The Immanuel Approach made easy, Part1
To understand the Immanuel Approach, we first need to understand that this approach is all about deepening our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not, primarily, about feeling better emotionally, overcoming some obstacle or even thinking or acting with more Christ-likeness. Rather, it is firstly about perceiving, through the Holy Spirit by our soul/spirit, the Lord and His involvement in our life, accurately. Perceiving that He is glad to be with us, that He understands us, that He is here to help us, and that He will never leave us.
You can try this exercise to strengthen your perception of “God with us” Immanuel.
First, start by remembering a time in the past when you sensed a strong connection with God, a time when you felt Him to be close. If you have a clear memory of a time when you felt a strong connection to God -while reading the Bible and praying, at a retreat, during worship, or any time when you knew He was there—you can reconnect to Him by going to that memory and remembering that time. Allow your perception to include memories from all of your mental senses, what you saw, what you heard, what you felt physically, what you smelt, even what you tasted, in addition to, remembering what was happening in your mental awareness (i.e., your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, etc.).
Next, become aware and notice your feelings of appreciation that you have in the experience. This is a key element to strength your relational connection with the Lord. Allow those feelings of appreciation become as strong and vivid in your mind. From this place, make a heart invitation to the Lord to help you to perceive Him similarly in the present with the same appreciation, in your current connection with Him. This will help you to continue to feel that the Lord is with you, right now, that He hears you, that He sees you, that He understands you, that He cares about you, and that He is glad to be with you, right where you are.
In Part 2, I will explain what may be happening if your perception of the Lord is not as close as you desire it to be.