Jesus came at Christmas to offer us partnership.
He came to call us in to his rich, blessed community.
He partnered with us by becoming a baby.
He offers us the opportunity to partner with him by becoming his child.
Amazing! Do you believe?
I was reading Genesis 31-33 today and noticed something in Jacob that sounded
familiar to me!!
Take time to read through this story if you haven't done so in a while.
Jacob would often respond to God obediently, but his methods of response were frequently dictated by fear.
...before you read on I'd like to define the fear that I am referring to first.
I am not talking of the reverential fear/respect for God that we all need.
I am talking of a fear/worry/terror of what others think
or of what we imagine circumstances to bring us.
As I was reading along, it struck me... guilt produces fear! Does that seem right out of the blue? Think about it. Years earlier Jacob had run from his brother Esau because, well, Esau wanted to kill him. It was probably a good thing that he ran; but he ran with the guilt of why his brother wanted his life. Jacob had deceived him & essentially robbed everything from him. Jacob's actions didn't produce remorse, they produced fear and fear flees.
Now, in chapter 31, Jacob is faced with another relational issue, this time with Laban. The difference here is that this circumstance was probably not Jacob's fault. God tells Jacob to leave and go back to his homeland. Jacob obeys... but he obeys with fear operating. Instead of leaving with confidence in the care of God, he fears the worst reaction that Laban might possibly throw and tries to sneak away. It's funny to me how he thought he could do this without being noticed (all the flocks & herds & wives & kids :). Anyway, Laban asks Jacob why he did this and Jacob's response was this, "Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Perhaps you would take your daughters from me by force.' " (Genesis 31:31)
Fear can sound quite noble. Fear tries to mimic wisdom.
BUT, there is a difference! Wisdom and fear cannot operate in peace together. Both are masters, and both will compete for control. Wisdom is sound and confident, daring and peaceful all at the same time. Fear is irrational and anxious and extremely short sited.
Here's the lesson I learned today from Jacob:
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.." Ephesians 1:17
"But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. Deuteronomy 34:10
I've just been in front of the TV watching two people having great conversation. As I engage in their discussion, I become part of it as if I were there... but I am home, alone. What a great advantage we have as we can connect & interact with people that we've never met before! The backyard fences of our society have tumbled down in so many ways over the past few years with the development of so many social networking mediums. But, is it enough?
God gave us something very similar, but even more powerful when He left His Spirit here to dwell inside of us. We are told that His Spirit is like a deposit guaranteeing what we will actually know & have in Heaven one day! (check out 2 Corinthians 5:4-6) I can't wait! In fact I think about this a lot. I really crave what Moses had... meeting God 'face to face'.
I've heard His voice in an instinctive sort of way, I've felt His presence in a spiritual & penetrating way, and I've seen evidence of Him all around me; but I have never tangibly seen Him with my eyes, touched Him with my hands or heard His audible voice. I long for that moment. The more I get to know of Him now, the more my heart yearns to know Him fully. This is a good thing, for my heart stays on the right path as I continue to seek Him and know Him.
So, be encouraged today. Continue to seek, to reach, and to reason with Him. He is your God & He loves you. I believe He is longing for that 'face to face' moment as well.
For right now "we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5