God with us
Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (ESV)
From the beginning, the reason for our existence is “God with us.” God pinched and squeezed and molded regular dirt into a man and breathed “God with us” into us to give us life. His very breath of life makes us different from every other living creature. The creator creates the created to pro-create its own. In His image we are made. In His likeness we create.
When we ate the wrong fruit our limited nature was not prepared for an infinite being’ s burden. We were not ready for the knowledge of good and evil. It broke our spirit, damaged our soul and corrupted our minds. We turned to self and ran from our loving creator. Without infinite love and goodness, we had no capacity to judge. This new knowledge drove us into conditional, law-based thinking. In this new place of selfishly motivated reason, we supplanted all childlike wonder with human wisdom. We became smarter than God in our own minds and projected our limitations on His nature. Still God was with us. He came to our rescue from the death spiral of shame and guilt.
He put us out of the garden as an act of mercy. To live forever as a fallen human was an immortality of self-torture. God didn’t ask for anything from us, still we turned to religion and sacrifice. As Cain, we tried to move God by impressing Him with our penance and payments. As Abel, we enjoyed and celebrated the love of our God. Cain triumphed over Abel and we have pursued religious rituals and rites ever since in an attempt to bring us closer to God or God closer to us when He was never apart from us. God was still with us. We just couldn’t or wouldn’t see that truth.
We built towers to God to try to reach Him. We built cities to God to bring Him here. We worked and worked and drove ourselves in frustration to find a God who would never leave us or forsake us. We manufactured philosophies and theories to contain a God who is infinite. We created paradigms of cosmic rules and laws that God must be subject to. We insist on more laws and more absolutes and claim God lives within those boundaries. We drive our creator further and further away with our discussions “about” Him when He is no farther away then our breath. We blame God for every injustice and unfairness. We use words like control and sovereign as if we had any clue what they really mean for an infinite God. We distort concepts like unconditional love to accommodate human perceived inconsistencies or divine distances and instead, substitute a concept of tolerance for passion. All of our churn and anxieties and works are nothing but death and turmoil to a God who has always been with us.
Every moment we stay alive, is a moment of mercy from a loving God. We forget His mercy to partner with experience and circumstance. We act as if the ruler of this world is mankind. We mistakenly believe that Earth is neutral ground and we have the upper hand as long as we are smart enough. We make sacrifice after sacrifice when God desires mercy. We elevate experience and human wisdom over truth and miss the most obvious evidence of the enemy. The ruler of this world is out to destroy us. Our religious vigor is what the enemy uses to distract us from the truth of “God with us.” The devil is still the craftiest of all creation and plants the seed of doubt wherever the soil allows. He still asks the question “did God really say” as if God were not in the room. The doubt planted by the enemy grows into disappointment and discouragement. The academic understanding of religious rituals and doctrines takes the place of the supernatural power of an ever-present God. The spiral tightens as we plummet yet again into the cesspool of self, fueled by human wisdom, fear and guilt. Still, God is with us. He has never left us.
A child is born…
Then God’s most magnificent plan takes shape as a man-God from heaven. Even His name Immanuel reflects the plan mirrored by God’s very nature, God with us. Now all of mankind will see, truly see without any distortion, that God is with us. We will see His nature to forgive and save as manifest in a man filled with the power and presence of Heaven. It will be glorious. It will be beautiful. It will be powerful. It will be really good news. Mankind will meet their God face to face. They will love Him and accept Him as their God. This will be the moment that we all have dreamed about in our divine nature and imagination. Joy to the world is sung from the highest places. This is the day that God has made for mankind.
But our fallen nature persists as the accepted paradigm. Mankind rejects the very source of love. Mankind takes divine kindness and nails Him to a cross. The lunacy of the event confounds the mind of born-again believers, but there He is on the cross. The religious lead the charge. The human-wisdom-empowered governments of man hammer the nails. The fallen nature of a “smarter than God” human scoffs at the idea of a “powerful God” hanging on a tree. The enemy joins in the celebration to eliminate God from Earth once and for all. All of our fury of rejection and the enemy’s venom of ridicule is no match for God’s master plan. “God with us” will prevail. Jesus will be raised again.
Jesus is alive! The Angels rejoice again. The day He was born as a man is as profound as the day He was born as a life-giving Spirit. The Holy Spirit has come. Like the wizard’s assistant, the enemy’s plan to crush Jesus backfires is an infinite world-wide expression of “God with us.” The Holy Spirit is poured out on all mankind. Now it is even more than “God with us.” God’s plan, from the very beginning when Adam was just clay in His hands, the perfect plan, is complete…God IN us. Now we will never doubt. Now we will never be alone. Now we will know we are not alone. Now we will never seek a God that is elsewhere, but know a God that is in us. We are joined to the creator. We are one with the Spirit of God. We are married to our groom. We carry the very Kingdom of Heaven just like Jesus did. One Jesus dies on the cross. Countless imitators of Jesus are raised from the dead. God is not just with us…He is in us…He is joined to us.
It really is that simple. I know I use words like religion in a “negative” way but I can’t emphasize enough that Jesus is the answer. Man made religion is not. Religion is a substitution for Jesus. Jesus destroys the need for religion. If your “church” or “religion” is Jesus then sorry if I have offended. If it is not, then I implore you to seek the one and only that you were made for. Jesus is King! He is your Father and brother and groom. He is your creator and your deepest desire. Today is a great day to learn what it means…A child is born.