Summary: Knowing that God goes with us changes everything- especially our lives of worship and giving.
Doing what comes naturally
I was intrigued by this article about the ministry and leadership that I saw this week. The author began by describing why he was credible. He explained how he started his own communications business in the 70’s. It was instantly successful. He landed an account with soon to be President Reagan. He started a spin off business. The company was listed in a national magazine. Sales were skyrocketing. Then during the 80’s things went south. His top three executives left to start their own companies. Sales plummeted. He had to close one of his businesses. He was in serious debt. He checked over the balance sheet. He considers this his investment in leadership training- a $2,000,000 investment!
One of the first lessons he learned was about pride. He said that he was thinking he was pretty important and self-sufficient. But during this time a friend pointed him to the Bible. He learned that God granted success. When his business was failing he realized he couldn’t do it alone. He needed God to go with him. At that critical point in his life He needed God on his side. Don’t we all. Today we’ll explore God’s faithfulness and see what a huge difference it makes in our life. Today God tells us "I am with you so do what comes naturally."
Meet Jacob. He was Abraham’s grandson. Isaac was his father. Perhaps we remember him best because he did not get along with his brother Esau. In fact, the rivalry became so bad that Jacob ran away from home. His mother told him to! His brother is ready to kill him because of the way he deceived his father and pilfered the family inheritance. As he is on his way to a place hundreds of miles away Jacob stops to get a stone upon which to lay his head. Now we’ve all stayed in some cheap motels but.. Yes, we could say that he is between a rock and hard place. He is at a critical time in his life. Running from home. Unsure of the future. With his cloak on his back. A rock beneath him. Stars above him. A guilty conscience inside him. Certainly he had to have questions about where he stood with God.
Perhaps we have all had questions like those. At key points in our life, at times when we face major decisions, at times of conflict, we wonder what will happen next. What are we going to do? I suppose we do what comes naturally. We are probably tempted to worry. When we feel all alone. The important part of the question is this: will God be with me? Is the Lord still near me? Those times become critical times for us. Will God be there?
Jacob gets a quick answer. He goes to sleep. He sees angels walking up and down on a ladder. He sees the Lord on the top of that ladder. That vision spoke volumes. It reminded Jacob that even though heaven is a long ways from earth God is never out of touch. The Lord, and his angels, whom the Bible says are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation, are right there to help. God was there to help. Jacob was all alone. But he wasn’t alone.