He is with us…

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Matthew 28:17 When they saw Him, they worshipped Him, but some doubted. vs19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

I find it interesting that Jesus added some encouragement at the end of His great commission.  He knew there were doubters.  He gave them this amazing purpose and then backed it up with a promise.  “I am with you always”

So why do I ask God to ‘be with me’ when I go through tough times?  He’s already established the fact that He is ALWAYS with me. 

I do this for His blessing as well.  I pray for Him to ‘bless me’ or someone or something, but if we are in Christ we have already received His blessing.  Louis Giglio mentions in his Prayer Remix talk that when we pray, we usually have already made up our minds before we ask God for his seal of approval.  God doesn’t need to bless his own ideas if we stay on His page.  We should instead pray that we and others could bless Him!

But back to His first promise, I know and believe that He is always with me, but I often forget or more honestly, I just don’t ACT like I know or believe this.  What does it really look like, this ‘Emmanuel, God with us’ thing in action?  When trouble comes, and He tells us it will, (John 16:33) how can we ACT like we truly believe God is with us through it?  Really, how?  I’d like to know how that actually looks…

One thing I do know is that we should look and act differently than the world does during trouble.  How could we not?  We can focus on our troubles through an eternal perspective.  We know that we have an all-powerful God who is for us and not against us.  We should have a community to lean on for wisdom, encouragement, support, prayer and provision.  I guess if I were to trust all this to be true, the current trouble I may be facing would not defeat or discourage me like they usually do.  I would “be on my guard, stand firm in my faith, be courageous, be strong, and do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14) and be surrounded by people who are all doing the same thing.  How crazy would that look?  Really, how would that look?

Yes, God is always with me but I have to turn to Him and acknowledge His eternal embrace on my life and ACT like He is with me.  I need to do this every day, hour, minute even, to remind myself, I am never alone.