As the old year is coming to a close and the holiday glitz and cheer have dwindled, what is rushing in? Anxieties and fears for today and the year yet to come? Then hear these words again from your Creator and Savior:
Fear not, for I am closely associated with you! I've gone through it all too!
And now finally and forever...
Through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, our Emmanuel, God with Us, we are now in union with God, always and forever. We are one with HIM!
Through His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to the right Hand of the Father, Christ made this union possible through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The night before He died, our Lord told His close friends:
...it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate [the Holy Spirit] won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. John 16:7 NLT
And it is through the indwelling Spirit of God that we are forever united to the Triune God. So with that in mind then, Jesus could then pray that very night for all of us believers down through the ages,
I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me... I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them. John 17:20-26 NLT
The apostle Paul then later on would expound on this indwelling Spirit of Christ,
And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.... For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God...
And what is our spirit like, now that we are united to the indwelling Spirit of God?
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory... Romans 8:9-17 NLT
Did you notice? It's not a fearful spirit that is afraid of God, but recognizes the sovereign Creator of the universe as our Abba...yes Daddy!!! WOW! So then what about all the other fears we have?
...fear of one another: do they like me? will they leave me out?
...fear of ourselves: am I adequate? will I fail? will I get cancer?
...fear of material creation: will I have enough to pay the bills this month? will I have enough to last through the rest of my life?
But the Lord describes the spirit He has given us:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 AMP
So, of course, we will be afraid in this fearful, fallen world. But we can face our fears with the courage of the indwelling Spirit of Christ...with power for whatever He calls us to, choosing love instead of hate and revenge, and with the stable mind that fixes itself on the God of the universe, to whom we are inextricably united.
Why not journal today by listing your most current, more bothersome fears. Bring them to the Lord, one by one, leaving them in His capable Hands. Receive what ever words He may say to you about each. And then rest in the peace that is yours through your indwelling Lord:
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33 NASB
For Part 1, Emmanuel Still
For Part 2, Emmanuel, one of us
A PERSONAL NOTE:
If you are struggling to feel connected to the Lord, though you may know in your head you belong to Him, please consider reading and exploring The With-ness of our God: Relationship in Every Dimension. This volume reveals a God who is intimately and securely united with us through faith in His Son Emmanuel. In it you will find manna for your heart, not just your head. You will discover there not only simple, practical instruction, but also meditation, stories for application, questions for journaling and just pondering...and more.
Or maybe you aren't struggling but just want to go deeper...this is for you too. You can dive into the deep or stay on the surface...your choice.
And the book is very accessible and affordable. You can purchase on online at Amazon and other retailers (see links at The Withness of our God). It's available in paperback or hardback. And I've priced the ebook at the lowest possible price, $3.99.
So please take a look and consider walking with us on this journey into The With-ness of our God: Relationship in Every Dimension.
And thank you for your grace!