David Heisler is on Facebook which is where these teaching topics are published
If you are reading this you have “union” or are “in union” with God. All those who believe are really and truly in union with their Creator. The much more important question is if we know this reality, this union. And, we may not know it - yet.
I am talking about moving into the “inner knowing” of union. This discussion must start with how you perceive yourself at this moment. This “moment” is the only one you have. I’m not sure if there really is another moment other than the one we experience presently. Jesus is certainly the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and end, but we only know this one moment at a time. We must find Him and our union, oneness with our Creator, in this moment.
There are three very distinct perceptions of who or what you know and believe yourself to be. The best scriptural reference I know, and, refer to often, regarding personal perception, is found in I John 2.12-13: “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.”
John refers to three categories of perception, Children, Young Men and Fathers. These are not three categories of personhood, only of perception and understanding at the moment. There are not three categories of believers. In fact we are all Fathers – we just don’t all know it. But when we do - we know our “union”. You always are in union with God, but you might not be fully aware of it at this moment. But, there are eternal reasons and meaning for each category.
Now, what does “category” or “perception” mean? Let’s explain. “Children” see themselves in a childlike relationship with God. Generally speaking that person is relatively new to the faith. That person might have had a dramatic conversion experience, as I did. God, who was far off, is now near and He is kind and loving and basically, “Daddy”. It’s a sweet time especially for those who really need a Daddy. However, the Child is basically a “taker” and not a “giver” and, in basic, early immature perception, not much help in the furtherance of the Kingdom. But that is not a criticism, only a factual statement of where we all began.
In the Child stage “forgiveness of sin” is big – for many - really big. I say that because there are many that come to faith in Jesus with a checkered past. Their life gets a complete makeover upon faith in Jesus. So, knowing the burden and the penalty of sin is lifted and that you have eternal life because of the vicarious death of the Savior, life is wonderful and changing, perhaps rapidly.
And, just as a human child, you are totally on the receiving end, dependent on others. And, as it should be, the Child is full of awe and wonder. The Child has many questions and no end of the more “experienced” willing to give advice and guidance. Everyone wants to make sure the Child gets started on the right foot.
Most, new to Christianity, approach it as one would approach anything new – get with the program - find out what you can - associate with others. Advice is freely given by those further down the road.
Up until salvation God is seen as far off. He appears to be a separate entity from me. We seem to exist in the same universe, but He is “up” in heaven and I am “down” here on earth. But, after salvation - we now know Him, personally, intuitively, and before we did not. But basically He still appears to be “outside” or “separate” from us. Christianity is now seen as a thing to be learned, program to do – Bible to memorize, quiet times to have, church to join and go to, bible studies to attend. It can all get very complicated very quickly. It did for me.
I was a mess.
What happened? What happened to the simplicity of “Daddy”...my sins are forgiven... and I’m going to heaven? Well, what happened was my Child stage of Christianity was over and I commenced life as a Young Man. While my life history may be different than yours, we all have similar feelings, emotions and psychology regarding our progression from Children to Young Men and on to Fatherhood. However, before jumping into the “Young Man” discussion, it is crucial to understand what Christian “growth” means and to review some basics.
Now, you would never ever say that because a human being is young or small, that somehow they are not a complete person. Physical growth does not affect the reality of who a human, or a person, is. The confusing point is that, as Christians, we equate Christian growth with getting closer to God by learning more about Him or living a more ethical or moral existence – doing what “Jesus would do” – becoming more “Christ-like”. This is primarily because in the “Child” and “Young Man” stages, God is still perceived as external or a separate Being – which is a misconception – as He is neither external nor separate.
So, when a person avails their self to the free gift of redemption, a very common prayer used by many, upon their first exercise of faith is, “Come into my heart, Lord Jesus”. Well, guess what? That is actually and precisely what happens. Why would anyone doubt that? His Spirit is now joined to your spirit. His Heart and your heart are one. An eternal, Holy Union of God to man is created upon that exercise of faith. It does not get “better” or “more”. It simply is. We should be crystal clear on that point. It really doesn’t get any better. Union is not a relationship that can be measured. It simply is. The only relevant question remaining, and what we are really talking about here is, “do I know it?” Do I know my union? And the reality is that a Child or Young Man really cannot know their union. The union is real however, but it simply is not for the Child or Young Man to fathom – not at the moment.
So, Christian growth, if there is such a thing, is all about understanding, not about becoming. At the moment of salvation His Spirit formed a union with your spirit. Despite the eternal truth that you are in Spirit to spirit union with the King of Kings, you may not know that. The eyes of a Child or a Young Man can still perceive Him as being distant and a distinct Being.
We now enter the Young Man stage. Remember how John describes the Young Man: “… I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one…. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” [I John 2.12-14]