just flesh and dust’, which left him feeling separate from God), but to be Christ (who knew He was in the Father and the Father was in Him)!
Finding out that this is our reference helps us realize that we can actually have a real relationship with our Father and not feel like pulling back in shame or in fear of what He might do to us. For Jesus comes and gives us a different and true picture of the real God! This God is for us and will never leave us, no matter what we do! This God is so committed to relationship with us that He took on our human flesh form, permanently tying Himself to our humanity. 

He is the mediator of a new covenant between God and man by being both parties in the covenant at the same time, joining us together in such a deep way in human flesh and cementing our union forever in His body! In Jesus, we (God and people) meet and join hands in intimate relationship! God is saying to us through Jesus, “I’m here with you, always have been and always will be. I am not going anywhere. I am never getting out of this relationship. I am never pushing you away or rejecting you. For I have tied us together forever and there is nothing you could say, think, do or even believe that will break this union we have! I will never leave you or let you go! I will be here for you through thick and thin. You can’t shake me! You can’t get rid of Me! I am in this relationship for keeps, and I will hold you close to My heart forever!”  As Robert Capon says, "You can't get away from a love that will not let you go!" 

I love thinking of how committed God is to us, so committed that He would become a man and stay that way forever – a permanent commtment to be in union relationship with us, tying us to Him and Him to us forever in such a way that we can never be apart, so that everything that happens to Him happens to us, so that wherever He is there we are also in glory, so that we are hidden forever with Christ in God, so that He is with us always even to the end of the age, so that nothing can ever take us out of Him, nothing can ever come between us, nothing can ever ruin our relationship, nothing can ever separate us from Him or His love!! Cemented together forever!   As Kristian Holmes, a facebook friend and mentor, says, God's favorite word is IN!

I have so much to learn and grasp, but isn’t it so wonderful to meet Mr. Grace?! Almost too good to be true, that He would love us and bind Himself to us in such a way, and yet, it is true! It makes me think of the verse in Hos 2 I believe it is, in the Message Bible – “I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and faithfulness, I’ll neither leave you nor let you go.” THAT’S faithful love! THAT’s security! THAT’s grace, THAT’S the real God I’m starting to come to know! 

He told me recently in a dream, that basically, “You haven’t really known Me yet..” and I was excited to think He is more wonderful than I have ever believed, known or dreamed! Can’t wait to get to know Him in an ever deepening way…I’ve spent my whole life being afraid of Him, thinking I was shameful and a disappointment to Him..just as many people have probably felt..but how wonderful to find out more and more how accepting and loving He is! And there is infinitely more to encounter in Him, for He is infinitely more loving than we could possibly imagine! Wow!