“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.
When professionals finish their work they say it is finished. Jesus partnering with God said “it is finished”.
However that is not the end. It only marked the end of an era, the Old Testament and Old Covenant era; and marked the beginning of another. (Rev. 3:7-8)
Picture two rooms. Eternity has two rooms. Christians are in the first room governed by the prince of this world, with all of its trials, persecutions and evil.
When you ask “why me?”, it is because you are in this first room!
For as long as you are in this first room, you will have tribulation.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 KJV
Here in this first room, there is misery, pain, persecution, and trials.
Jesus said “but”.
“But” carries you by faith, into the second room where you are untouchable; where you cannot be sick, a place where you can not fail, a place you can not be defeated, caged or go hungry: a place of victory.
This second room is the place reserved for those who do know their God.
“….. but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” – Daniel 11:32b KJV
It is the room of exploits! (Isa. 35:8-9)
If so, why have we all not entered into it? SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS!
“Behold”, see, consider, stare at.
Rev. 3:9; Isa. 43:19
Isaiah, in his days, could not see the ultimate plan in God’s heart. He could only relay what God asked him to write but did not have the fullness of God’s mind like we do today. The “New Thing” did not spring forth in his days. In our days, the Kingdom of God has sprung forth. We ought to “see” (Eph. 1:8) it because “IT IS FINISHED!”
Paul prayed that our eyes be opened for us to see it, implying we do not see it!
Though “it is finished”, we still do not see it, why?
Firstly, our free will is standing against us! How?
In Deut. 30:19, God set a choice before us. He is not forcing us but rather gives us the choice to make. We choose! Jesus had a choice to make in Matthew 4, He rejected the world and its glories. Many of us His followers, on the other hand embrace what He rejected!
Our eyes are not seeing what Jesus saw; what God wants us to see, what Paul prayed that we might see.
In the parable of the sower of seed, the third category of seeds were choked and became unfruitful because of the thorns which by interpretation, means the cares of this world: materialism! This was the reason Lot’s wife looked back.
We are too attached to this world! Materialism has eaten deep into our hearts. We are satisfied with being in this first room, just because of the temporal treasures and pleasures! That is why we are not seeing the door into the second room!
Jesus said “Behold I set before you an open door.” – Revelations 3:9
The door into the second room is standing open before us yet it would take “BEHOLD” for us to see it! “Behold” means focus, attention, concentrate, stare till you see! We need to pull our faces from the distraction or attraction of the first room. The Cross of Jesus is the key that opened up that door but until we reject the “glories” of this world we may not see it.
So many things are behind the Cross, the second room, stored up only for as many as are able to “find” it.
May we strive harder, stare harder to see the OPEN DOOR, that peace and victory be ours. Amen.
“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” – Genesis 3:8 KJV
So much has been said on the “cool of the day”.
Was this day time or night time?
Many limit themselves by seeing themselves as not praying at the “right” or “appropriate” time when God supposedly answer prayers.
The “cool of the day” does not refer to a geographic or chronos time, but to the condition of the heart. This refers to when the heart is free from every interference or distraction. A time when the heart is noise-free; not busy with things of this world or life.
You, are God’s temple, not Jerusalem. Your heart is His throne. (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Here on earth, this is the holy place.
The power of the heart lies with the subconscious mind. What you are is from here. What limits you is for here. What kills you is not something from outside, but something you have or do not have in your heart. What you know, or do not know.
“And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.” – Mark 7:20 KJV
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” – Hosea 4:6 KJV
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32 KJV
Jesus warned: “be careful what you put in your heart for out of it are the issues of life.”
The throne of God in your heart is the power that magnifies what you put in your heart. Whether the King is on the throne or not, the throne itself carries power.
“I sleep, but my heart waketh.” – Song of Solomon 5:2a KJV
This power of God’s throne in you, is propelled by a law; the Law of the Spirit of Life.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” -Romans 8:2 KJV
There is a way to use or apply this Law, else death and decay would set in.
Some believe it is in vigils (all-night). I hold vigils, so don’t get me wrong. Some believe it is in very early morning prayers, “Womb of the day”. 3am – 5am prayers. Again I am not discrediting this.
However it is not in the time or period of prayer but in the Law of the Spirit of life!
Many observe “the womb of the day” and “womb of the year”. Yet, they do not see Him!
The question here is, how do we apply this law?
Let’s take a cue from Jesus. Why did He always withdraw?
Answer: to be alone; to be undisturbed.
What did He withdraw to do?
Answer: to recondition His mind and pray. Part of His teaching: to watch and pray.
Why was His withdrawals mainly at night?
Answer: He was flocked around at day time.
Where did He withdraw to, a mountain? Or Jerusalem?
After the death of Jesus, a replica of the Holy place was finally birthed here on earth. That place is where I should withdraw to.
Where? A mountain? Or Jerusalem?
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” – John 4:21 KJV
From Christ, the temple of God on earth shifted from the natural to the spiritual. That is why Jesus said:
“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” – John 2:19 KJV
No physical place can contain God. Not the temple, and not any mountain!
My heart is where I should withdraw to!
“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” – Psalms 4:4 KJV
When Solomon withdrew to this place, that was when he knew that all he pursued were vanity.
“I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.” – Ecclesiastes 1:16-17 KJV
As we withdraw to the Holy place to meet the King, we are expected to take gifts to Him and not go empty handed. We are to present His Word to Him
“Thus saith the Lord , the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” – Isaiah 45:11 KJV
Most often we remind Him of what we think or feel, or what others said. Consequently He does not answer us. Nevertheless, He allows the power of His throne to answer us. (His throne is alive! – Eze. 14:1-5)
His throne on earth is also our heart! It can deliver what we desire, but that spells stress because it would not last! We worry ourselves when things go wrong. Only the blessings of God does not have sorrow attached!
Anyone can activate the power of His throne, even non Christians
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” – Mark 11:23 KJV
How should we withdraw?
(1) Know the Holy place on earth is not a geographic or physical place, but your heart.
(2) Like Jesus, withdraw WHEN you are not flocked or overwhelmed with many things. Make time to be with Him, shutting off all other things. The best result is achieved just before bed, and when you just awoke from sleep, but still in bed.
(3) In the secret or holy place, ponder or meditate on the Word of God. This is how you present the gift; His Word, to Him.
(4) This Word conditions your mind or heart. From this overflow of your heart in adoration, your mouth should speak in prayer, powered by His Word (from His throne- your heart)
Everything about your life are affected from here.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 KJV
The condition of your heart, tells how much peace (quietness and security) you have.
Your ultimate victory does not lie in a time of day or year but in the quietness of your heart, the condition of your heart and what you used to condition it.