Summary: There is a great spiritual lesson in this because God wants us to seek our safety in complete surrender to His power and love. It is when we reach one hand to Him, while we keep holding on to the things of the world with the other, that we are in danger.
JABBOK A PLACE OF TOTAL SURRENDER
Last night I was sitting on my porch, on my new porch swing, and I was watching several birds sitting on the wire that carries the electrical power to my house. They were perched there without a care in the world.
But I knew that if I would reach up and touch that wire, death would be swift as a heart beat. The secret is that, when they touch that power line, they touch nothing else, and that's what keeps them safe.
My danger would be that, while touching the wire, I would also be touching the earth through the pole, and the current would turn my body into a channel for escape. "Post Toastie"
There is a great spiritual lesson in this because God wants us to seek our safety in complete surrender to His power and love. It is when we reach one hand to Him, while we keep holding on to the things of the world with the other, that we are in danger.
This morning I want to talk about Jabbok! It may not have meant anything to you before now, but after you hear this message, it should be one of the most important words in your spiritual vocabulary.
Jabbok is the place where Jacob wrestled with the Lord. It is where he made his total surrender to God. It is where he got his new character, and a new name Israel. It is the place where he won his greatest victory.
READ GENESIS 32:22 30
Jabbok means "a place of passing over." It also stands for struggle; to empty and pour out. What a glorious truth is revealed in this place Jabbok.
It is a place that has everything to do with today. It is the place where God's people discover the secret of power over every "besetting" sin. It represents a life and death crisis...one that leads to absolute surrender.
There will never be a glorious victory over sin and self until you go to Jabbok. There comes a time when we must "have it out" with God. We must face ourselves and be emptied of all evil desires and selfish ambitions.
In the past believers have been taught that there are two great crossings in the life of a Christian the Red Sea and the Jordan. The Red Sea represents coming out of the world. It symbolizes getting saved.
A lot of God's people come out of Egypt, but they never get to the promised land. They get stuck in the wilderness of unbelief, fear, and confusion. They leave the world but never enter the joy of the Lord.
Another crossing is required the Jordan. The Jordan represents a commitment to go on with the Lord. Baptism, Bible reading, Witnessing, a desire to grow in Christ. It is a passing over into a life of praise, where they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Isn't that all there is? The children of Israel entered their promised land...they got their inheritance. But they never did enter into the rest that God wanted them to have. They still had sin in their hearts, and held on to secret lust and idolatry.
How tragic that the same is true today. Multitudes of Christians have never known the true rest of God. Their peace is disturbed by a troubled conscience.
In Hebrews we read where God said that Israel "could not enter in because of unbelief...there still remained a rest to the people of God. And it is just as true today...many are missing that peace and rest that God has desires and has provided for us.
For years I have struggled with the theology of victory over sin. I don't mean sinless perfection, but freedom from being a slave to sin..
I do believe that it is possible for a person to be saved, filled with the Spirit, and dedicated to the work of the Lord, and still be hooked by some secret sin, or some overwhelming lust (not all lust is sexual)
I've had the occasion to work with people who were struggling with drugs, alcohol, violence, gambling, illegitimate sex, and various other kinds of addictions and I needed answers...I needed a clear simple message on how to get and maintain victory over these things.
And now, it's no longer just the people on the streets that are facing these struggles, it's sweeping through the church like the plague. Is there no victory over all this runaway lust? Is there anything we can do?
There is a third crossing! Jabbok!
Jabbok was a tributary of the Jordan. It was a lonely place. !And our Jabbok must be faced alone„Ç. You can cross the Red Sea with a mighty host of the redeemed who leave Egypt. You can cross the Jordan with the victorious army of the Lord all around you.