Answered Prayer, Fresh Start, Hearing from God, Mid-life Crisis, Overcoming the impossible, Sign of Revival

Friend, Foe or Lord

God might be described as a Sovereign who will not allow His purpose to be crossed or thwarted. God has a Plan! Like a great and awesome river, He is going somewhere. Can we remain friends if our wills are momentarily wrangled like Jacob and the Angel of Jabbok? The man proceeded with a limp and that is no light matter. As some saint of old might comment from his heavenly bleacher, “I served with Jacob. I knew Jacob but you… You, my fellow saint are no Jacob!”

The patriarch also came away with a name change but no one seem to immediately notice not even Jacob, aka Israel! What was noted was seemingly, a loser’s limp.

Reading the passage from Genesis 32, the imagery is of a believer, uncomfortably bent over on his knees struggling in prayer due to his own evident shortcomings and self-inflicted problems. Back and forth he mentally weighs the issues of faith; His God appointed calling, his unworthiness compared to his predecessors, his lack of confidence; his fear. Jacob invited God to the tete-a-tete and as a Gentleman, when it was time to leave, God made it clear that He would be going only at His host’s release. God allowed Himself to be bound, in a sense, by decorum. This polite allowance is limited when He is likewise asked His name, just as He previously asked Jacob his name. With condescension, the angel replied with a royal snub. “Why do you ask?”

God is both Friend and Lord. As Jacob’s battle within transcended into the spiritual, God willingly joined the fray. Scripture reveals three areas that marked significant change as Israel, formerly Jacob continued his life’s sojourn. First, he prevailed spiritually speaking and the evidence is recorded and validated by a name change: Cheater to Prince of Power. Next, his *hurple, a war wound. God goes from being Friend to serious Enemy when His Sovereignty is questioned by unbelief. That wound was not gained by friendly fire! And yet, perhaps only eternity revealed to Jacob what he as Israel accomplished, seen on this side of the veil as that earthly limp. Finally, putting the man’s fears and doubts to rest, the Holy Ghost interchange went from mere dialogue, a tete-a-tete to a vis-a-vis. A face to Face encounter with the living God, at times a Foe but also, a Friend and forever the Lord.
*Contrary to popular English literary legend, the word, purple does have a rhyme.

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Dominion, Fresh Start, Hearing from God, Mid-life Crisis

Mid-Life Catalyst

I read the picture caption of former military officer, David Petraeus who was sidelined in his career by carelessness on his part and ruthlessness on the previous administration’s part; he was conversing with the top Israeli security advisor, his equal. In the photo, what stood out to me is the fact that the retired general was no longer in uniform. I thought to myself, “Here is a man who was overturned in the prime of his life and career but has gratefully taken up another baton offered.” His new job, his purpose is shaped by all his past experience, including headship betrayal. The helm has new leadership and Petraeus’ assignment is proof of his worth in their eyes. Going forward, confidence in his own ability or lack thereof will be the impetus of his future mettle.

If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? As asked in Jeremiah 12:5 or something similar, might be a worthy question, any person having gone through a midlife earthquake crisis should contemplate. Is it possible to get up and go on, succeeding in tougher circumstances than previously encountered when one was young and passionate about a cause?

History and recent history, reveals that even in the midst of a snowflake snowstorm, the answer to this query remains, Yes! There is no sound evidence that the majority of people who trip at midlife, never spring back to press forward but it seems so. People become leary, weary and cautious after a stumble. Only a fool does not. Having spent the majority of your wealth of time in a given pursuit, only to realize that a thief has come in the overlooked unlocked window, inspires a modified outlook. True, your house has been overrun but do you flee to watch from the back 40 as the overset goes from bad to beyond repair? Or maybe you take a stand and maintain your territorial dominion from an overwhelmed parapet? Mulligrub your way to the study to pen vindicated memoirs? To the detached garage, tinkering at a new business? Or into the kitchen to mix your last bit of flour and smidgen of oil as the widow planned, recorded in 1 Kings 17:12? Whether God inspires the person without their knowledge and consent, or the person retreats to a prayer closet to touch the hem of His robe, staunching the psychological hemophilic bleed-out, one can arise from seeming defeat to run with horses.

Overturned, overran or overwhelmed take yourself to your prayer closet; your catalyst to destiny.

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