Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
G-o-d. Somewhere far out in space, some white-hot, squeaky clean thing called God is watching us, making arbitrary choices about who should go to heaven and who should go to hell, getting really angry about how nobody prays and everybody sins, and stomping his big G-o-d foot every now and then to send disaster on this tiny rock called earth. He’s a boring, bookkeeper type who loves to bring up people’s issues. He’s got a few guys he likes down here on the earth and he lets them decide who’s in and who’s out when it comes to his love, and you have to work at least as hard as them to get in.
False. But this is how we’ve painted the picture of God for the most part in the Western church.
God is not far from ANY of us. (Quoting the Bible, Acts 17:27) He came to us, to seek and to save that which was lost, and He found us. He is with us. He will never leave us. He is Love. He is Goodness. He is Grace.
We don’t really need God to come. We need to trust that He has already come in the Person of Jesus Christ, who now fills all things. (Ephesians 1:23) He has given us the Holy Spirit, who will abide with us… forever. (John 14:16) We just don’t believe it for some strange reason. He has done all that needs to be done, and here we are in 2013, begging Him to come and fix it, begging Him to come touch us, bless us, heal us, and on and on. I always heard that God can answer prayer 3 ways: yes, no, not now. But I believe the most common answer God gives to prayer is simply this:
“I have blessed you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”(Eph. 1:3)
“Give me this.”
“I have given you all things that pertain to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3)
“By the stripes of Jesus, I have.” (1 Peter 2:24)
And of course, “Oh God, come.”
Question… Where is He coming from? Where was the Holy Spirit before He came to the revival meeting? Is He not, first of all, in us? Christ in you, the hope of glory…
I no longer live, but Christ liveth in me…
Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…
On and on. Wherever you go, you’re not going alone. If you go out tonight, the Holy Ghost is going with you. If you go and rebel and sin and shy away from God, He will be with you.
“We just need to get in the Presence of God.”
“Don’t wear a hat, say that word, do that, in the Presence of God!”
Where can you go in this universe that He is not there? Where?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
In hell? The lowest point of all?
Man has always thought we were enemies of God. God came looking for Adam, but Adam hid himself from God. We have been enemies in our minds (Colossians 1:21) throughout all of history. Jesus stepped into this darkness, He stepped into our confusion, and He cried out in our place
My God, My God, why? Have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:46
This is a quote from Jesus on the cross. He was quoting a Psalm of David that prophesied the crucifixion. He felt the abandonment and absence of His Father that we had been living in, and many still live in today. But later in the Psalm, David prophesies the truth of this moment:
For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
Even when Jesus took upon Himself our humanity, sin, and brokenness, the Father never turned His face on Him. God has never turned His back on humanity. Never once did we ever walk alone.
Jesus cried out in our place, as humanity, “Why? Have you forsaken me?”
He answered back, as God, and made the greatest statement of all time, by dying our death, He said “I would rather die than forsake you.”
Wherever you find yourself today, God is with you, He loves you, and He accepts you. Wherever you find yourself next week, next month, next year… God will be with you, He will love you, and He will accept you. Jesus Christ has come, He has reconciled us all to God, now just be reconciled. Just trust that He has done it, He has finished it, He has won the victory, and He is with you.