Have you ever considered what the most important words are that the human heart can hear? I think the answer is discovered when we consider Hebrews 1:1-2. “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways…in these last days has spoken in His Son.”
Did the author of Hebrews have a particular set of words in mind? I found one thing that God repeatedly spoke to the fathers of Israel and also spoke in His Son: “I will be with you.” And, God said in Hebrews 13:5. “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’”
Over almost 2000 years, God repeatedly said, “I will be with you.” Jesus was called “Immanuel,” meaning “God with us.” Consider the hope Jesus gave to His disciples before going to the cross: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever (John 14:16).
Of all the things God could speak, why did He choose to repeat that specific message to His people? Here are my conclusions.
1. “I will be with you,” must be the best expression of the heart of God the Father. One might think God would say, “I love you.” In Isaiah 43:4-5, it says that since He loves them He will be with them. If you see evidence that God is with and in you, then you know He loves and forgives you. So I conclude that the best expression of the heart of our loving God as a father is that He wants to be with His children and promises His presence forever.
2. God knew it was the most important word He could speak to us. As I think about my own experience in knowing God, nothing speaks more to my fears and needs, especially in fulfilling my responsibilities and facing death, than to hear God’s promise to be with me and never leave me.
3. The repetition of this assurance over thousands of years testifies to the existence and presence of God and the divine inspiration and authority of the Scriptures. Only God could reveal Himself consistently through the ages by divine inspiration. It should make us believe Him and trust His Word!
4. The repetition of the message through God’s prophets and in His Son testifies that Jesus is indeed the Christ. One way to look at the life of Jesus Christ is to view Him as the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people.
Hopefully, we hear this message with our hearts and believe it. If we believe it, we should walk through life with a confidence that God will be with us to help us do what He requires of us. That’s exactly what was expected of the fathers of Israel to whom He spoke. So today, He expects you and me to obey His Word with confidence that God’s grace will guide, empower, and comfort us in the process.
I think many men abdicate their leadership of their family due to fear of failure and unbelief. Have you failed to obey God’s Word because you were afraid you would fail or were afraid of the consequences? It’s time to repent and obey because you know He is with you to help you.
If we believe these words best express the heart of God the Father, then these are the most important words we can speak to our children. Of course, it is the doing of the words that make the words meaningful and hopeful. How are you communicating to your children that you want to be with them? Are you doing anything that says, “I don’t want to be with you,” or that indicates that other people or things are more important to you than they are? Fathers, we prepare our children for a relationship with God as their father as we call our children to be with us. One of the ways we do this is by being His representative, reflecting His heart to our children. I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to teach, guide, and empower you to communicate this good news to them through your words and actions.
These words are just as important to our wives. Nothing builds security and convinces your wife of your love more than your faithfulness to carry out the promise, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” In contrast, if you don’t want to be with her, she knows you don’t love her.
May I suggest that when your family is gathered, tell them that you want them to know that you will be with them through thick and thin and that you will never leave them as long as God gives you life. Encourage them that by the grace of God you will be there for them in the toughest times, and are committed to them. Read the Scriptures where God says, “I will be with you and never leave you.” Follow up by expressing thanks to God, with grateful hearts for His promise.
When Jesus gave His farewell address to His disciples, He promised that He and the Father would send the Holy Spirit to them. Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit came, He would be with them and abide in them and they would abide in Him. Apart from this reality, they could do nothing. Dear friends, the same is true for us. Our only hope of fruitfulness for the glory of God is that Jesus is with and in us and we walk in and with Him. Believe! Enjoy!
Find other encouraging resources to equip you to live and apply the gospel in your family relationships at Norm’s website, www.spiritofelijah.com.