Christ is Immanuel–God is with us!
He is not a concept, a theory or a theology.
He is not a system or a religion.
He is not an icon, a figurehead, or a mythical movement leader.
He is not an allegory.
He is not an ideal.
He is not a way of life.
He is not a memory.
He is not experienced in the past or the future.
He is not a static-drenched echo from a far off land.
He is not once, or at one time.
He is not less real now than He was to those who could touch Him.
He is not the property of the pietistic, of any denomination or location.
He is not a fable created to make children shape up.
He is not here more for those on their game.
He is not over there, up there, away from here.
He is not withheld.
He is not unwilling.
He is not less here because we haven’t called on Him enough.
He is not a bedtime story.
He is not capricious or sporadic.
He is not every now and then, or on special occasions.
He is not only in the miracle.
He is not here because you called hard enough.
He is not here because you earned it.
He is not ever absent.
He has not forgotten.
He is not weaker, less able than back then.
He is not beyond where your prayers reach.
He is not vague.
He is not here in spirit.
He is not here in a metaphor.
He is not here in a riddle or a formula.
He is not here by wishing He was real.
He is here. Right now. Fully, completely.
He is in you, around you, with you, over you, about you, for you, on time, in the middle of, surrounding you and the ones you love, in complete power, communicating as clearly as any time in history, doing perfectly to you, for you, by you, thinking about you every moment, walking directly into the middle of your worst day, your worst moment, your worst fear, your pain, your loneliness, your doubts, your insecurity, your sickness, your tragedy, your frailness, your hope, your joy, your peace, your dreams, your relationships, your love, your longing to have your life count.
He is here.
He is champion and author of every beauty you find yourself longing for. He is the one who stands over you in the darkest hour.
He is lifting you up, when you are too exhausted, too devastated, too hopeless, too failed, too compromised, and too far gone.
He is in this season.
He is with you driving alone in the car, pushing a cart amidst the mind-numbing department store music, the hurting ones you can’t get to, the loss you can’t comfort, the change you can’t stop, the party you drive by, the memory of past Christmases you can’t bring back.
He is here listening to every word, forming answers, and intimacy stronger than words.
He is here in the music that draws your new nature to the sounds of Heaven.
He is here in the eternal.
He is here, drawing you to the Cross in this very moment, to fall down in awe of the endless love He is displaying right now, to show you the moment of the Resurrection and to bring it into this moment.
He is here to protect you from the despair, the condemning voices, the regrets.
He is here to stop you from plotting a way out of your marriage.
He is here to help you completely find your life after your marriage.
He is here to show you the new way, in this new season.
He is here to whisper who you are in Him and who He is in you.
He is here to stroll the lanes with you, hands in pockets, smiling, with all the time in the world.
He is here to declare your worth.
He is here to be glorified, enjoyed, trusted, loved, and worshiped by you.
He is here, to stare at the lights right next to you. Right now, right here.
He is here, whether you want Him here or not.
He is here in all power, doing exactly right, even when you don’t believe it.
He is here in the pain you never thought He’d allow.
He is here in the yelling at Him you never thought you’d ever dare.
He is here completely, in full Person, for you and you alone in this moment.
He is God with me, God with us, God with them, God with the wicked and twisted and vile, all at once.
He is with the shivering homeless one, with the starving mother who can’t get out to find food.
He is unafraid to be present in a world that questions why He allowed, why He doesn’t do more, why He doesn’t stop it all.
He is here and does not deflect our accusations.
He is here in our arrogance and self-righteous imagining that we care more than He does.
He is perfect love poured out and fused in.
He is my new name, Christ in me!
He is Immanuel. God is with us!
He is not here the way we demand. He is here exactly in the way we need.
…and all it takes to experience it, is to trust that who He is named is actually true.
Adapted from –John Lynch
Have any of you who are following this Blog ever encounter something like the following?
You are simply reading the Bible and suddenly something happens in your understanding. It’s like an explosion of insight into what you may have read many times before, but suddenly you are given a burst of understanding that changes a perspective you may have held for years.
These sudden bursts from seemingly out of nowhere are from the spirit of God. It is a glimpse of a communication from the Father through His Son Jesus Christ via the gift of Holy Spirit sent to enlighten you.
So you are blessed and want to share this insight with others and when you do some people receive it as a blessing, while others do not.
At times the ones who do not receive what you have to share respond with an attitude of disbelief, Many times they challenge what you are sharing as not scriptural because they deem it unworthy because you said the Lord revealed this to you.
I see this occurring many times in the life of Jesus of Nazareth when He challenged the religious leaders of the time with what He claimed came from the Father.
Time after time the religious ones would rebuke Him or say He was of the devil or some other false accusations.
Jesus called these types of people “Ye brood of vipers!”
Well amazingly the other day I experienced another one of these “Aha Moments” when the Lord revealed to me why He called these naysayers a brood of vipers.
Have you ever encountered a real viper while hiking or camping out in some remote area? If you did encounter one of these deadly snakes it is startling!
The moment you enter into their territory they immediately begin to protect themselves and usually do so with a swift strike or two to ward off any enemies.
When you think about it, this is exactly what Jesus was referring to when He called these religious people a brood of vipers.
These were people who immediately attacked Jesus even though they saw Christ healing, and casting out devils right before their very eyes.
Why did they do this? Possibly because they were protecting their self interests, or because what Christ was doing and saying was hitting a nerve deep within them. . .so they struck at him like a brood of vipers.
So then what is the learning here? When you share those beautiful insights the Lord is revealing to you about His word, do not let those vipers discourage you in doing so.
We must always keep in mind that the True God and His Son Jesus Christ are greater than the scriptures, and by these very scriptures may reveal insights to you individually that can change your life for the better.
Do not allow the vipers to use their religious traditions or their limited understanding of the Word of God as a club against you.