Ever since I was a little girl, one of my favorite names of the Lord has been Emmanuel.
Many of us know the meaning of this particular name, and we see and hear of it more often during the Christmas and holiday season, but I often wonder how much we truly let the meaning of that name sink in to our hearts.
Emmanuel. “God with us.”
For centuries people, in their humanity, have endeavored to make images out of stone or gold so that they could have a physical “thing” to worship. But God has always seen those things and said that we need not forge anything to create an unknown god. We are his offspring. “Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the act and imagination of man…” God is “actually not far from each of one of us,” because He lives in us. (Acts 17:23-31)
Firstly, I believe this instinct or drive to create a physical image of a god shows humanity’s innate hunger for God.
Secondly, I believe that our hunger for God has been met in Jesus Christ who came as a newborn baby, walked the earth and experienced everything as a man so that He would be a Savior who understood his people with deep compassion, who died a terrible death on a cross, and who rose again conquering sin and the grave.
This time of year is a wonderful time to reflect back on what it is we believe and the depth to which that belief can change us from the inside out.
This Christmas season, as we gather together in homes and in churches, as we worship, let us remember full well that God is not in the temple. He is in us. God is with us. The God of the universe who hung the stars and multiplied our worth lives within us.
We don’t need to go far to look for Him. We need only to turn our hearts and our gaze toward Him, our Emmanuel.
The Bible tells us that God draws near to those who call out to Him, that He listens closely, especially when our hearts are true. (Psalms 145:18 TPT)
This holiday season, let me challenge you to take some time to examine the condition of your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit questions like, “Is there anything in my life that I am prioritizing above you? Am I in any way seeking other things other than your loving presence to fill the God-need in my heart? God, show me how near you really are to me.”
I pray that the answers you get will lead you into deeper longing, deeper relationship with the God Emmanuel who is always and forever with you… and for you.
By: Ashley Fisher