Unleashed: As You Go – Pray

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” John 10:14

Jesus is so much more than a point of entry for Heaven. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. Occasionally I have found in my spiritual journey that the focus has been only a future tense of salvation: eternal life, or ,in the past tense of sin, forgiveness. Both the future and the past are important parts of our spiritual journey but Immanuel is in the present tense. Yes, I need a Savior for the past and for the future, but I also need a Savior for today, which is Jesus. Immanuel is the source of life for today, allowing you and me to live life, not in fear or doubt, but with hope, joy and confidence.

“Jesus doesn’t send us out with a pack of principles and promises. He doesn’t just guide our travels with a set of rules. No, he does so much more. He comes with us! He knows that we’ll never make it unless he is with us in every moment of every situation, location and relationship.”(Tripp)

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Gen 3:8) Adam and Eve had the privilege of daily walks with God until sin ripped the seams of the relationship. Yet God continued to care and provided salvation. Ultimately Jesus would restore the broken relationship. I for one am so thankful that Jesus is not a distance deity but one who walks with us through our daily life.

Probably one of the more famous poems is by Mary Stevenson, “Footprints in the Sand”. It’s been printed on posters, coffee cups and plaques. A simple poem that reminds us that Immanuel is with us through every challenge, every moment, every day of our life.

“One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most tying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.”
“Footprints in the Sand” is a nice reminder but living life with Jesus means a lot more than a poem on a coffee cup. It is the very assurance of God with us. No longer do we walk alone, but we are able to live a life with of restored relationship, a transformed life and in the confident assurance of Jesus in our daily life. Jesus ended his earthly time with the greatest words we could hear in Matthew 28, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
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