No More Lonely Love Songs

Old covenant love songs

Union with Christ is the number one reason why we have it better than those who lived before the cross. Back then they wrote love songs about yearning and absence. “I looked for the one my heart loves but I could not find him” (Song of Songs 3:1–2). “I opened to my beloved, but my beloved was gone” (Song of Songs 5:6) “As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (Psalms 42:1).

It breaks my heart to hear Christians singing songs of longing and calling it worship. I imagine it breaks Jesus’ heart too. Where are you Lord? I am right here. I am in you and you are in me. Where did you go? I didn’t go anywhere. I promised I would never leave you.

Here’s another timeless classic from the album, Love Songs of the Old Covenant:

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. (Psalms 27:4a)

That you may dwell in the house of the Lord? You are the house of the Lord. You can dwell in the house of the Lord as long as you like. In fact, it’s going to be quite impossible for you to dwell anywhere else.

Where is God?

To see how well you grasp this, ask yourself a simple question: Where is God? When you think of God being some place, where is that place? Is he up there or over there or who knows where?

I suppose God can be anywhere and everywhere, but the good news declares he is in you and you are in him. Any concept of separating distance is totally demolished by this revelation. He is not far away and he is not hiding behind a cloud. How can we be sure? Because Jesus said so. “Surely I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

Intimacy is not something we ever need long for. (He is already with us.) We don’t have to beg God to rend the heavens and come down. (He already did.) And we never have to fear that he might abandon us as orphans. (He promised he wouldn’t.) The good news declares that now and forever more, you are in perfect union with the Lord.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. (Romans 6:5, KJV)

There is a word in this verse that appears nowhere else in the Bible. It is a word that excites theologians into hand-waving bursts of hyper-ventilated hermeneutics. It is the word sumphutos which is here translated as “planted together.” This is just about the strongest word for union you could possibly think of. It means being “born together with” or “of joint origin.” The closest English word is connate which means individual parts that are united to form a single whole.

Connate union

The best illustration of connate union is the one Jesus gave us—a vine and a branch, two parts that combine to make an indivisible whole. Vines and branches cannot be understood in isolation. A vine that has no branches is not much of a vine, and a branch that is not part of a vine is not a branch. It’s just a stick.

What does this connate union mean for us? It means our lives cannot be understood in isolation from Jesus. Apart from him we can do nothing. We can’t bear fruit, we can’t grow, and we can’t live. This has been humanity’s experience from the Year Dot.

The good news is we don’t need to do a thing to make this new life happen, we just need to receive it. To partake in his divine nature requires only that we live in the union that is already ours.

You may say, “But I don’t feel it. I don’t feel connected.” Don’t put your faith in feelings. Believe the One who declares, “You are a branch.” His eternal word is truer than your momentary feelings.

“But I’m struggling to produce fruit.” Stop struggling. It’s not your job to produce fruit but to bear the fruit that he produces in you.

Be the branch

He is the vine. Quit trying to be a little vine of your own. Jesus does it all. Our part is to trust him and depend on him for everything. The fact is you are in union, so live in union. Act married, because you are.

Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him. (Colossians 2:6, GNB)

A married person who continues to act like a single person is going to miss out on many of the blessings of marriage. Similarly, a Christian who fails to draw from their union with Christ is going to miss many of the blessings of that union. New life is meant to be lived; it’s meant to be expressed and enjoyed and worked out to such a degree that unbelievers see it and marvel.

GITW_sideHow do we bear his fruit in our lives? By not trying. Fruit grow naturally (see Mark 4:26–28). We hinder that process by trying to make things happen in our own strength and understanding. Do that and you’ll produce Ishmaels. But learn to rely on his love and trust in the Father’s pruning and you will bear his fruit effortlessly.

Extracted from chapter 4 “Union,” The Gospel in Ten Words.

Comments

  1. Dave in York PA says:

    Timely. Thank you, Paul!

  2. Trevor Lancashire says:

    Great anology you bring out Paul of our union with Jesus in the picture of the branches and the vine (John15) – As you point out, the branches are not the vine without the trunk – Neither is the trunk much of a vine without it’s branches – The two parts make the one! The trunk without the branches produces no fruit – Neither do the branches without the trunk produce fruit – In neither case is fruit born! Let those who put their faith in the finished work of Jesus, rejoice – Without Him we can do nothing, but with Him all things are possible.

  3. Maryann Charon says:

    Thank you. This is a great reminder for me. Since I have realized the Grace message, I have been set free. I never want to live unsure or wondering if God has really saved me. It really is all about Him! His Word is truth and His love for me is overwhelming.
    Maryann Charon

  4. Brenda Rindels says:

    Absolutely true. This has revolutionized my understanding and my life IN JESUS!!! Well said!!!!

  5. jvtravels15 says:

    Oh my goodness this is awesome, thank you!!!!!

  6. Wow – I never had that explained in that way before – so I never really understood it at all!! Don’t try to produce fruit, just bear the fruit you already have. I really, really like the way you dig out these meanings Lord, thank you for connecting me with the E2R website and with Paul’s writings…amen.

  7. Paul, just today I read on Joseph’s blog that when Christ is the centre of our lives we live life in abundance. So much so that unbelievers look on and marvel. But I can’t say that I love Him, and everything in me is just against the surrender. How does He become the Lord of my life? How do I win this battle?

    • Hi Himanshi,
      Ask him to reveal himself to you and he will. Ask and you shall receive. “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5).

    • Himanshi,

      You are looking at the wrong place!!

      Don’t focus on how much you love Him.
      Focus on how much He loves you!
      Watch what happens to your heart.

      Focus on how – no matter how much you blow it today; he’s excited that you want Him.

      When my kids were younger, no matter how many teaching moments we had; my heart soared when they crawled up on my lap and trusted me. They grew up in a home where no matter how bad they were (and they were “bad” at times), they were loved unconditionally and desperately wanted. Do you think they worried about much they loved us? (But they sure did, and today, as adults, they still do).

      The change comes when we LIVE in His truly unconditional love.

      • Hi Jimmu,
        I have heard that sermon and yes it is an eye opener.
        But that’s exactly where my struggle lies. My mind is unable to focus on Him. It is suffering continuous assault of thoughts after thoughts. I have never been through anything like this. From the bottom of my heart all I want is to rest and rely on Him. I’m tired and have no strength. I just want to let go but it seems the furthest thing to me. Need only rest.

    • Hi Himanshi,

      Jimmu is right on with his comment as well. The Joseph Prince episode I watched #001 –Boast of the Lord’s love for us-not our love for Him was an eye opening game changer!

    • Billy Jeremiah says:

      Himanshi,

      Thanks for your honesty. I am completely aware of your struggle. For many years I was trying to manage my mind by my own strength. I was under attack because I was trying to manage my life to have fellowship with Christ. I became so obsessed with controlling my thoughts that I became homeless and introduced to a mental hospital. They diagnosed me with a mental illness and determined me as disabled. This was the best moment of my life. Disability is indeed the result of the futility of our own efforts. Romans 7 declares this as a crucified state. The more we try to affect our own ability against the enemy and sin we fail. However, be of good cheer, He has overcome your battles in his experience of them through the cross. There you are co-planted. Together you went through those battles in the same body. He bore your every thought. He was made a spectacle of disability. Then you two were buried. When He rose a new man; there you are in him. Surrender comes at the point that your outer man literaly faints from existing in it’s own merit. You don’t end your life, He bring you to an end of your own fight and says in your weakness, now experience my ability to scatter the enemy. You are so excited about his power and love to rescue you; His goodness wins a yes from you and He attacks the enemy. You then learn this union of Him in you, making you stand. Rest my friend; the moment you let down the sail in the wind storm and surrender to God, He throws the anchor. He is the captain of your vessel. Watch and see the salvation of God. You are at a threshold of discovering the great power of His ability to heal you.

      • I don’t know how to put it in words…
        But brother I’ve tears in my eyes reading this. Yes! You’re right in explaining it. And so personally. Thank You!! Thank You!

      • Amen, very well said, Billy. Blessings to you and Himanshi.

    • This is a good question. As I learnt about God, I discovered the love path to obedience. We first must receive God’s love in our lives, then our natural response to God’s love will be to love God. We love God because He first loved us. It is out of the love of God in our lives that the fruit of obedience comes alive in us. The starting point and the point of everything in the Bible is to show us, demonstrate to us the radical love God has for us. Our job is to get lost in the adventure of exploring this wondrous love and gazing into Jesus’s kind eyes. Before you know it, sin and addictions are history.

      Please continue to flow this blog, Joseph Prince’s, and many other enlightened men of God on Grace. Someone will speak to you in a way that really makes sense. You are already on your way to a breakthrough. Dont give up

      Blessings

  8. Love this! Music with bad lyrics at church makes me want to scream out the truth to the congregation – “He’s not coming down at your bidding and begging, He already came down and He is here!” Too much of what we listen to, even in contemporary, Christian “praise and worship” music, does not line up with the truth of God’s word. We need to be more mindful and intentional about what we are listening to and if it’s not truth, reject it. Great reminder of the practical application of God’s truth-grace.

  9. Wow, this great! I’ve been meditating on this more and more. Our oneness with God is so central to the New Covenant. This oneness means we are as much a part of the Trinity as Jesus! Mind blown, heart on fire! Did I mention this great?!🙂 Thank you!

  10. thegodchroniclesblog says:

    I have actually been thinking of this lately. Yes, I definitely experienced God out of “thirsting.” So I understand why some cling so tightly to the old theology. But I believe that I experienced God in the midst of wrong theological songs because I expected to experience God. Now I can sing, Happy Birthday and get whacked in the glory and it has nothing to do with the theology of the song. I know it’s by union with Christ and I that expect to experience Him.
    But as far as the old covenant songs, if I do sing it, I don’t sing it thinking of it in the way of it’s “going to be” but more of a memory of it being fulfilled. Kind of like if someone wrote a song of longing for a future spouse. They may sing that song after they are married, but not in the doubt of being married, but in memory of how good they have it now, if that makes any sense.

  11. Eddie Solomon says:

    Hi Paul,
    I’m not very “blog” literate, so I don’t know if my comment belongs here or elsewhere online…

    • Hi Eddie,
      For my take on certain scriptures, I encourage you to check out the Archives>Scripture Index. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, another good option is to post your question on E2R’s Facebook page and let the community of E2R readers weigh in. Thanks.

  12. This is awesome teaching thank you Paul. Some very potent truths right there!

  13. This is Brilliant! Before I had any such revelation I intuitively felt this way about those mournful Christian songs. But they are so popular and I never heard any teachings against them. But my heart is so sensitive I cant listen to them anyway.
    But really brilliant and hilarious title!
    If only Adele could get saved! Someone asked me recently if I liked Adele. She is super talented and her songs have that quality that they stay stuck in my head and for that reason I cant listen to her. I was at the dentist and I told the dentist she sounds suicidal. That may be the key to her success but if only she knew the Lord and used her talent for his glory!
    But I think someone like her who truly feels pain would get our of mourning and have the joy of the Lord if she got saved! Why cant Christian musicians?
    This teaching is a keeper!

  14. This word means more than I can express! It is exactly what I needed! I’ve been saying that I don’t feel connected to Jesus and been praying to help me connect with Him. I’ve always been so controlled by my emotions and that has robbed me of so much joy in my Christian walk. The words you wrote “act married because you are” struck me like a lightening bolt…it was as though I heard the voice of God as I read that! WOW…this was so powerful! And one I will never forget! Thank you so much, Paul…this is the best message that you’ve posted yet! Paulette

  15. That last line–producing Ishmeals–is the absolute best exclamation point (!) 😃

  16. Thank you!

  17. You never cease to amaze me Paul! Phenomenal period! Thank you as always! Between you. Joseph Prince and other great grace teachers. My life is being transformed with my revelation of union wit Jesus that always was. I had to get rid of the layered religious mindset that was put on me that just knew to the core was not the truth about my Heavenly Father. Blessings to you and all of us!

  18. I am reminded of one popular Christian song with this line: ‘I’m desperate for you.’ Perhaps its the other way, wouldn’t you say, Paul?

    • des·per·ate
      ˈdesp(ə)rət/
      adjective
      feeling, showing, or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with.
      “a desperate sadness enveloped Ruth”
      synonyms: despairing, hopeless; More
      (of an act or attempt) tried in despair or when everything else has failed; having little hope of success.
      “drugs used in a desperate attempt to save his life”
      synonyms: last-ditch, last-gasp, eleventh-hour, do-or-die, final; More
      (of a situation) extremely bad, serious, or dangerous.
      “there is a desperate shortage of teachers”
      synonyms: grave, serious, critical, acute, risky, precarious; More

      (that does not seem to fit for God and hopefully not for us)

  19. I found Bill Gillham’s book “Lifetime Guarantee” a gem on how to rest in Christ.

  20. the above revelation is healing the lonely and burdened soul…..

  21. Robert Slominski says:

    Paul..I Thank the Lord for you.. Both me and my wife can step off the human hampster wheel of performance.. By “grace” we have been saved thru faith and that not of ourselves……look forward to passing these messages on to friends and family.. Bobby

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