“And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.” (Genesis 32:30-31).
Running from his brother Esau, Jacob left alone, encountered the Lord and wrestled with Him. This was the day Jacob “saw God face to face”. Yet we know no man can see God and survive.
“And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” (Exodus 33:20).
So what could he mean?
It was the day he “saw” God’s plan for him and accepted it; the day he made his ways right before the Lord: the day he got born-again.
All his life he had been controlled by situations and circumstances, and what people thought about him. He lived in the paradise of other people’s imagination, consequently ended up supplanting his brother, deceived his father and cheated his uncle. He was on his way to inherit God’s possession (Canaan) pronounced on him by their father, Isaac. Indirectly, he was going to possess God’s gift by manipulation. Yes, God had him in mind for that land but not through lying and deception. He connived with his mother to lie to his father; certainly God cannot be in a lie, this was not His way! Again, no unclean thing can inherit the possession of God.
“And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called, The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the way-faring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Isaiah 35:8).
“Who shall ascend upon the hill of the LORD? and who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” -Psalms 24:3-5.
This was a land that God chose for Himself before the foundation of the world to be His headquarters on earth; a land that rejected and “vomiteth” the inhabitants whose ways were not right with God.
This was the land Jacob, in his carnal, “fleshly” nature was going to inherit?
God does not change; in nature and in principle. Jacob had to be stopped: hence the wrestle with the angel; in which Jacob was brought down “dead” while “Israel” came to life. Jacob did not inherit Canaan, because of his supplanting nature; Israel did!
After this experience with the angel, he became transformed, he became changed, he became a brand new man.
“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17.
For the first time in his life, he noticed the Sun rise upon him. He had been in the sun before however this was no ordinary sun, but the Sun of righteousness, giving approval of the new man who has come to know the Lord for himself: a man who now has power “of agreement” with God to enter Canaan and possess it. For the first time, he saw himself in a different light.
God had been walking with him like He walks with everybody today; to lead, to guide, to protect and to bless. But we have to mend our ways: to agree with Him.
“Can two walk together, except they are agreed?” – Amos 3:3.
The blessing of God does not come by how much we work; even for the Lord: how much we run around, where we go, who we meet or associate with, or by what methods we employ. No. The blessing of God comes by obedience and agreement with Him.
“If ye are willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:” – Isaiah 1:19.
“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: by this good shall come to thee.” – Job 22:21.
The word “acquaint” is old English for “agree”. In other words “agree with Him then good shall come.” Good comes only when we are in agreement with Him.
“By this” (Websters)
“By that” (Amplified).
Just this one thing: agreement!
Whatever comes outside agreement with Him, does not stay, yet multiplies sorrow.
Jacob was at the verge of losing everything to Esau (a man of the flesh; a man of the world), thanks to God for His mercy, his life was preserved.
If we have to experience not just success but growth: the increase that establishes success, we MUST AGREE with Him. Only by agreement with Him do we have the Sun of righteousness lead us.
“But to you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” Malachi 4:2.
“Breaking forth” and “growing up” are things we pursue everyday, but can only get when the Sun of righteousness rises over us, taking the lead and ordering our affairs.
The Sun rising upon Jacob means he agreed to walk with God in total surrender, led by God. Not like before when God walked with Him; no, it was different now: he walked with God!
His conduct and character changed. He began to see things from a new perspective, his mode of dressing changed, his language and speech changed; all reflecting his new found life in God. Even his manner of walk changed! He began to limp: unable to do certain things he did easily in his former way of living, or should we say he felt ashamed of those deeds and could not indulge in them anymore. However way we interpret it, Jacob became a new creature and old things passed away, paving the way for the new – Israel.
The power to live holy comes, when we surrender to the Lord and agree with Him to drive our life. Let us learn from Jacob so that the sweet fragrance of God “shut” in us would find expression.
Belshazzar threw a party and invited his nobles. They ate, drank and were merry. When they used their own vessels at the feast, God did not trouble them. They could eat their own flesh and drink their own blood; so long as it was theirs and not God’s own.
However, when he stretched his hands to the vessels of God, God reacted.
“Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink in them. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.” – Daniel 5:2-5
And because he did not humble himself and repent, that night, he was killed.
“In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.” – Daniel 5:30.
God would always protect His own, provide for His own and build for His own.
Why would God kill a man because of ordinary cups?
These were not ordinary cups! They belonged to God; they were His!
God had put so much treasure into the cups; they had been sanctified, dedicated to God and separated for His use only. The cups were no more ordinary; they had been transformed by the purity of the Divine God into extraordinary vessels.
God invests so much into His vessels, that is why He would always rise to defend what belongs to Him.
If God so invested into inanimate objects and could kill for them, of more worth are you that fear His Name and carry His presence!
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not from us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7.
You are of greater worth than those cups. If God could kill a man because of cups, think what He would do to anyone that tries to harm you!
“He suffered no man to do them wrong: yes, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” (Psalms 105:14-15).
The cups had no power or say against the king; they could not resist his servants who picked them with ease. Many may think you are helplessly powerless and that they can pick on you, oppress you and get away with it. They are mistaken!! Oh how wrong they are!!! God is the same, yesterday, today and forever! He will fight for you!!!
Peter was so confident about this he said:
“And who is he that will harm you, if ye are followers of that which is good?” – 1 Peter 3:13
Its a question “who is he?” In “pidgin” English we will say “who be dat? Them never born am!” Meaning such a person does not exist and can never be born!
God will fight for you!!!
But… the cups belonged to Him. Do you really belong to Him? No, no, I’m not talking about going to Church for this is beyond that. I mean really belonging to Him. Dipped in the blood of Jesus Christ and living His life?
Those cups had no life of their own; God and His glory were their life. Do you own your life? Live for yourself? Fight to preserve your ego and self-worth? Or do you live humbly, for the One Who gave Himself for your sake?
The vessels, having no ambition, thought or desire of their own were wholly yielded to God and consequently enveloped in His glory.
It is the measure of your surrender and yieldedness that determines the measure of His presence or power in your life; which in turn determines how much attention you get from Him.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” – James 4:8a.
Imagine putting a cheque of fifty thousand Naira you would cash the next day, in a 1970 newspaper and the sum of five hundred Naira in a current edition of your favourite magazine. Coming home you find your children playing with the magazine and the newspaper. Which would you rescue first? The current edition of your favourite magazine holding the sum of five hundred Naira or the old 1970 newspaper holding fifty thousand Naira cheque you would cash the following day? I believe your deposit in the papers will determine which one you rescue first.
God loved all the Children of Israel carried to Babylon in the days of Daniel, but He was closer to Daniel, showed him more favour, gave him greater grace than others and granted for him to be called “a man greatly beloved” (Daniel 10:11), because Daniel “understood by books” (Daniel 9:2), he chose to retain God more than anything and was not ashamed to show it!
God will not leave you in the hand of the enemy if you retain Him in you.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” (Romans 1:28).
Your worth to God and heaven CAN be increased.
(1) Receive His Word.
(2) Obey His word
(3) Build yourself on His Word.
A regenerated mind overflows with the Word of God.
It is a mind that sees nothing of value in this world and consequently counts all things as nothing compared to the joy of knowing Christ and being in His Kingdom. Such a mind is not moved by anything else but Christ and all about Him. He holds on to nothing and “loves not his life so much as to shrink from death”. (Revelation 12:11c)
A regenerated mind is wholly and completely offered as sacrifice to God; he does not live for himself but for the Lord, acknowledging that the life he lives is not his but Christ that lives in him.
A regenerated mind thrives on the Word of God and upon it does he meditate day and night. When he opens his mouth, nothing else but the Word of God overflows from it.
“My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then I spoke with my tongue.” (Psalms 39:3).
The regenerated mind does not speak anyhow. Neither does it speak or respond to everything it hears. He weighs what he hears (musing)…
“(Oh, I know, I have been rash to talk out plainly this way to God!) I will (in my thinking) stand upon my post of observation and station myself on the tower or fortres, and will watch to see what He will say within me, and what answer I will make (as His mouthpiece) to the perplexities of my complaint against Him.” – Habakkuk 2:1 AMP
I have been much of a talkative, the Prophet seemed to say, I spoke too soon and much too much; only for my words to come out foolish and out of place. I have learnt my lesson and will be more careful next time to “muse”, to meditate, consider, ponder, over what I hear, and depend on God for the answer I will give, as His spokesman.
“…. and will watch to see what He will say within me.” – Habakkuk 2:1b
He considers his speech and the possible consequences.
“…… and what answer I will make as His mouthpiece.” – Habbakuk 2:1c
The process of “musing“, pondering, is the process of waiting to hear His word of instruction; His word of direction, which comes like fire.
“Is not my word like a fire? saith the LORD?” – Jeremiah 23:29a.
While musing; waiting for instruction, “the fire burned“, signifying the entrance of His words, bringing light and direction.
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” – Psalms 119:130.
This word shines a light on our path through the darkness, and uncertain terrain of this world, showing us where to follow, what to do.
The Psalmist said “Then“:
“…… then I spoke with my tongue.” (Psalms 39:3).
Even in other tongues!
The “speaking” comes after the word of instruction or direction has been given.
Good success is a product of walking along the path of this revelation. (Joshua 1:8)
That was the path Elijah walked. His instruction to fill the trench with water (1 Kings 18:33) was not his. It was born out of divine direction. He did not pray his mind or will. As a vessel empty of self, all that poured from him on Mount Carmel were sourced from the Holy Spirit.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26).
Elijah did not depend on his ability; he depended on the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We know not WHAT to pray as we OUGHT (should). The WHAT and the HOW of prayer are not ours.
Many parade themselves as “prayer warriors”, “prayer giants” as though the ability and direction of prayer is theirs.
A regenerated mind humbles himself before God, and even in prayer he does not lean on his own understanding.
When we forget about ourselves in His presence, His fire will fall; making us speak.
The Water represents the Holy Spirit and His peace that surrounds our heart, like the mountains surround Jerusalem.
Let us learn to depend on Him; He is our guide, our comforter, our shield and buckler. He is our Rock of defence and our Rock of offence. He also will bring us to the fullness of God’s plan for us individually. Let us draw closer to Him for He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. And , let us obey Him, no matter how “wise” or “foolish” his instruction may be.
BULLOCK ON THE ALTAR
The bull is a massive and powerful animal. Its strength is awesome.
This was the animal that was killed, cut to various pieces and sacrificed before fire could come from heaven.
The human mind is an enormously powerful thing that can be “dissected” into small pieces: emotion, intellect, imagination, memory and will. All these combined makes the mind the seat of knowledge in man. Knowledge we know, is powerful. This power of knowledge was the means of man’s fall. The power of the mind was latent in man, until the serpent stirred it awake.
“For God doth know, that in the day ye eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened: and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3:5.
Were they blind? What eyes did the serpent refer to? Or did God give them eyes but forgot to open it?
The power of the mind was stirred up! That is the major instrument of the Cult and its mild form, psychology! Mind over matter!
Man’s walk with God did not require it in the direction of its use today. The mind has been corrupted, stirred awake in the direction God did not lead it. At creation, it had the potential, but not an instrument of dual knowledge: good and evil.
When God gave the command to man not to eat, (consume, use, digest, follow) the fruit (product, analysis, power, conclusion, result) of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which is in the midst of the garden of Eden, it included physically, the use of the mind which has the potential for the knowledge of good and evil, and is the door way between the spirit and the natural realms; especially as Man is also a garden!
“Dear lover and friend, you’re a secret garden, a private and pure fountain.” – Song of Solomon 4:12 MSG.
“A garden enclosed and barred is my sister, my [promised] bride-a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.” – Song of Solomon 4:12 AMP.
“A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.” – Song of Solomon 4:12 KJV.
A man’s world revolves around his mind. The mind, like the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is at the center of the garden called “Man”!
It is like an antenna, it can receive signals from many stations and frequencies. Before the fall of Adam, the mind of man was programmed to receive instructions from only one source: God. When Adam told God he was naked, God queried him, “who told thee that thou wast naked?” (Genesis 3:11).
Instructions of what to do and how, where to go and how, where to live and how, were to be from one source: God.
“I know, GOD, that mere mortals can’t run their own lives, That men and women don’t have what it takes to take charge of life.” – Jeremiah 10:23 MSG.
“O Lord [pleads Jeremiah in the name of the people], I know that [the determination of] the way of a man is not in himself; it is not in man [even in a strong man or in a man at his best] to direct his [own] steps.” – Jeremiah 10:23 AMP.
“O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” – Jeremiah 10:23 KJV.
Man was not created to direct his ways. Even in the naming of God’s creations God had an influence, He was there!
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” – Psalms 37:23.
God in His Sovereignty, should originate every step of man.
“For from him, and by him, and to him are ALL things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” – Romans 11:36. (WEBSTER) Emphasis added.
Man was not to depend on the power of his mind! That makes him independent of God. Adam became independent of God, the last Adam, our example Jesus Christ, did not do anything the Father was not doing!
When the sons of men under Nimrod, employed the power of the mind and built the tower of Babel, God scattered their plan. That is the fate or destiny of whatever is not born of God. (visit https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/danger/ for more on this).
Whatever God did not originate will fizzle out and not stand!
Elijah, demonstrating a total surrender to God, cut the bullock to pieces, proving again and again that man should not put any trust in the mind; the way of the flesh.
“For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” – Philippians 3:3.
No confidence in the flesh! The power of the mind can produce; yes it can, nevertheless it does not stand, it does not endure!
Unfortunately, teachings that empower the use of the mind has taken center stage; it has taken over at the altar and pulpit.
“What the human mind can conceive it can achieve with a positive mental attitude”!
PMA does not point us to God, but to self!
And it works irrespective of our religious beliefs. You do not have to be a child of God before it will work for you!
Be you a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, even an Atheist; it will work for you!
This was the same message Nimrod preached to the people; they believed in themselves, trusted in themselves and achieved “without” God (Genesis 11).
The power of the mind makes us independent of God!
Elijah laid the dismembered animal on the wood, which was on the altar. Our mind, home to emotion, intellect, imagination, memory and will should be brought under and in subjection to the Word of God.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5.
We are not to entertain, retain or encourage emotions, thoughts or imaginations that can make us independent of God. Cleanse each member of your mind with the Word of God!
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.
This mental exercise is to help enthrone the Word of God over the mind.
Stop struggling in your mind against the Will of God.
This should be constantly practiced.
“Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:9 NLT.
This is your “reasonable service”, sacrificing your mind to God by “practice”, constantly stripping it of the power to rebel against God.
Paul says “renew your mind” (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23)
In other words, your mind should be regenerated with the Word of God, and made to rule and have dominion over your flesh, your body!
This is how we “glory in infirmities”, because no matter what we go through, the renewed mind would always rejoice in the Lord.
Hear God’s conclussion on this.
“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” – Jeremiah 17:5