What does it mean that God is with us?Question: "What does it mean that God is with us?"
Answer: It is good to know that God is omnipresent (everywhere at one time)—it is one of His attributes. Coinciding with His omnipresence are the attributes of omniscience (all knowledge) and omnipotence (all power). These concepts are a bit much for us humans to comprehend, but God knows that, too (Isaiah 55:8). God fills His creation and is universally present in person, in understanding, and in power at all times. “He is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27).
On a more personal level, God is with all believers today in that His Holy Spirit indwells us. This indwelling can only happen if one is born again (John 3:3). First John 5:11-12 tells us it is Jesus who indwells us: “This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” And Jesus said the Father comes to abide with us: “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23).
In Galatians 2:20 Paul says, “Christ lives in me.” Then in 3:5 he says that God has given us His Spirit. In verses 26-27, he says that believers are “baptized into Christ” and are “clothed” with Christ. (God is as close as our clothing!) Galatians 5 then discusses the fruit of the Spirit and states in verse 25, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” With many such verses as these, it is clear that God is in three Persons and that all Three dwell in all born-again believers—at all times (Matthew 28:20).
One of Jesus’ titles is “Immanuel,” which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). When Jesus came into this world, He was truly, literally “God with us.” Because God is with us, we know that we will never be separated from His love (Romans 8:38-39). God’s presence assures us that we can accomplish His will for us (1 Chronicles 22:17-19). God’s presence overcomes our fear, worry, and dissatisfaction (Hebrews 13:5).
The Holy Spirit in us is always praying for us (Romans 8:26). We are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), which means we should maintain an attitude of prayer and receptiveness in order to verbalize prayer to God whenever He leads. He is near to His children, attentive to their cry (Psalm 34:15).
We should verify that we are indeed walking with the Lord our God by often consulting His Word, fellowshipping with other believers, and seeking godly counsel from pastors, Christian counselors, and Christian friends. We should have the attitude that we are at all times in ministry with the Lord. The Holy Spirit will lead us. We will see God at work. God is alive, and He is near. He wants to communicate and commune with us. That is the joy of the Christian life.
Recommended Resource: Knowing God by J.I. Packer
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What does it mean that God is with us?