Monday, 29 October 2007

Union with Christ and Quiet Times

I remember being struck a couple of years ago by how much I relied upon prayer, Bible reading etc (basically all spiritual disciplines) as ways of bringing me into the presence of God. I thought of my QT as leading me to God in some way and that if I didn't have a QT then I had not been in the presence of God. It struck me, though, one day that actually it had all become a works religion. For, the thing that brought me into the presence of God was my union with the Lord Jesus. He had done it all and won it all. He had finally and eternally and completely made me right before God. My relationship with God was based upon this very thing - Jesus had established it and He maintained it.

What does this mean? It means that evangelical spirituality must always begin with union with Christ and not spiritual disciplines. It must always begin with the covenant I enjoy in Christ. If someone asks me, "How is your relationship with God going?" I must answer, "Very well because the Lord Jesus has done everything to secure it and maintain it." Whatever I feel and however zealous I am, my relationship with God is very good indeed! If I don't do this, then everything I do will be legalism. I'll be trying to win something I cannot get any other way than through Christ. And how on earth could I ever think that my prayers could bring me to God without the Lord Jesus??!! Subsequent to this, I have always started my QTs by rejoicing in the gospel and my union with Christ. This must come before and after every spiritual discipline.