Dearly beloved in Christ,
I greet you in the sweet name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord created Man on earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He became a living being. He thought that the man so created should not be alone. So He caused deep sleep to come upon him. He took out one of his ribs and made out of it the woman. He closed that part of his chest with flesh. God walked with them. They enjoyed this blessing until they sinned. They lost His companionship when they disobeyed the commandment of the Lord and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. They were sent out of His presence. They were sent out of the Garden of Eden and the way to the Tree of Life was closed to them as He kept a flaming sword to guard it. Man who had the privilege of walking with God lost this relationship with Him, lost his authority and lived on this cursed earth with suffering and pain. As He walked with Adam and Eve, He wants to stay with people who live according to His word and will.
People who understood the power and majesty of God began to greet others and communities saying, “May the Lord be with you!”
As the Philistines gathered and camped against the Israelites for war, the Israelites encamped in the Valley of Elah against them. Goliath, a Philistine soldier with a well-built body from Gath, would come from the Philistine camp daily and would challenge the Israelites: “Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us” (1 Sam. 17:8,9). He also cursed the army of the Lord of the Hosts. The Israelites hearing the words were highly agitated. Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. Also take these ten cheese to the commander of their thousand. See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.” David who came to the battlefield met his brothers and enquired about their health. As he was talking with them, there came Goliath as it was his wont and said the same words he used to say. David heard these words. The Israelites were afraid to face him. But David was not afraid of him but was filled with zeal as he profaned the God of the Israelites. David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” He was prepared to go and fight against the Philistine. He was taken to king Saul. He told the king, “Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God. . . The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Sam. 17:36,37). He showed zeal for the living God of Israel. Then the king greeted and cheered him, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”
Similarly, David before his death called his son Solomon and commanded him to build the temple for the Lord God of Israel. David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the LORD my God. But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘... Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, the LORD be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the LORD your God, as he has spoken concerning you” (1 Chr. 22:7-11). Thus David blesses his son saying, ‘the Lord be with you.’
It is written in Ruth 2:4, “And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered, “The LORD bless you.” Thus it was a familiar form of greeting in those days to say, “The Lord be with you.”
In our family circles, all our close relatives like wife, children and parents are with us only for a short time. But the Lord Jesus Christ loves us, even when our parents forsake us, and all our relatives forsake us, and the brothers and sisters become our enemies for this worldly wealth taking us to the courts of law. The Lord is the same forever. He is with us in all situations in our lives when we face success or failure, in tears and sorrows or in exalted states of exhilaration. Jesus Christ will be with us forever and the Spirit of the Lord also will be with us.
WHY THE LORD IS WITH US?
1. TO ELIMINATE OUR FEARS
“When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 20:1)
A life without fear is essential. Job declares, “For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me” (Job 3:25). As a result, he lost his wealth, his children, his health and his good relationship with his wife and suffered. Instead of living without sufferings, life becomes one filled with torment.
Once a young man was brought to me for prayer. Because of fear, he had different thoughts that came up in his mind all of a sudden. He was highly educated. He had seen a road accident and lost his steadfast spirit. He smashed all costly objects at his house. It is written in 1 John 4:18 that fear involves torment. Fear would make us go to hell. When the Lord is with us, we would have peace and happiness.
2. TO STRENGTHEN US
“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Once I was invited to deliver the Lord’s message in a meeting. My son also accompanied me. As I began to give the message, in about 10 minutes my toothache became so severe that I could not continue the message. That day my son had to complete the rest of the message. But as I was filled with the presence of God, as written in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” I was strengthened so much that I could pray for all the persons individually.
Dear Brother/ Sister, are you disturbed that you are so weak and that you are not able to carry out all your work at your office or home? The Lord Jesus Christ wants to strengthen you. You should accept Him and obey His voice. He will be with you to strengthen you in a miraculous way and guide you.
3. TO SAVE AND DELIVER YOU
“And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 15:20).
The Lord Jesus Christ, who said that He would be with us all the days of lives, will make you strong enough to overcome Satan. He will deliver you. He strengthens you to overcome all the darts of the enemy, all the witchcrafts done against you by people out of jealousy. You may say that you have no enemies and that you strive to be at peace with everyone. But the Lord is with you to protect you from all the wicked acts of people of jealousy. In this wicked world there are so many people who set their eyes at innocent people and try to kill them. The Lord would remain with us to deliver us from such wicked acts. “The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial” (Ps. 37:33). He will protect you as the apple of the eye.
Dear child of God, you may be greatly agitated by the acts of people who out of jealousy allege false things against you in your work place and make your heart break. As the Lord is with you to deliver you and protect you, keep thanking Him. Dear child of God, you may be disturbed by the acts of your relatives who speak and do things to harm you. Your sorrows are ever before you. Do not shed tears. The Lord Jesus Christ will be with you to deliver you from their traps and He will wage war for you and will save you from reproach and unjust allegations. He will not change from being just. He will do as He has said.
4. TO MAKE YOU GREAT
“Solomon the son of David established himself in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him and made him exceedingly great” (2 Chronicles.1:1)
Jesus Christ who said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” strengthened His disciples who were terror-stricken. He comforted them to carry on the ministry He did with authority and power, through miracles and signs, and also His teachings. Then He assured them that He would be with them. Before He ascended into heaven, He asked His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. There were nearly 120 who met on the day of Pentecost with one mind. The Lord anointed them with fire. Thereby, there came a transformation in their lives. Peter stood firm and boldly declared, “But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses” (Acts 3:14,15). With the power that the Lord gave them, Peter and John made a lame man get up and walk. As they preached Jesus Christ, the priests and the members of the Sanhedrin put them into prison.
The next day they were delivered by an angel and they preached about the Lord boldly. When they were questioned as to how they did miracles and in what name, they spoke in the midst of the large gathering without any fear, even though they were uneducated. With the strength that the Holy Spirit gave, they spoke in the midst of opposition about Jesus Christ. They did many miracles. The evil spirits left many persons with a loud voice. They healed many lame and palsied people. Even a great magician came to Peter seeking his power. Then he boldly warned him against his intentions: “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” Acts 8:22.
The people believed and turned to the Lord. “They even carried the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed” (Acts 5:15,16). Those who were imprisoned were released by the angel of the Lord and came out of the prison and preached the living words of God. Seeing this, the head of the temple guard, the Chief Priest and others were terribly afraid of them. Thus the disciples became objects of honour because of the name of Christ. In days of Moses, he “was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people” (Ex. 11:3). So it was with the disciples also. Of David, God said, “And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth” (2 Sam. 7:9). Similarly, the Lord will remain with us and make us great.
5. TO CARRY OUT HIS MINISTRY
“Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:4)
When the Lord is with us, He turns us into a temple where His Spirit resides. Being backslidden, we lose His presence and we are fallen. In Amos 2:11, He says, “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old.” He will thus revive you and me once again as we are His temples. Elijah set right the altar and cried to the Lord in prayer. Then the Lord acted powerfully so that people declared that He is the God. “You are the temple of God.” For you to be transformed, the Lord has raised so many servants. The Lord remains with them and encourages them to do the ministry.
BENEFITS OF THE LORD BEING WITH US
1. YOU WILL LACK NOTHING
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing” (Deuteronomy 2:7.)
Man faces several shortcomings in life. They lack good health, peaceful and happy life; lack children in family life; lack a place of worship. Thus the needs are many. When there is a shortage of food, we try to make it up by seeking the help of hotels. The Lord gives us a life of no shortage. Those who fear him will not lack anything. But the Lord Jesus Christ will meet all our needs. There are people always living in the midst of wants. “. . . God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
2. YOU WILL HAVE CALMNESS AROUND YOU
“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39.)
There are so many people who have no amity in their family life, social life or personal life. They live in sorrow having met failure or disappointment. Confronted with an emptiness in life, they yearn for death. Parents shed tears in the midst of turmoil, being tossed by constant waves of disaster in the family, and in the midst of married lives of children. When Jesus Christ who possesses all authority and power gets into the boat of your life, He will quell all forces that act against you. There would be peace and calmness in your life.
John Newton was a merchant involved in slave trade. He would capture people of Africa and bring them to America to be sold as slaves. Once when he was thus bringing slaves from Africa, his ship was about to sink. At that time he prayed fervently for the mercy of the Lord. The Lord brought about a calmness and he experienced the goodness of the Lord. As the Lord was with him, he saved him from a terrible situation. He became a servant of the Lord and glorified His name.
3. YOU WILL HAVE SUCCESS
“And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking” (Luke 5:6.)
We read in Luke 5:3 that Jesus got into the boat of Peter and began to preach from there. After completing his message He asked Peter to push the boat into deep waters and cast the net. He had already laboured all through the night and had got nothing. But he just obeyed the words of Jesus Christ. He had success. Jesus Christ can transform your defeat to success.
Dear Brother/ sister, if you find yourself in failure and sorrows, allow Jesus Christ to get into your life and you would have success. Just obey His words. You would enjoy miracles in your life.
4. YOU WILL BE BLESSED
“... and I will be with you and will bless you...” (Genesis 26:3)
Isaac committed himself to live in the place the Lord had told him to. In that place, he sowed seeds and had an abundant yield of hundred fold as the Lord blessed him. Dear child of God, when the Lord who promised you that you would prosper is with you, you and your descendants will be blessed in all the days of your life in all matters.
WHAT WE SHOULD DO FOR THE LORD TO BE WITH US
1. INVITE JESUS CHRIST
“Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples” (John 2:2.)
As Jesus Christ had been invited to the wedding of Cana, when there was a shortage of wine He worked a miracle through transforming water into wine and met the shortage. In all situations let us get counsel from the Lord and act.
2. SEEK HIM TRULY
‘And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today”’ (Luke 19:5.)
Zacchaeus sought to know Jesus Christ. As he was short-statured, he could not see Christ in the midst of the crowd. He climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus. When he came there, he saw him and called him and expressed his willingness to stay with him.
3. LISTEN TO HIS VOICE AND OPEN THE DOOR
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20.)
The voice of the Lord is powerful. If we listen to his soft voice and open our hearts to him, he will stay with us and bless us.
May the Lord bless us all!
In the service of Christ Jesus,
Bro. C. Ebenezer Paul.