Union with Christ is at the center of what it means to be in relationship with God. The phrase in Christ occurs more than 200 times in the writings of the apostle Paul and more than 25 times in the writings of the apostle John. The idea of being in union with God is mysterious. Whatever this Christ living in me ultimately means, we can’t escape the fact that the New Testament writers state it as a given, a right-now reality. In other words, you and I, if we are in relationship with God through Jesus, are united with God (Christ is in me, and I am in Christ).
I have to remind myself of this reality, for I often live as if Christ is out there, rather than as near as my next breath. One of the doorways that helps foster our awareness of our union with Christ is the practice of listening, through stillness and silence.
Although this exercise can be anything but silent, the practice of being still and silent before God reorients our life to the realities happening within us. When we enter the doorway of listening to our life and for the voice of our God, we often become aware of just how noisy and chaotic our inner worlds are. Due to our own neglect, our inner lives become a mess of unsettled emotions, past frustrations, lists of things left undone, and unmet expectations, and when we slow down and become still, it all demands our attention.
We have to wade through the noise by turning each thing over to God, and slowly but surely, through perseverance and patience, we can arrive at a settled place to listen.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Fun fact: Listen and silent are made up of the same letters.