We’re probably all familiar with the word ‘Immanuel’. After all, we sing it every Christmas. And most people know its meaning. (‘Immanuel’, used only in Isaiah 7:14, then quoted in Matthew 1:23, means ‘God with us’ or ‘with us is God’, according to online Strong’s.)
But did you ever stop to think about that meaning?
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I mean really think about it? The obvious meaning, of course, is the one we apply every year near the end of December – the Son of God, born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. God with us in a human form. Jesus – fully man and fully God – living a sinless life, dying to pay for the sins of the world, being resurrected to give us life.
But I think it might go deeper than that. So many of God’s truths are multifaceted (and fractal), and maybe this one is, too.
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God with us – this is the essence of what Jesus taught in John 14 – 17: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (14:16). “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit (15:5). “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one” (17:23).
God with us now. Today. Holy Spirit living inside each of His children.
God in my human form, and yours.
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Before anyone starts screaming “heresy!”, let me clarify: I am not saying I am God or that you are, either.
I am saying God is in me, in you – living inside this human body, right alongside my own heart and soul and spirit. (God in your body, along with your heart, mind and spirit, if you are His child.)
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This is what Jesus came to accomplish – the union of God and man. Not just once – 2000 years ago – but every single day, of every year and century since then. Not just one man – long ago in Galilee – but every man and woman who accepts Him, wherever and whenever.
This is the truth we need to understand and believe – God with ME!!
This is where the power lies to live the life we were created for; where the truth is that sets us free of every bondage; how we do greater works than Jesus.
All that you and I were born to be and do can only happen when He is in us.
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So this year, as you sing those Christmas carols celebrating that miraculous birth so long ago, allow Father God to make it real to you that He is with you.
Rejoice in the truth that you no longer need to ‘mourn in lowly exile’, because the Son of God has appeared! He has ransomed you, set you free, and is living in you!
Open yourself up to Him, allowing Holy Spirit to be with you so completely that you become one with Him. (Yeah, that’s usually a process, but don’t let that stop you from heading in that direction.)
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May ‘Immanuel’ truly be so in your life this holiday season, and increasingly so throughout the coming year.
John 17:20 – 23