When I was teaching English to 7th-graders and later to 6th-graders, one of the most confusing aspects of grammar for them was prepositions. Actually, the pure and simple truth of the matter is that all English grammar is difficult. Just ask someone for whom English is not their first language. The rules are many and so are the exceptions. Remember, I after E, except after C, or when sounded like A as in neighbor and weigh. And that’s just for one small spelling rule. And we’re supposed to memorize them all. Ouch! In this Christmas season, there is a pair of prepositions that become particularly important in our lives–with and in.I have just finished reading about David and am now starting on Solomon. these are men that walked with God and, when obedient, were blessed mightily–even throughout future generations. God walked with Adam and Moses. He was with Ezekiel and Elisha and even Samson in his final hour of need. He walked with Abraham and led him to a new land, flowing with milk and honey. And he walked with Noah while he built a large boat on dry land where it had never rained. He was even with Joseph when he convinced him that Mary was miraculously pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The pure and simple truth is that, since the beginning of time, God’s presence was never more than with the people. With–as along side, in the company of, or escorted by.
I wasn’t until the virgin birth, that He came to be in someone. And even then, She was asked first, and then agree to what God had asked of her. Once Jesus was born, he remained with His family, his friends, and finally His disciples. Yet He not only walked with, but God was in Him. But God wasn’t in His followers. He was only with them. The pure and simple truth is that it took His death resurrection for Him to be in us. Because of that, Jesus can be born in you and live His life through you.
Jesus promised, If anyone…opens the door, I will come in. God isn’t looking for great talent or perfection. Once He’s in your life, He will keep growing until He comes out in your words, your attitudes, your lifestyle, and the choices you make each day. Mary must have felt overwhelmed and inadequate when she heard what God had in mind for her. Nevertheless, she said, Let it be to me according to Your Word. She made the decision to trust God.
The pure and simple truth is that is all you need to do, too. Then He will be in you instead of just with you. And that makes all the difference. May you have a merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.