Sometimes you come across a verse in the Bible and that verse grabs hold of you and won’t let you go. When this happens, God is using His word to speak to you. He wants you to think on this verse or verses. He wants you to meditate on them. There is something that He wants you to do.
However, you can’t just sit there. You have to do something about whatever it is that God has placed in you. If you don’t, it will eat at you until you take action.
If you are unsure about what it is that God is calling you to, there are a few things that you can do to help get you free from distractions so that you can clearly hear what He wants to tell you:
- Get in the Bible. God loves to speak to His children through His word.
- Turn off the TV, Email and Facebook. If you clearly want to hear God, you have to remove distractions so that you will not be distracted from focusing on hearing from your Heavenly Father.
- Pray. God still gives answers through prayer.
- Fast. Take some time without food or certain types of food for a short period time. This shows God that you believe that He sustains you and not food. When you fast, you also are telling God that you are serious about growing closer to Him and hearing from Him.
When you get your answer, take action. Do something with what God has called you to do. God didn’t call somebody else to do what He created you to accomplish. He called you.
Here are the notes from yesterday’s sermon from Genesis 32:
The Scripture for this sermon comes from Genesis 32:22-32. The title of this sermon is: Death To Your Old Self.
According to Google, there are over one million selfies posted each day through various social networks like Facebook and Instagram.
What does that say about us?
- That we are selfish?
- That we are seeking attention?
- That we want approval or confirmation?
- That we are hurting and looking for affection?
22-24: I believe that God had Jacob send his family, livestock, servants and possessions across the ford for one reason. God needed to get Jacob alone. Jacob was by himself. All of his distractions were gone.
God relentlessly pursued Jacob. He orchestrated every event in Jacob’s life to this very moment where He was able to get Jacob alone.
There is this inner conflict that Jacob has that has never been fully dealt with. The last time, Jacob saw his brother, Esau wanted to kill him. His mom helped him devise a plan to deceive his brother and lie to his dad. Then when Jacob get wind that Esau wants to kill him, fear causes Jacob to leave instead of deal with the problem.
As Jacob is getting ready to leave, God gives him a promise. God tells him: Genesis 28: 13-15.
For over 20 years, Jacob has struggled with this fear and with God’s promise.
God does some of His best work in us when He gets us alone.
As the man wrestles with Jacob, Jacob wrestles for his life. This is not the first time Jacob has wrestled. The first time, we are introduced to Jacob, he is wrestling his brother in the womb of their mother. When Esau is born, Jacob’s hand is grabbing his heel. Jacob was fighting for position.
Did you know that you don’t have to teach a kid how to be selfish? You don’t have to teach a kid to say “mine.” You don’t have to teach a kid to want to be first. It is instinctive of their selfish nature. You don’t have to teach a kid to say “no, me, or first.”
It is because we live in a “me-first” world. Bryson and Luke want to be first at everything:
- first out the door
- first in the car
- first to the table
- first to play with a certain toy
- first to hug daddy or mommy when they get home
If you go through life thinking life is me-first and it is all about you, you will be miserable. Why?
You can’t control anything except you.
Jacob has never been at peace; not even before he was born. Jacob is a wreck on the inside.
He wrestled with the fact that his brother was always his dad’s favorite. Could you imagine being a little boy and knowing that your dad didn’t love you? He wrestled with the fact that he was not tall, and strong like his brother.
Jacob has always been surrounded by conflict. It follows him.
He has conflict with his uncle. His wives are in conflict with each other. His family is in conflict. He cannot get free from conflict.
Jacob has entered the ultimate wrestling match. He is wrestling with God. There comes a time in your journey as a Christian where you will wrestle with God. You will come across a Scripture that you don’t fully understand, the preacher says something in a sermon and it pricks you to the core of your soul. You will never forget wrestling with God.
The man wrestling Jacob knocks Jacob’s hip out of joint. Jacob is still going even with the injury because Jacob is afraid of losing. He wants to prevail. He wants to be first.
The limp is going to forever remind Jacob of this moment. Every painful step that he takes for the rest of his life is always going to remind him of the night that God did something miraculous in his life.
God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Why?
The name change is a huge deal for Jacob. God is telling Jacob, “You belong to me now. Your name is no longer Jacob. You are no longer the heel-grabber, you are no longer the liar, you are no longer the trickster, you are not a deceiver! You are now Israel!”
You can’t get into heaven without a limp. The limp is a reminder that we are not perfect and we are not God. The limp causes us to surrender our independence and be dependent on the Holy Spirit. The limp is a thorn in your pride. Stop acting like everything is fine and that you have it all together.
Surrender. Surrender it all to Jesus.
Surrender it all to Jesus, and on the days where it is hard to walk you have a Daddy that will carry you.
God also changes your name when you become a Christian. He calls you how he sees you.
There is no sin worth holding on to. There is no struggle that God cannot help you overcome. You can be free today.
Surrender it all to Jesus.