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Jacob-The One Who Wrestled with God

Gen 32:24. There wrestled a man with him [107] Although this vision was particularly useful to Jacob himself, to teach him beforehand that many conflicts awaited him, and that he might certainly conclude that he should be the conqueror in them all; there is yet not the least doubt that the Lord exhibited, in his person, a specimen of the temptations — common to all his people — which await them, and must be constantly submitted to, in this transitory life. Wherefore it is right to keep in view this designs of the vision, which is to represent all the servants of God in this world as wrestlers; because the Lord exercises them with various kinds of conflicts. Moreover, it is not said that Satan, or any mortal man, wrestled with Jacob, but God himself: to teach us that our faith is tried by him; and whenever we are tempted, our business is truly with him, not only because we fight under his auspices, but because he, as an antagonist, descends into the arena to try our strength. This, though at first sight it seems absurd, experience and reason teaches us to be true. For as all prosperity flows from his goodness, so adversity is either the rod with which he corrects our sins, or the test of our faith and patience. And since there is no kind of temptations by which God does not try his faithful people, the similitude is very suitable, which represents him as coming, hand to hand, to combat with them. Therefore, what was once exhibited under a visible form to our father Jacob, is daily fulfilled in the individual members of the Church; namely, that, in their temptations, it is necessary for them to wrestle with God. He is said, indeed, to tempt us in a different manner from Satan; but because he alone is the Author of our crosses and afflictions, and he alone creates light and darkness, (as is declared in Isaiah,) he is said to tempt us when he makes a trial of our faith. But the question now occurs, Who is able to stand against an Antagonist, at whose breath alone all flesh perishes and vanishes away, at whose look the mountains melt, at whose word or beck the whole world is shaken to pieces, and therefore to attempt the least contest with him would be insane temerity? But it is easy to untie the knot. For we do not fight against him, except by his own power, and with his own weapons; for he, having challenged us to this contest, at the same time furnishes us with means of resistance, so that he both fights against us and for us. In short, such is his apportioning of it is conflict, that, while he assails us with one hand, he defends us with the other; yea, inasmuch as he supplies us with more strength to resist than he employs in opposing us, we may truly and properly say, that he fights against us with his left hand, and for us with his right hand. For while he lightly opposes us, he supplies invincible strength whereby we overcome. It is true he remains at perfect unity with himself: but the double method in which he deals with us cannot be otherwise expressed, than that in striking us with a human rod, he does not put forth his full strength in the temptation; but that in granting the victory to our faith, he becomes in us stronger than the power by which he opposes us. And although these forms of expression are harsh, yet their harshness will be easily mitigated in practice. For if temptations are contests, (and we know that they are not accidental, but are divinely appointed for us,) it follows hence, that God acts in the character of an antagonist, and on this the rest depends; namely, that in the temptation itself he appears to be weak against us, that he may conquer in us. Some restrict this to one kind of temptation only, where God openly and avowedly manifests himself as our adversary, as if armed for our destruction. And truly, I confess, that this differs from common conflicts, and requires, beyond all others, a rare, and even heroic strength. Yet I include willingly every kind of conflict in which God exercises the faithful: since in all they have God for an antagonist, although he may not openly proclaim himself hostile unto them. That Moses here calls him a man whom a little after he declares to have been God, is a sufficiently usual form of speech. For since God appeared under the form of a man, the name is thence assumed; just as, because of the visible symbol, the Spirit is called a dove; and, in turn, the name of the Spirit is transferred to the dove. That this disclosure was not sooner made to the holy man, I understand to be for this reason, because God had resolved to call him, as a soldier, robust and skillful in war, to more severe contests. For as raw recruits are spared, and young oxen are not immediately yoked to the plough; so the Lord more gently exercises his own people, until, having gathered strength, they become more inured to toil. Jacob, therefore, having been accustomed to bear sufferings, is now led forth to real war. Perhaps also, the Lord had reference to the conflict which was then approaching. But I think Jacob was admonished, at his very entrance on the promised land, that he was not there to expect a tranquil life for himself. For his return to his own country might seem to be a kind of release; and thus Jacob, like a soldier who had kept his term of service, would have given himself up to repose. Wherefore it was highly necessary for him to be taught what his future conditions should be. We, also, are to learn from him, that we must fight during the whole course of our life; lest any one, promising himself rest, should wilfully deceive himself. And this admonition is very needful for us; for we see how prone we are to sloth. Whence it arises, that we shall not only be thinking of a truce in perpetual war; but also of peace in the heat of the conflict, unless the Lord rouse us.

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Coming out of the Darkness

I haven’t posted anything for a while. I have been in the midst of a fight for my life. And now that I am coming out of the darkness of the cloud I have a new lease on life. As I found myself fearing that God may have some impending punishment waiting on me I had a moment alone with our Lord. And I felt the need to grant you all a very intimate look int my life so that you may be blessed.

While sitting in worship this morning, I was touched by what must be reverently described as the presence of God. And in that touch He spoke to me. And the words he said to me moved me to tears as I was overwhelmed with the reality of who He is in my life. As I remember all that He has done for me. He said to me, “Do you think that I have come all this way with you, to leave you now? I am always with you, I will never leave you. Even in the darkest hour I am with you. Don’t fear what you are going through, but trust me.”

So here I am, with a renewed knowledge that He is faithful. Even when I am unfaithful, He remains yet faithful. Yes, sometimes I feel alone, but He is there. Yes, Sometimes I feel like no one understands, but He does. He experienced my pain and more in His time on earth. He is not so far removed from my infirmities that he doesn’t know what I am going through internally.

Rather, He knows full well what it is to be rejected, despised, hated, and cast aside. And He experienced that while giving Himself in love to the world. I have not yet given myself to that level of sacrifice. As a matter of fact, I haven’t even come close.  So here I am again, learning the faithfulness of God. Learning that He is ever present and always helping. He is always teaching and correcting. He is always loving us into His arms and His ways.

I hope that this short read will add something to you, in some way. God Bless you.

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Preperation For Promotion

Preparation for Promotion

There are always uncertainties ahead, but there is always one certainty–God’s will is good. Vernon Paterson

Psalms 76:5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.

6For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.

7But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

 

2012 is a year of growth/promotion for the Body of Christ. 

This year God has chosen to open a window of opportunity for the body of Christ.  He has decreed a time for obtaining the promises. He is about to unleash a wave of glory, power, and revival fire like never before in this city. But just as every time before, he will manifest himself differently than before. There will be a snowball effect simultaneously with a birthing. This year as the Cervix is dilating in our spiritual lives, the birthing will gradually increase. We are already part way through the year and the ball is already rolling. It is time to dust off your old dreams and visions, and renew your goals. It is time to grab hold to the promises of God with Bulldog Tenacity and refuse to be denied. This is not a prosperity doctrine; this is a prophetic word to those who have ears to hear. This is a decree to those who will choose to have faith. You will not need to have a seed in your hand to see this come to pass, but you will need a seed. You will need the seed of your faith in God.  Not in this word, not in the Man who speaks. You will need to sow your faith in God through the life you live on a daily basis. If you will trust God actively (Not just with your mouth) you will see God move in the restoration of the past dreams and the birthing of new visions.

Preparation by Fire

Key Point: In Order for me to reach my goal I must be tried

Job was trusted by God

To Go through the fire

God not only allowed Job to be tried, He actually appointed the trial and sent Satan himself to do it.

Job 1:8 (God stirred Satan against Job)

God would not have Assigned Satan to try Job had he thought that Job would fail.

God is using our trials and tribulations to prepare us to receive the provision needed to fulfill our purpose. (Job 42:10)

But it is not so that we can sit back and enjoy our pie. This is a special blessing that is for those who are diligent about their father’s work.

God is looking for Men and Women he can trust with his anointing. (The anointing is for results)

Key Point: In Order for me to see my vision come to pass, I must have faith

God saved the 3 Hebrew boys

 IN the fire (Miracle of Dunkirk)

Daniel 3

In early 1940(May 26 1940) the British and their allies sent a force of some 350,000 men into the low countries of Europe to stem the tide of German advance into France, Belgium and Holland. Caught in a brilliant pincer movement by the invading German forces the beleaguered British Expeditionary Force was pushed back to the beaches of the small Belgian town of Dunkirk. To everyone’s surprise the Germans halted their advance to regroup. As England and the world waited for what appeared to be the sure and certain annihilation of 350,000 men a three word message was transmitted from the besieged army at Dunkirk. It read simply, “And if not.” The British people understood the biblical import of the cryptic message. It was a reference to the Old Testament book of Daniel, where Daniel and his friends chose death rather than worship an image of the pagan king, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18). The British Expeditionary Army, surrounded, cutoff and on the brink of destruction was declaring to Britain and to the world that even in apparent defeat they were, in fact, victorious. The message, more eloquent than a sermon delivered in St. Paul’s Cathedral, galvanized the British people. In a matter of hours thousands of boats of every description headed across the dangerous waters of the English Channel and, at the risk of their own lives from enemy fire, began the evacuation of the heroic but beleaguered army in what historians now refer to as “the miracle of Dunkirk.”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

21Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

 

24Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Key Point: In order for me to possess my Dream I must remember what God has done

God Prepared David for the throne (through the testing)

And brought David Out of The fire

As I study the life of David, I find he spent a great deal of his time waiting. David had to wait something like 15 years from the time he was first anointed by Samuel to the time he became king over Judah (as recorded in our text). It was another seven years before David was anointed king over all Israel. This means David waited over 20 years of his life to be made king.

The road to promotion was paved with training and preparation.

(1 Sam. 17: 34-37) David used his past experiences to encourage himself in faith. He knew what God had done, thus, he knew what God would do.

(1 Sam. 26:23) David refused to do what was not right in the sight of the LORD. He sanctified his Life for the Lord. He did not kill his enemy even when he had the opportunity. He left that to God.  He didn’t Just say it.

 

Practical Application

 

  1. 1.       We must remain humble before God  (James 4:10)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

  1. A.      Don’t allow yourself to become prideful
  2. B.      Refuse to condemn or judge other people because they have not reached where you are spiritually

 

  1. 2.       We must seek his Kingdom in order to obtain our expected end.  (Matt 6:33)

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

  1. A.      the kingdom of god is not meat and drink but righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the holy ghost (rom. 14:17)
  2. B.      all your needs will be supplied by the father as you prioritize his kingdom in your life
  3. 3.       We must wait on the Lord through service (psalm 27:14, 37:3,4,5,34)

27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

 

Wait ON the lord- serve Him as a waiter, attend to His needs and so shall you have strength.

Psalms 37

34Wait for the Lord

and keep his way.

He will exalt you to inherit the land;

when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

Wait FOR the Lord patiently, enduring hardness as a good soldier (2 tim, 2:3) and walk in His ways.

 

3Trust in the Lord and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

God is not slack concerning his promise (2pet. 3:9), Put all your chips on Him. Depend on His faithfulness.

4Delight yourself in the Lord

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Find your Satisfaction in God, and he will change your desires and then grant them to you.

5Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him and he will do this:

If you Commit yourself to Him in all your ways. Obligate yourself to Him first. Pledge Your allegiance to Him. Lose yourself in Him and His Love. Require yourself to be faithful to God. Compel yourself, Constrain Yourself, devote yourself to the Father, and He will do This.

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,

the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

 

You have trusted Him in a few things, and He has not failed you. Trust Him now for everything, and see if He does not do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you could ever have asked or thought, not according to your power or capacity, but according to His own mighty power, that will work in you all the good pleasure of His most blessed will. You find no difficulty in trusting the Lord with the management of the universe and all the outward creation, and can your case be any more complex or difficult than these, that you need to be anxious or troubled about His management of it? Hannah Whitall Smith

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