Nov 17, 2013
Everything you strive for is a process. Nothing happens very quickly, and never automatically. Rachel sings karaoke, and has taken a long time to where she is now.
With Laban, Jacob was out-Jacobed.
Big Idea - God's power to transform and strengthen are best displayed our weakest moments.
2 Corinthians 12:6-10 For if I want to boast, I will not be a fool, because I will be telling the truth. But I will spare you, so that no one can credit me with something beyond what he sees in me or hears from me, especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
1. God intervened when Jacob refused to give control.
Genesis 32:22-24 During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female slaves, and his 11 sons, and crossed the ford of Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, along with all his possessions. Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
2. Jacob did not seek God's blessing until he understood that he needed them.
Romans 3:10-18 as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become useless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers' venom is under their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and wretchedness are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
3. With an outpouring of Grace, Jacob was given new life and a new purpose.
Genesis 32:28-30 "Your name will no longer be Jacob," He said. "It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed." Then Jacob asked Him, "Please tell me Your name." But He answered, "Why do you ask My name? " And He blessed him there. Jacob then named the place Peniel, "For I have seen God face to face," he said, "and I have been delivered." Ephesians 4:17-24 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new self, the one created according to God's likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.
- Perspective: Our weakness and failures are opportunities for God's transformative power to make us more like Jesus.
- Heart: Do you seek God at all costs before life's circumstances force you to?
- Personal Praxis: Pray for exposure to weakness, and actively seek to give up control.
- Community Praxis: Pray for your leadership team.
Note: all scripture references are in HCSB