God is in us. GOD IS FOR US. God is with us. Emmanuel.
I can’t get those words out of my mind. I woke up at 3 am this morning and for an hour heard them rolling around my heart and head.
They are part of the chorus in the Casting Crown’s song God is With Us released in 2008. Somehow I never knew about the song until this Christmas season when listening to my favorite Christian radio station while driving around town. Tears spring to my eyes each time I hear it.
Best Life Coach Ever
Thinking about how God is for us, makes me reflect how He is the model life coach. He listens so well, accepts us unconditionally, and has our very best in mind. Since He made us AND redeemed us with His personal sacrifice on the cross, His qualifications to coach us effectively are unparalleled and His desire for us to enjoy the life He gave us is clear and resolute.
What are some of the tools He uses to coach us?
- His written Word, the Bible. The truths have stood the test of time, authority, and authenticity for all people IF they want to know His character and plans for our living well. Study and reflection of Holy Scripture is a worthwhile daily investment. The verses train us to recognize lies, schemes, and partial truths from our culture and relationships that can trip us up in life and cost us personal resources and peace of mind.
- His Church. Like-minded others help us see our strengths and our blind spots. They can spur us on to love and good deeds. Together we can celebrate victories and divide burdens, learn about faith-filled living in difficult times, and offer hope to one another to keep up the journey.
- His Holy Spirit. The wise Counselor God sends to each of us who call upon His name brings to our minds the words of Jesus, confirms how much He cares for us and describes our promises on this earth and for eternity. This 24/7 presence reminds us that if we seek Him, God is near at hand.
Our Story is Written for Now and Forever
Before we had one day on earth, God wrote our stories (Psalms 139:16) and planned a great destiny for each person. He knows all that will happen and all that we will do and not do. Believing this and walking with His guidance can bring satisfaction and delight, not everyday, not in all circumstances, but in a fulfilling span of growth and experiences over time.
Then, He adds the mysterious Second Act to our existence, Eternity. Throughout the Bible, we are told about the everlasting character of God and His plan for mankind to enjoy Him forever. Not understanding infinite as finite creatures, we struggle to believe there is anything beyond our senses-affirmed reality.
We have questions. He has answers.
We have interests and ambitions. He wants to help us achieve a life story that brings us good and shines forth a glorious testimony of Him supernaturally working through a mortal being.
People reading our life story, seeing our engagement and even pleasure, should be inspired to ask the source of our joy, our perseverance, our future hope (I Peter 3:15).
Christ’s Birth Brought New Life
If we are NOT presently eager for the next chapter of our life story, lost in regret of past mistakes or missed opportunities, the time to reboot is now. God is not finished with us ever and has no desire to see our lives wasted. Like the Wise Men of the Christmas story, we must rise up, seek His counsel and coaching to move forward.
The greatest evidence that God is for us was sending His Son to show us what He is like and how close He wants to be to us. Embrace that truth…and have a very Merry Christmas!