Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Sign is Given – Immanuel, God With Us

Signs and wonders are the stuff of the Bible, though unbelieving persons will never believe. Unbelieving King Ahaz wouldn’t believe, even after God spoke with him. Then Isaiah, the prophet, prophesied about the far fulfilment, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth:

“Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of human beings? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

—Isaiah 7:13-14 (TNIV).

To all the unbelieving Ahaz’s out there—kings and queens of their own time and nobody else’s—our Father God did come through and send his Son to live with us—God with us—in order for a great many things to occur, not the least of which was to underscore the importance of relationship with a living God.

For God lived and breathed and walked and talked with us. Later he died a cursed person’s death—the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)—yet was resurrected and ascended, eventually (after about forty days of post-resurrection life [Acts 1:3]—many of whom witnessed this), to be with the Father in heaven, and with us again and continually via the Holy Spirit, which lives in us born-again believers, even now.

And every believer can testify to the difference the Holy Spirit makes; to have an existential, living, breathing relationship with the living God—One who is never conquered.

This is not a one-way relationship where God dictates or where we design our very own god to our particular liking, like many unbelievers are tempted to do. It is two-way. For God has shown us how to believe; and it is for our own benefit, not his. And we can now reap abundantly the blessings of relationship with the Creator and Mastermind of all things.

Truly the best thing about being genuinely Christian is the victory beyond ourselves. In the words of Spirit-inspired Isaiah, the enemies of God are told:

“Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted;

propose your plan, but it will not stand,

for God is with us.”

—Isaiah 8:10 (TNIV).

God is with us. Where God is for us, who could be against us? And because God is with us—yes, even now—and I know he is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can human beings do to me? (Psalm 118:6)

© 2009 S. J. Wickham.

No comments: