Wednesday, June 24, 2015

God Is With Us

                There was a time in my life when I was afraid to be alone in my house at night without my husband there. I was easily spooked by any noise that I heard and before I went to bed I would lock every window and every door and leave lights on in the house. I was in constant fear that something bad would happen to me and my children which resulted in me not being able to sleep and exhausted the next day. For years I struggled with this fear, even after becoming a Christian. Then, one night, as I was locking the doors and windows I realized that God was with me and there was nothing to fear. Since that moment, I have not had any fears about being at home alone at night. My God is with me.
                Have you ever really thought about what it means to have God with us? We read in
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Matthew 1:23 that Jesus was to be called Immanuel, which means ‘God With Us”. When I think about someone being with me I imagine them next to me. They never leave my side. When I walk, they walk, when I run they run. If someone is with us, then they are with us every step of the way- not just occasionally, but all the time. God is with us. God, the One who created the heavens and the earth, the One who brought light and life into existence is with you right now at this very moment.
                I listen to Christian radio and I hear songs that talk about how they want to be in God’s presence. They sing and ask the Holy Spirit to come so they can experience Him. Do we not realize that if we are born again believers than the Holy Spirit is already with us? He is present in every moment of every day because He is not only with us, but He is in us. He is Immanuel- He is “God With Us”.
                The name, Immanuel, in Matthew 1:23 not only refer to Jesus, but also included in this name is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Immanuel is all of God; all three in One. Jesus refers to this when He is praying to His Father (who is with Him, I might add) in John 17. “I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one,” (John 17:23 ESV)
                The knowledge that God is with me is almost too much for me to comprehend. Why would a holy God want to have anything to do with me, let alone be with me all the time? But, the truth is that He does and He is. God is with us. He not only loves us, but He wants to be with us. He wants to not just be with us in the moments we need Him, but He wants to be a presence in our every single moment of every single day. He doesn’t leave us, we leave Him. God is with us.
                Not only does this knowledge comfort me and give me peace from my fears, but it also brings contentment into my being that was not there before. Our women’s group just finished studying the book of Hebrews. One of the last exhortations the writer of Hebrews gives to us in chapter 13 is for us to be content. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you,’ so we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear, what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV)
                One thing I see when I read this passage is that contentment has nothing to do with the outside world. It has nothing to do with what we have or do not have. Contentment is a state of mind, a place of rest in the knowledge that God is with us. Contentment abides in the simple truth that our God will never leave our side. No matter what happens, no matter what we do or don’t do, no matter what we have or do not have- God is with us. He speaks to us and reassures us that He will never leave us. He will never fail us. He will never walk away from us. He is with us- every step of the way.
                “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling,” (Psalm 46:1-3 ESV) God is with us. What great comfort we can draw from these simple words, what strength is nestled in the midst of them for us to grab a hold of! If we could just come to that place where we see and know and understand that no matter what comes our way, God is with us.
               I used to be afraid of something happening to me or to my children. I used to worry and fret over all the “what if” scenarios that I could think of. What if this happened, or what if that happened. What if someone did this, or what if someone said that, over and over again, the “What If” movie took up residence in my mind. But even in the midst of all those “what if’s” my God was still God and He was still with me. We need to remind ourselves every day that God is with us. We need to walk in the truth that no matter what God is with us. We need to believe that today our God is with us. Say it to yourself, say it out loud- write it out and hang it somewhere for your eyes to see- God is with us.
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                Being content does not mean that you have everything you need physically. Contentment is not a physical or earthly state, it is a spiritual knowing, a spiritual state of mind that rests all the “what if’s” on the simple truth that our God is with us. God is with you, my brothers and sisters. He is with you in the dark when the fear of what is outside keeps you awake. He is with you in the chaos of life when the whirlwinds of trouble just don’t seem to want to quit. He is with you when your boss tells you that they no longer need your services. He is with you when your child is sick. He is with you when you say that last good bye to your mom or dad or loved one. He is with you when your marriage is falling apart. He is with you in the good, He is with you in the bad, and He is even with you in the ugly side of life. God is with you. Memorize these words; bind them to the tablets of your mind- God is with us.
                We can be content in whatever state we are in because we know and understand that no matter what comes our way, no matter what today may bring, our God is with us. We can be content and steady and sure in those moments that life happens, because God is with us. Many times in my life I have become overwhelmed, or scared, or lost and have felt like I was all alone. I felt like He was far away, and my heart was ready to faint. But then, in those moments of despair when life has me on my knees, I hear His still small voice comforting me, embracing me and speaking to me that He is with me. He will never leave me. He will never fail me. He will never forsake me. He will never abandon me. God is with me.

                It is my prayer for you, and for me, that we would become content in the truth that our God is with us. Father, we need to know and to believe that no matter what happens, no matter what comes our way in this life, You are with us. Let this truth become not just knowledge, but a truth that we walk in and through each and every day. God is with me. God is with me; forever and ever He is with me. In Jesus Name be all the glory, honor and power forever and ever, amen and amen.