The enemy is very crafty in ruining God’s intentions for our lives. One of his favorite weapons is to get us fixated on past mistakes, failures, and foolish decisions. We start to believe that we can’t go back and fix things, that people will never forgive us, not even God. Yes, repentance is key to our relationship with Christ. But we need to grasp that God doesn’t want good for us, He wants to give us His Best. That requires our obedience and that we remain in right standing with Him and others. God’s way is the easiest way…but it’s not easy.
Deep down inside, we realize there’s something we were specifically created to do. We wake up, it’s on our mind and can’t stop thinking about it. It sparks a feeling of destiny and purpose in life; it’s something we’re willing to sacrifice everything to live out. When we serve God, grow in and follow Him, the details are worked out…nothing can stop us. We will have the faith to not just climb mountains but to move them!
In Genesis, we see how Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, was quite crafty and cunning himself. He lived up to his name which means supplanter or deceiver. After stealing his older brother Esau’s inheritance and birthright, Isaac sends him away to live with his uncle Laban for fear of revenge. On this journey, Jacob experiences the power of a dream, and realizes quickly that his journey was truly about to begin wrought with many lessons…
Progression “So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to stay with his uncle Laban” (v. 5). “Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran” (v. 10). Jacob needed to grow up. God will use every opportunity to help us learn to do right. If we don’t get it the first time, we will keep facing the challenge until we get it. Funny that he moved to the city of Haran…his family’s past. It’s almost suggesting that he need to return and resolve the family issues.
Provision “he saw a stairway…the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” (v. 12). This was a clear reminder that Jacob would have access to God. When He gives us a dream, He’ll give us all that we need regarding resources and living. How am I going to do it? How much will it cost? How long will it take? Jacob expressed the same concerns: “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear…” His reassurance came in the form of a dream.
Possession “I will give you the land on which you are lying” (v. 13). This served as another clear reminder to Jacob that God owns everything: the land is His, the people are His, flocks, rocks, grass, trees, insects, animals, riches, wealth…they’re all His. When He says “I’m giving it to you” it’s His to give; we can trust in that. While he owns the property deed He extends stewardship to us. We best take care of it.
Protection “…I will protect you wherever you go…” (v. 15). We forget that God is ready to fight on our behalf when we’re challenged. So many times when God’s people were greatly outnumbered, God defeated their enemies. He was declaring “You are my people…whoever challenges you challenges me.” From the words of a 16 year old David, “The battle belongs to the Lord.”
Productivity “All the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants.” (v. 14) Jacob was told he would not just prosper spiritually, not physically. And as God’s people are blessed, they would serve as a vessel to bless others. God is preparing us now to reach and teach people, to help them follow Christ. However, it may require alterations in our journeys. There are some plans we have charted out that interfere with His ultimate plan for us. But let’s remember, God doesn’t take something way without giving us something better in its place. He does not want us to settle for our human crafted plans, but to grab a hold of His best so we can give His best.
Promise “I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised” (v. 15). Jacob lived by a promise, a dream that God would fulfill not because of a vow made to Abraham in the wilderness, butbecause simply because He said so. This is the way it’s going to be: You have a chance to join in.
Think about these questions for a moment.
- What is my greatest passion? – the thing I love doing so much that I would gladly do it for free?
- What is so important to me that I would be willing sacrifice, take a risk for?
- If I could be anything I wanted, what would I be?