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Only those who have been crucified are raised into the Unitive Way.


Only those who have been crucified are raised into the Unitive Way.

Once the obstacles—ungodly behavior, thoughts, and motives—begin to be conformed to Christ and the Holy Spirit has acclimated us to His Kingdom, we learn to “rest” in Him, and we enter the Unitive Way of oneness with God.

Here illustrations pale beside the realities.

Imagine Someone so compelling that rough, uneducated fishermen instantly and without questions abandon nets and boats to follow Him into an uncertain future.  These men had no other desire than to be with Him, and they were rewarded with a relationship that made the world fade.

The Journey to Be Like Jesus ends in a union with Christ so intimate, so powerful, and so complete that it is virtually indescribable.

John of the Cross tried to describe the experience in verse:

Let us rejoice, Beloved,

and let us go forth to behold ourselves in

your beauty

to the mountain and to the hill,

to where the pure water flows,

and further, deep into the thicket.


And then we will go on

to the high caverns in the rock

which are so well concealed;

there we shall enter

and taste the fresh juice of the



There you will show me

what my soul has been seeking,

and then you will give me,

you, my life, will give me there

what you gave on that other day:


the breathing of the air,

the song of t he sweet nightingale

the grove and its living beauty

in the serene night,

with a flame that is consuming and painless. 

Scripture offers us the passionate romance of the King and the Shulamite.

 “You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes.” (Song of Solomon 4:9)

In the natural, two distinct lies are joined inextricably together.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

In the supernatural, man and God become one spirit.John 17

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:20-23)

Spiritual marriage is our final commitment, our ultimate covenant with God.

From before the creation, the Father’s heart cried out to share His extravagant love.  Now, he is able to do so with abandon.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (I Corinthians 13:12)

Spiritual marriage is the expression of the sweetest intimacies imaginable.  It is seamless, so complete that it is difficult to see where we end and the Lord picks up.

It is like the little old couple sitting on their porch, rocking side by side.  Peacefully and silently.  Finally, one says, “I forget, which one of us is it that doesn’t like broccoli?”

We become so lost in Jesus that our identity with him blurs.  That what had happened to Paul that made him declare:

I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. (Romans 9:3-5)

Paul was so consumed by the heart of Jesus that his prayer become the prayer of the Master.  It was impossible for Paul to restore anyone by becoming “accursed.”  Nevertheless, he had so absorbed the mind and passion of Christ that his thoughts and passions had become the same.  Imagine!  He was willing to endure hell that others might be saved.  That was identification with Jesus.

The Unitive Way is a daily peeling away of layers of separation, during which we come to know Him as He knows us.  With no regard for circumstances, we rest and are refreshed in His presence.  His Kingdom becomes more real than the world aroundus.  His truth outshines worldly wisdom.  We are content.

How long is The Journey to Be Like Jesus?  It depends on how desperate you are.  White it often takes much of a lifetime, some enter the Unitive way very young.

I recall a 17-year-old girl who came to my office trying to find a way to calm her parents.  They were worried because she didn’t have many friends her own age.

She explained that her mother had spent a great deal of energy helping her know that she was loved unconditionally.  When she was about 12, her father taught her about boundaries and gave her life skills like changing the oil in the car and balancing a checkbook.

Spiritually, she learned to pray, first by listening to others.  Gradually, she shaped her own prayers, then spent several years in meditative prayer, learning directly from the Lord as she studied the Scriptures.

Now, she told me, she mostly “just spends time with the Lord, just being with Him.”

What a simple and profound phrase: “just being with Him.”  It embraces Eden and heaven.  It tucks away time in our pocket.

This intimacy we long for is expressed in the wonderful worship song by Mercy Me:

I can only imagine what it will be like,

When I walk by Your side.

I can only imagine, what my eyes will see,

when Your face is before me!

I can only imagine.  I can only imagine.


Surrounded by Your glory,

what will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you, Jesus?

Or in awe of You, be still?

Will I stand in Your presence,

or to my knees will I fall?

Will I sing “Hallelujah!”?

Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine! I can only imagine!


I can only imagine, when that day comes,

when I find mself standing in the son!

I can only imagine, when all I will do,

is forever, forever worship you!

I can only imagine!

I can only imagine!