A big part of the mission here at #IKnowHim is to share stories that reveal that God is real, God is here, and He is good. This is one of my favorite privileges that I inherited when I became a follower of Jesus. When I accepted God’s gift of forgiveness and made Him Lord of my life, I immediately began a relationship with the Creator of the world. And because it is a relationship, I know that He is always with me. I do not serve a god that remains far off and distant. Nor is he deceased and buried beneath the ground. He is not man-made and put on a shelf, but rather alive in every sense of the word and physically present to me at all times. He moves in power and does big things that demonstrate His glory and goodness.
One of the names of God we see throughout the Bible is Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” This has always been particularly beautiful to me. Matthew 1:22-23 says, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).”
Leviticus 26:11-12 says “I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.” Despite our sin and our depravity, God in His unchanging character remains steadfastly with us. He chooses to be a God that is not far off, stagnant and uninvolved, but One who walks with us. He chooses to dwell with sinners, something we see in Jesus’ earthly ministry as well.
We read in Scripture that this specific name was prophesied by Isaiah hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth in Isaiah 7:14. This is no coincidence. The infant King’s name would reveal the majesty of heaven coming to earth after 400 years of silence from God. The magnitude of this is beautifully explained in Philippians 2:5-11.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
After a spiritual drought God’s people are being told that the very presence of God dwells with them, not just His voice speaking through prophets. Jesus stepped down from the throne of Heaven, in the most humbling form of man to be obedient to the point of death. Even to His very own death on the cross. Friends, God came to be with us because He is for us. His whole purpose of coming to dwell with us was and still is to redeem us.
The name Emmanuel tells us that God is with us, always. The cross that Emmanuel came to die on tells us that God is for us. The fact that God sees us worth redeeming should alter the way we respond to Him, it should change the way we live.
Would people know that God is with you by the way you live your life? Why or why not?
I will be boldly praying that our lives reflect that God is with us. I’d love for you to join me!