Immanuel. With us is God.
What is the last thing the LORD brought to mind that He wanted to talk to you about, address, or call you to surrender?
If you don't have an answer for that, it should give you pause. It should challenge you to press in for a touchpoint with Immanuel.
God with us. With us is God.
The little babe in a manger, Jesus. Our radical warrior King. He grew up to go there, to the darkest places, to endure the greatest suffering ever known, to pour out His life unto death. To have victory in every area and impart that victory to you.
He grew up to go there with you, to your darkest places, to be with you in your suffering, to pour His life into your dead places. Immanuel, God with us, addressing what we tend to gloss over or dismiss. The loneliness. The mourning. The past. The pain. The vices. Our selfish motives. Our lukewarm faith. Unbelief.
He prompted me to a scripture the other day that made me consider a motive, a destructive pattern of thinking. He's catching me before I make a decision about something. He's wanting me to see the danger before I follow my destructive thinking which involves a lack of trust in Him. He's fulfilling His promise to not let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. I wasn't really awakened to it before He took me to a scripture, and as I began meditating on it, what was hidden from my view came to light. I made the connection on what He was addressing. I saw that He's providing a way out, so that I can endure the temptation and choose His way, not my own.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (NIV)- 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Do you let God alert you to blind spots in yourself? Do you let others be messengers of those type of blind spots?
Immanuel. God with us, in us, to be in the trenches to rescue and deliver us.
Are we with Him?
"Okay God, you can be with me, just not too close."
And that is where many of us are stuck.
But good news is that is where many of us have huge opportunities for breakthrough!
When you open up and let the LORD start to touch those untouchable places, those areas locked up and under-wrap, miracles can happen. You can experience real breakthrough, the freedom He promises!
But often we hold back. We avoid. We dismiss. We just keep going along as we always have because we are comfortable with our ways. When the little whispers, prompts, or convictions come, often we pretend we didn't hear God. We quickly move on and become busy with something and dismiss acknowledging what Immanuel is addressing.
Welcome to the danger zone. This is where pride and unbelief and willful ways keep Him out.
He's still with us, but we aren't with Him.
People wonder where God is, when really they've been keeping Him distant, busy putting up walls and mastering avoidance tactics.
So He gets increasingly silent. He's willing to take the backseat until we press in. It's sad; but often desperation is our greatest motivator for a renewed prayer life.
We are stubborn. We like status quo. "Let's not rock the boat. I'm good. Things are manageable."
Yet it's a lie. The truth is lots of us have faith that is stagnant. Lots of us have relationships with others that haven't really grown much, despite our call to love more deeply. We've hit barriers; and one or the other (or both) have shut down in our human relationships. And we become okay with that, it is a new normal.
There is this unspoken agreement we make. "I won't challenge them, so that they don't challenge me." Or "I don't want them upset with me, so I will remain quiet." Or "I don't like to deal with hard things, so I'll stuff my feelings". Or "I've done nothing wrong, they need to deal with it." Or "I'll tell myself this story, and believe it to settle it in my mind so I don't have to wrestle with the fact that I am part of the problem." Or "Relationships are too much work and I'm fine with just me and God."
And here is a big piece that is missing in our prayer lives and faith walks. We need to hear from God to know what the truth really is, about ourselves, about how we are to respond to others.
God saw this barrier in our broken natures. He crossed the barrier of time and space and sin. The Word of God became flesh and dwelt here on earth among us, and we have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son, full of grace and truth.- John 1:14.
Consider today- Are you hearing from God? Are you willing to let Him examine what's happening within? Are you willing to reflect on relationships and be vulnerable, to press for in for deeper connection with God and others? Are you taking risks for closer fellowship, especially in conflict?
I feel something awakening in me to be more vulnerable. To not pretend things are okay. To address my former words and behaviors that hurt others. To let friends know if I've been hurt and challenge them to go deeper with me.
I want to risk, because freedom and joy are on the other side. I trust God to weed relationships out, or cause relationships to flourish. I want to live in His power, not my own! How about you?
As we get ready to enter a new year, what are your relationship goals? Not where do you want to excel in career or fitness or finances or health or travel or personal goals, but where do you want to win in relationships?
Start with Jesus.
Immanuel. You are with the downcast Lord. You are with the broken. You are with the lonely. You are with the poor in Spirit. You are with those in bondages of their own making. You set free. You repair. You awaken. You raise the dead. You bless. You heal. You make all things new.
"Be with me God. Be with me to take risks that lead to freedom. Help me open up and let you in. Open my eyes to see, my ears to hear. Help me surrender. Help me invest in the relationships and people you place in my path. Help me be vulnerable and love courageously. Transform me, Word of God!"
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!