Dwelling with Immanuel — by Van S. Mabrito

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 (NKJV)  

Discouragement stalked me daily. Though I vigorously pur- sued my calling from God for over 30 years as a single man, loneli- ness and rejection loomed over my life like dark, threatening clouds.

“Lord, I can’t go on like this. I need your help.”

The Holy Spirit then reminded me of Papa God’s past dealings. In a powerful dream the year before, He showed me He would take me through a life transition. Later, God sovereignly confirmed that dream with a word from Him via a woman who barely knew me. In essence, Papa God called me to get off my treadmill of self-efforts, and cultivate times “soaking” in His pres- ence and love – where the changes I longed for would transpire.

I obeyed by faith and learned to daily dwell in God’s touch- able, tangible presence. Intimacy with Immanuel fed my hungry soul. His love, peace, joy, freedom and confident hope replaced old misery and sorrow.

When angels announced the birth of Immanuel that night, they declared not a distant God in outer space nor an impossible rule book. Messiah Jesus came to restore what man lost in the Garden – the privilege to walk with God upon the earth. And in His presence everything changes.

Immanuel, lead me into the secret place of Your presence, this Christmas and every day.

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