20 But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary [as] your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of (from, out of) the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God]. 22 All this took place that it might be fulfilled which the Lord had spoken through the prophet, 23 Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel–which, when translated, means, God with us. (Matt. 1:20-23 Amplified)
Several years ago, the LORD laid on my heart that He wanted me to record a Christmas CD. How ridiculous that seemed! Who was I to record a Christmas CD? Weren’t such recordings only made by successful professional artists in order to capitlize on their followings who would now make additional purchases? That certainly was not me! Yes, in 2006 I had begun recording new worship songs the Lord had had me compose in obedience to very specific promptings by the Holy Spirit, but the idea of recording a Christmas CD seemed ludicrous – even pompous!
But as usual, the Lord’s idea was not about me. It was about creating a collection of mostly new songs with which people could be ushered into worship of Him during the season we celebrate His incarnation. God showed me how at Christmas there are many wonderful songs which tell His story, evangelizing beautifully. But God wants to be worshipped! And there were few to none traditional Christmas songs with lyrics which worshipped Him for who He is and what He did, while contemplating His birth.
Therefore in December 2009, when He opened the door widely to begin work on the CD which would become, CHRISTMAS WORSHIP (released November 2010), I walked through. By His design, the CD would contain 7 new Christmas worship songs, but it also includes 4 newly arranged rendition of well-known Christmas carols in order to give the CD a “Christmas” feel (until the new worship songs themselves become a sound of Christmas to our hearts).
One of these is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. Over the year of going through the various stages of working to complete the CHRISTMAS WORSHIP CD, the Holy Spirit kept emblazoning one message more than any other on my mind. His name is Emmanuel, which means “God With Us.” And He wants us to know that He remains Emmanuel – God With Us – even today (and at all times).
He wants us to remember. He wants us to be encouraged. He wants this message to go deep. He is not a God who is far off, but one who is near. Jesus came, lived, died and rose again, but He did not thereby remove Himself from our midst. He sent His Spirit and He remains God With Us. But just as when He was born and almost no one was aware of His birth (and Presence), today He is here and still few are truly aware He is here.
He wants them to know. He wants all to know. He wants as many as possible to enjoy the gifts He has for us, such as freedom from condemnation, eternal death and the world’s lies, true inner peace which surpassses human understanding and irrepressible, undefeatable joy.
He wants us to dare to plumb the depths of the singular most valuable treasure we have (which is He), to seek after the Wisdom of His way with all our heart so that we no longer are beaten down by what the secular world wrongly deems “wise”. He wants us to live in the freedom He always intended for us, while we fulfill our life’s purpose by re-presenting Him to all around us as His ambassadors. He wants the world to know the kingdom of God is already here, if they will but look for it and follow where He leads. He wants to use us to show them – not by self-righteousness, but by the righteousness we receive from Him through Jesus and the poweer of the Holy Spirit daily at work in our lives.
We cannot reveal Him and who He is to the world by our good intentions. It will only be by His Spirit, as His supernatural invades our natural in response to the simple act of our obedience. All we have to do is believe He hears and believe He speaks according to His promises. All He wants is for us to seek to listen spiritually (and He will answer), ask Him to help us discern what we hear and have the courage to follow. Sometimes (often) it won’t seem to make sense, but it won’t contradict His Word and He is setting up circumstances through which His Presence will be recognized.
He is and always will be Emmanuel: God With Us. He wants to be found by all. He uses us.
Selah. (Pause and calmly think of that.)
PLEASE remember to view the new song, “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share SHARE the link! Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.