Summary: Where does spiritual power come from? Does it come from saying the right words, and doing the right deeds? Or is there something else?
Encountering God #15: Consecration Power
People are searching for supernatural power!
Fallen man’s desire is to “be like God.”
You don’t have to look much further than your television screen to find such titles as Heroes, Spiderman and Fantastic Four – where ordinary people possess superpowers.
Or on the other side of the coin – shows like Medium, Moonlight, and others where people get occult power. Witchcraft, for example, is the practice of attempting to control your environment (read circumstances) through the use of spells, potions, curses, etc.
My Sister in Law who is here today, Debbie (wave!), manned an undercover Christian booth at an Occult/Psychic Fair. People flock to these places in search of power. Many noticed what they described as an “aura of power” coming from Debbie’s table. They didn’t know why. It gave them an opportunity to share the truth of Jesus Christ vs. the counterfeit of the Occult.
Why this fascination with supernatural power? I think it is ingrained in us. God created us to connect with Him, to encounter Him. He desires us to experience His power through a dependent relationship with Him.
Today, I am going to finish our story of Jacob and his encounters with God…and show how God empowered Jacob with supernatural power. It is a New Testament promise for you and I, and we can learn a valuable lesson from Jacob today.
Review of Jacob
Remember, Jacob as he comes to the end of himself on the way to meet his estranged and angry brother? He is broken and seeks God with his whole heart until God changes his heart. He is as much “born again” as anyone in the Old Testament could be.
The story continues to where Esau receives his brother and they embrace. Peace is made. And Jacob settles at a town called Shechem. However, trouble is not far from him, as one of his daughters, Dinah, is date-raped by one of the men in the village who had a crush on her. Two of Jacob’s sons (and Dinah’s brothers, Simeon and Levi) offered to let her marry the young man on the condition that all the men of the village be circumcised. This is a painful surgery to do to an adult male. While they are still healing, Simeon and Levi kill all of the men of the village, including the rapist. This is where our story will pick up today:
Gen. 34:30-31 “Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have brought trouble on me by making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and my men being few in number, they will gather together against me and attack me and I will be destroyed, I and my household." 31 But they said, "Should he treat our sister as a harlot?"
Jacob knows the tribal customs of the people of the area. Everyone is related to some degree, and he knows that once the word gets out that Jacob’s son’s killed the residents of Shechem, that others in the land would rise up and seek revenge. He is frustrated and frightened. We don’t know whether he sought out God as a result, but we do know that God told him what to do next.
Genesis 35:1-7 Then God said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau." 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments; 3 and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone." 4 So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which they had and the rings which were in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the oak which was near Shechem. 5 As they journeyed, there was a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. 6 So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. 7 He built an altar there, and called the place El-Bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled from his brother.
Jacob has yet another “encounter with God.”
Jacob is told by God to go back to the place where he had first had a dream-encounter with God.
This was the place that Jacob had promised to come back to build an altar, and to this point, had not returned.