“Emmanuel”—God with us, is the miracle of God in the Incarnation. God is with us through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ in many ways. Let us consider five ways in which God is with us.
God Is with Us—Walking in Our Shoes
Oswald Chambers ponders this: “The wonder of the Incarnation slips into the life of ordinary childhood; the marvel of the Transfiguration descends to the valley and the demon-possessed boy, and the glory of the Resurrection merges into our Lord providing breakfast for His disciples on the sea shore in the early dawn. The tendency in early Christian experience is to look for the marvelous. . . . It takes Almighty God Incarnate in you to peel potatoes properly, and to wash heathen children for the glory of God.”
God Is with Us—Dwelling in Our Hearts
Early Church Father Athanasius wrote, “The Word of God came in His own person, that, as He was the Image of the Father, He might be able to create afresh the man after the image. . . . A portrait once effaced must be restored from the original. Thus the Son of the Father came to seek, save, and regenerate. No other way was possible. Blinded himself, man could not see to heal. . . . The Word alone could do so. But how? Only by revealing Himself as man. . . . The most holy Son of the Father, being the Image of the Father, came to our region to renew man once made in His likeness.”
God Is with Us in Constant Communion
Jesus is the Paraclete, the Advocate or Helper who has come alongside us. Jonathan Edwards declared, “For Christ having, by his incarnation, come down from his infinite exaltation above us, has become one of our kinsmen and brothers. Jesus promises “I am with you always.” The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus abides in us as our Paraclete, our perpetual partner in constant communion. The old hymn sings of that intimate fellowship: “He walks with me and talks with me and tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”
God Is with Us—Dust and Deity Made One
As we become partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), we become one with Him. Oswald Chambers explains, “God in Essence cannot come anywhere near us. To be of any use to me, He must come down to the domain in which I live; and I do not live in the clouds but on the earth. The doctrine of the Incarnation is that God did come down into our domain. . . . Dust and Deity made one. The pure gold of Deity is of no use to us unless it is amalgamated in the right alloy, viz., the pure Divine working on the basis of the pure human. Jesus Christ has the power of reproducing Himself by regeneration, the power of introducing into us His own heredity, so that dust and Deity again become one.”
God Is with Us in the Heavenlies Places
Since we are in Christ and He is in us, we are seated together with Him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). A.W. Tozer comments, “Instead of God degrading Himself when He became man, by the act of Incarnation He elevated mankind to Himself. God, in the Incarnation, did not became flesh by a coming down of the Deity into flesh; but rather by the taking up of mankind into God. Thus, we do not degrade God but we elevate man—and that is the wonder of redemption!” Through the Incarnation, He raises us to more than we can be.
No wonder John Wesley declared with his dying words:
“The best of all is, God is with us!”