Isaiah 7:14 – “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
I do not attend the First Church of Bless Me, Myself, and I. As I am part of Christ’s body, the choices I make in my daily life have a direct effect on those around me. I either carry God’s blessings to others or I hold back God’s blessings to others.
Western culture worships at the feet of a false god called Individualism. This idol worship causes many Christians to stumble over biblical accounts of God’s judgment against the entire nation of Israel when only a few of His people sinned against Him. However, this same God poured out his blessing, protection, and mercy over the camp because of the righteous acts of just a few. Jesus understood the importance of the ‘corporate us’ never sending His disciples out as lone rangers.
In 1982, I joined a large team of YWAMers to volunteer at a Teen Challenge Centre in rural Pennsylvania for a week. I worked in the centre’s office and helped in the kitchen. During meal times, we were allowed to fellowship with the young men who were on the road to recovery from drug addictions.
We were usually welcomed to join with our brothers in Christ for morning worship. One morning, the Teen Challenge staff respectfully asked us not to attend. They needed to take care of some in-house business with the residents.
As I started my morning duties that day, I asked for God’s blessings on the men as they met. To be honest, I didn’t give the meeting much thought after that quick little prayer. I needed to concentrate on the task at hand. I wasn’t aware of the passage of time as I was so focused.
Suddenly, I was caught up in the Spirit as over a hundred young men raised their voices in praise and worship in the chapel, which was on the opposite side of the building. The Holy Spirit’s presence was so tangible that I found it hard to move, no matter concentrate on my work. And so I sat, quietly worshipping at my workstation, as the men sang in one voice.
His name is called Immanuel
God with us, revealed in us
His name is called Immanuel
The air in my office was thick with the electricity of God’s presence. I knew that if I had been in that chapel, I’d have been prostrate, face down, plastered on the floor. As it was, I was a swept up into a very holy moment.
Immanuel. God with ‘us’. God met with them; God met with me. As they repented of their sins, God met with them; God met with me. As they poured out their devotion and thankfulness for His saving power, God’s presence filled the temple. I have no doubt that angels joined with them in worship as I heard many more voices coming from that room than what that room could have physically contained.
Immanuel – God with us. The corporate power of worship.
All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Until Next Week
©2017 Katherine Walden
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