Immanuel – God with Us, We Must Encounter God

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:21-23)

God is always with us, but to experience His constant presence is another thing entirely. An encounter with God is a specific moment when He intervenes in our lives. Jesus came at the appointed time and intervened in the areas of mankind’s deepest needs.

If you want God to change your life, you must change your attitude towards His Word. You must not only study God’s Word, but allow it to change your life. The Word has the ability to give hope, silencing fear and doubt. It is not just God’s idea; it is also the solution. When you examine the scriptures, the Holy Spirit will examine you. If you want to encounter God, you need to encounter His Holy Spirit in the Word. He, in turn, will point you towards Jesus. Christianity is about reality because God is a reality.

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” (Haggai 2:6-9)

When you encounter God, four things will happen:
1. The revelation of God will change your life.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:12-14)

Abraham knew God. When God told him to sacrifice his only son, he knew the Lord would provide. His faith in the goodness of God was counted to him as righteousness. We can only have such faith when we have a revelation of who God really is.

2. You will receive supernatural faith amidst difficult circumstances.
Moses’ life finally changed at his lowest point, after he had spent 40 years in the wilderness taking care of his father-in-law’s goats.
Similarly, God appeared to Joshua as he faced the impossibly fortified wall of Jericho, as commander of Israel’s army.

3. You will receive a divine commission.
When Saul encountered the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was called to be the apostle for the gentiles, and he changed the world forever. Saul the Persecutor became Paul the Apostle.

4. You will have a personal breakthrough.
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” (Genesis 32:21- 28)

Jacob became Israel after his encounter with God. Jacob never let go of God until God blessed him. When you interact and engage with God, you must wrestle with His Word until you have a breakthrough.

Faith must replace doubt. Do not worship from afar; press into close encounters with God. When we do, breakthrough will change everything. Jacob became Israel, going from a cheater to the namesake of God’s chosen nation.