I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. John 17:9-11
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Perhaps you recall being at a wedding were a “unity candle” was a meaningful part of the ceremony. As part of the prelude to the wedding ceremony both the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom come up and light a candle on each side of the unity candle. These candles represent the individual lives of the bride and groom that began the day their mothers brought them into the world. Later in the wedding ceremony after the bride and groom exchange their vows, they take their individual candles and simultaneously light the unity candle. The imagery of this beautiful moment captures Jesus’ words: “the two shall become one.”
Now we recognize that it is not the wedding ceremony, nor the pronouncement of the one officiating, nor anything else on the human level that makes “the two become one.” It is God and God alone who makes “the two into one.” This is clearly seen in Jesus’ words: “What therefore God has joined together let no one separate.” God’s act of making a bride and groom “one” during a wedding ceremony is a lot like Christian conversion. When we receive forgiveness of sins in Christ, we are “declared righteous” in God’s eyes. However, there is much “becoming righteous” through our relationship with Christ that must come about going forward. Similarly, a bride and groom are “declared one” but as husband and wife there is much “becoming one” that must come about as they go forward in their new life together.
There are many aspects to marital oneness, but we are going to focus on “spiritual oneness” today. It is God who “declares” a husband and wife to be “one” and it is God who will help them in their journey of “becoming one.” Today’s Scripture is about spiritual oneness: the oneness of God the Father and God the Son (and certainly God the Spirit); the oneness of Christians with God; and the oneness of Christians with each other. This is all seen in Jesus’ words: “that they may be one even as we are.” When two Christians become husband and wife, they already have a spiritual oneness with God and each other. Spiritual oneness is the key to them “becoming one” in all the other aspects of their marriage relationship.
The whole idea of having a relationship with God and being one with him is about him being the centerpiece of our life. Moment by moment, in full surrender and dependence, we seek him, know him, and experience his powerful and transforming presence in our life. When a husband and wife are walking with God in this way on an individual basis, it will spill over into how they walk together. Looking to God together for what he has for them and is seeking to accomplish in their lives together, makes all the difference. The pitfalls of selfishness, competition, winning, fighting, blaming, hurting, etc. become avoidable and unnecessary. You can be sure that if at any point it gets ugly and messy it is because they are not maintaining their spiritual oneness with God and each other. Truly, when a husband and wife are seeking to live fully for God together, their shared life of “oneness” will unfold in beautiful and amazing ways.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I ask that you show me what it really means for me to be a person who is fully surrendered and fully depending on you. Help me become one with you to a fuller degree than ever before. I pray for this in my spouse’s life as well. Please bring spiritual oneness into our marriage and show us the way of “oneness” in every area of our lives. May our “declared oneness” become “actual oneness” because of our “shared oneness with you.” Amen!