“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Mat 1:23
What a privilege to have lived in the times of Jesus, ‘God in flesh’ walking around in the neighbourhood, turning water into finest wine at a wedding party, catching Him at the dock with the fishermen, turning boats into pulpits, hearing God Himself speak audibly – your heart thundering all the while, seeing with naked eyes – the Son of God Himself; talking about ‘Is this the One’ at the dinner table, celebrating and attending thanksgiving parties of friends and families healed supernaturally – oh what a life it would have been, for those living during the era of God With Us!
And as glorious as that was, we do not live in the era, in that season, in those times – because we live in better times, in a better season, in an even glorious and excelling time right now – we are living in the era of GOD IN US!
The birth of Christ ushered the season of God with us, and His death and resurrection inaugurated the era of God In Us – with the Holy Spirit living in us, making his abode in us, tabernacled in the spirit of born again Christians (1 Cor 3:16)! Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you” (John 16:7).
How could it be an advantage? What could be better than “Jesus with us” – the answer is “Jesus IN us” – the Helper, the Spirit of Jesus, to reside with us forever!
And that’s what Jesus modeled on this earth! His intimacy with the Father and the Holy Spirit is what empowered Him to do what He did. And now that empowerment is ours, if we chose intimacy with the Holy Spirit. That’s why Jesus said – you will do greater things than me!
As much as we celebrate Christmas, and sing Immanuel, let this truth ring in your hearts and rule your minds – that Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives IN you (Rom 8:11). God is not only WITH us, but IN us and FOR us!
When you got born again, the precious Holy Spirit took permanent residence in you. Where? In your spirit, and your spirit is housed in your body, while you are on this earth. I told this truth recently to an elderly couple, and the wife was so shocked. She clearly did not think much of her husband, and was quite condemning. She actually looked at him and said “Do you really think the Holy Spirit lives in you? I don’t think so!”
Many of us feel that way. Nothing in our lives may look like the Spirit of the Living God lives in us, but your ignorance doesn’t negate the truth. The reason is this: you only respond to what you are aware of. I normally give this example: Imagine you are sitting in church listening to the sermon, when suddenly a lanky youth with a black camera starts to film you. You are suddenly conscious, and actually start acting so stupid and weird – you might even place your folded hand under your chin to look like your listening, or just do an occasional nod as if you are understanding what’s being preached. Or you quickly sit still, or cross legs! Because you are suddenly ‘conscious’ or ‘aware’ of the presence of a big black lens, and you are now responding to it.
Now that you are aware the Holy Spirit lives in you, you can finally begin to respond to Him. This is called being more presence-conscious. I keep practicing being conscious and aware of His presence. It is wonderful what happens when you have this awareness beyond the natural realm that God is in me, right now.
Beloved, practice the presence of the Holy Spirit! If God with us was great, how greater is God in us! God is a Spirit and He lives in your spirit – but since we are always living in the soul realm – in our feelings realm, we hardly respond to the spiritual realm.
Whenever I’m getting a cold attack, though I can feel the effect of the sneezes, I refuse to believe that the cold will take root in my body and finish its complete course! This is what I say to myself: “Cold, though you might try to attack my body, you cannot linger here. The Holy Spirit lives in me, and sickness has no place – you are an alien to my body. Though I can feel the cold, I don’t believe it. I am healed by His stripes. No cold can take root in my body!
And I haven’t got a single full-blown cold attack for one full year now! I’m more aware of his healing power than the sick power of that sickening sickness. Oh, I have a lifelong history of cold, sinusitis and allergic bronchitis, and now am completely free from all the ‘ites’ (reminds me of Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, lol).
Next time you are overwhelmed by feelings of depression, loneliness, anxiety, helplessness, hopelessness, or even sickness, talk to yourself – what am I more aware of? That God is in me, or that all these problems are around me. What you are aware of is what you will respond to, and what you respond to is what will take root in you.
Greater is He who is IN me, that He who is in the world!
Greater is His presence in me to overcome than my weakness to succumb
Greater is His power at work IN me than sin’s power over me
Greater is His healing released IN me than the pain of this sickness
Greater is His comfort than this agony
Greater is His power to deliver me than sin’s power to oppress me
The Holy Spirit is IN me and He will always be WITH me!
Remember, we have it better than the Immanuel era. Enjoy this Christmas season, and add ‘God in us’ to your Christmas carols!
Thank you Lord, for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit – that God is not only with me, but that God is IN me. Help me to be aware of your presence all the time – more aware that anything else that I might be facing, I want to be aware of this powerful truth that you are in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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I highly recommend the life-changing teaching – Presence Driven by Rev. Zack Cherian.
Events: Join us for our Christmas bash on Dec. 14!
Overboard Fellowship: https://www.facebook.com/OverboardFellowship
I’m sure that was a blessing to you. I welcome you to partner with us to reach out to people in the twin cities and also around the world, through our social media efforts. Follow our updates on the ministry sites listed above. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you want to support our ministry!