For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city (Acts 18:10 KJV)
When Paul came to Corinth, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him not to be afraid but to preach the Word because “I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee.” You will find the concept of God being with us everywhere in the scripture, from the Old Testament to the New. What does it mean for God to be with us?
We must first appreciate the fact that it is used in a metaphorical sense. Jesus was with the disciples in the literal sense, which means He was accompanying them physically. When the Lord told Paul He was with him, He certainly did not refer to this physical accompaniment.
How was Jesus with Paul? We find the clues right in the verse above. He protected him from being hurt in Corinth. When Paul encountered persecution in Corinth, he did not see Jesus physically coming to rescue him. The events were so normal but well-orchestrated by the presence of the Lord. Things just worked out and he was delivered from every crisis.
The Lord’s presence with Paul was also evident by the miracles and the wisdom he displayed. In other words, the Lord being with us is a spiritual state in which God’s presence, power and heavenly resources are being manifested through the natural events in our lives. For example, Paul encountered Christ’s power when they met Paul. The Lord was with him. When they tried to kill him, they just realized he always escaped– somehow. The Lord was with him to deliver him.
If you can understand and believe this simple truth, it will change your life. The Lord is with us, just as He was with Paul and with Jesus. We do not need to see Him appear physically. If we believe and trust, we will simply realize things happen to us differently. Our spiritual eyes will perceive and realize it is God’s hand and we will acknowledge and give Him praise.
What does it mean for God to be with you? Challenge for you to study: what is the relationship between God in you and God with you?
APPLY THE WORD
Can you open your heart and believe that God is with you in that financial mess you are in now? If He is with you, it means He will work out a way out. Yes, you cried all night last night from that situation that causes emotional pain. I want you to reset your thinking: focus on the fact that God is with you. Think about what it means as I explained above and let it control you. As I have shared before, it matters whether we believe or not. Crying alone does not solve certain problems. Our emotions have their place, but just because the problem is so painful, and we are emotionally hurt does not mean God’s intervention will come. Some problems would cause emotional aches and we could cry. But remember, that faith should permeate that crying and the prayers that result! You have to understand how spiritual things operate and put them to work.
Thank the Lord for the wonderful blessing of His abiding presence with you.