God with Us


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Prophet Isaiah

Jesus has quite a pedigree.  He identifies so closely to God, he is God. He identifies so closely to the Spirit, he is Spirit.

Let me say again, I am in great company with all those of the past 2,000 years who do not understand the intricacies of the Godhead. Somewhere between God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, being one yet being separate, answers get foggy in my limited human mind.

In the Gospel of John, just prior to Jesus’ death, the Lord Jesus tells his closest followers he will send an advocate to live inside of them (John 14: 16-17). He goes on to say, “Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

Two other insights given by inspiration to the Apostle Paul shed light on the way God works. In Ephesians 2:10 Paul declares, For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God’s design is to do his work through his creation.

Paul then shows the partnership between man and God. Together, we undertake the challenges of recreating a fallen world. So Paul tells the members of the Philippian church in chapter three: “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Sounds as if God is at work in me to make good things happen that fulfill his own purpose. Since I declared, “I’m in,” I have a powerful co-partner living inside.

The author Philip Yancey, in his book Prayer—Does It Make Any Difference?—strings together various statements by the Apostle in an attempt to explain one-way God chooses to work:

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Yancey then draws the logical conclusion: “The partnership binds so tight that it becomes hard to distinguish who is doing what, God, or the human partner. God has come that close.”

It is a sobering idea to reflect that God is working with me to the extent that I do not know if it is I or is it God, because we are doing it together.

It is a powerful concept to understand God is not only with me—God is in me.

Shouldn’t this change the perspective on how I live? Shouldn’t I be “more gutsy” in taking on service calls God assigns me?

What are your reflections? Stay tuned. – Gary Sorrells

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