Five Words that Can Change Your Life
I’ve been meditating over Lent on how
to make the Presence of Jesus more of a reality in
my everyday life. I firmly believe that if we knew that God
was in us and with us, we would not be so afraid, or bored, so lonely, or lost.
We would not be seeking pleasure in sinful ways, or stuffing ourselves full of
food or spending our money on more and more stuff, or looking for love in all
the wrong places. Our lives would be
rich and meaningful and full of purpose and direction. Jesus told us, “I have come that they might
have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).”
But truth be
told, most of us, even as believers, don’t live in that reality. After Christ’s
resurrection but before he left this world to ascend into heaven, he said five
words to his followers that changed their lives. He
said, “I am with you always.” (Matthew
at these five simple words more closely and see how they can change us too.
He said, “I
am with you always.” Who exactly is
making this claim? Jesus says this
after his resurrection and when the disciples only now are starting to get the big
picture. He is not just their friend,
their companion, their teacher. Nor is he a religious leader or future king of
Israel. Jesus proved that he is the Son of God. He was raised from the dead. He is the great I AM. He is the one who is
omniscient, and omnipresent. He is sovereign, He is love, and He is good. It is
HE who promises that He is with us always. The disciples realized, if God
is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).
How about you, dear ones? If you knew He, the great I AM, is always
Present with you, what would you fear? How would you change? What would be
different in the way you lived today?
Not only is Jesus declaring that the
great I AM is with us, but that He IS with us, right here, right now. He doesn’t say He will be with his
disciples sometime in the future, or later on in Heaven but he said "I am"
(present tense) with you always. If you believed that Jesus is with you
right now, what difference would that make in the choices you make today? How
would you feel differently?
Jesus told his
followers that “I am with YOU always.” Every individual is important to God and He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He is at our right hand
(Psalms 16:8). His Presence is promised. Paul speaks of that great mystery,
Christ in us (Colossians 1,2). The
reality of that promise is not our biggest problem in our spiritual journey.
Our problem is that we are not aware
of His Presence. Remember
in the Old Testament, after Jacob’s dream where he heard the Lord promising
that He was with him and would protect him, he awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I
wasn’t even aware of it.” (Genesis 28:16).
you? If we only could only see (be aware) that the great “I AM is with US”
it would make all the difference in how we feel, what we choose, and how we go
about our day. Our step would be lighter, our eyes brighter, because we
would not only be looking at our day from our own vantage point, but we’d also
have the eyes of God who gives us a wide angle lens on things. He infuses
meaning and purpose into traffic jams and spilt milk, job losses and
Jesus said, "I am with you ALWAYS." Not sometimes, not only
when you’re listening to Him, not only when you’re good and faithful, but
ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. He says He
is with us when we’re sleeping and when we’re awake. When we’re in church and when we’re watching
something we shouldn’t. He is with us when
we are loving on our children, and when we’re screaming at our spouse. He is
with us in our success and in our failure.
prayer is that we would learn to be more aware that HE is PRESENT ALWAYS. Knowing
God’s Presence changes the way we respond to difficult and stressful life situations.
We would not get so angry or aggravated.
We would not feel so alone or rejected.
We would experience peace, not chronic anxiety and worry. We would feel joy
instead of emptiness. We would be filled with hope instead of despair.
the author of a wonderful devotional book, Jesus
Calling wrote, “A renewed mind is
Presence-focused.” I like that. Start today. Remember, you are not alone or helpless. God
is with you always. Let your mind dwell
on and heart be filled with this truth.
If you do, I promise, it will change you.
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