Summary: God will let unpleasant things happen in our life to move us on spiritually
Intro Story – swimming lessons.
When I was about six years old I took swimming lessons one summer
Remember, what it was like? I was scared – but it wasn’t so bad. We started by blowing bubbles, splashing in the pool, Dog paddle, pushing off from the side of the pool. The Instructor is always there lightly guiding you – that was great. Best thing is, your feet can always touch the bottom no matter what happened – you could stand up.
Then one day the instructor led us from the small pool, to the big pool.
We weren’t going to go in the big pool – whew! We were just going to watch older kids dive off the high dive.
What happened next, I could close my eyes right now, and relive it like it happened yesterday.
Another kid bumped me and I fell in. I was in the deep end. Came up for air and sank. There was no bottom. I panicked I went under came up, went under came up, over and over. Each time yelling for help.
And then I noticed, no one was looking at me – and I saw was too far out for them to help me. You know there is that moment when you realize your on your own and you have to make it alone. That’s a terrible thing.
Ever had times when you feel like that? Everything is stacked against you, you feel alone and separated from everything?
In our Scripture this morning Jacob is in a place like that. He has worked 20 years for his uncle who has tried to cheat him at every turn, in many ways, he feels like he is on his own – drowning in circumstances.
But, you know what happened that morning in the pool. Someone grabbed my hand and pulled me out – plunk – dropped me on solid ground – it was over. I wasn’t on my own after all. In fact I was about 2 feet from the edge.
What a crazy idea, this I’m on my own thing!
Jacob is not on his own at all. He has a commitment from God, to be there.Like we do when we commit our life to Jesus Christ, God will be there.Especially when we don’t see it.
Jacob has a lot of sin he is carrying with him. Like luggage. Bad decisions. Deception. Dishonesty. Trying to get God’s blessing, by ungodly means. Fact is, his sin has got him into a difficult situation.
Life is not fun. But he is about to leave that sin behind, and get another chance.
As God Moves Jacob Physically – He Moves Us Spiritually.
God takes you for who you are, which is great news – because who else would I be? I run into folks all the time who won’t turn to God because they are not ready yet. Usually what they mean is: there is something about me that is not good enough. If I can be a little better – then I’ll feel comfortable with God
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
God moves you to the place he wants you to be. Exactly where in that conversation did Jesus tell the criminal, “sorry, only good people can know God”? What this man does, in so many words, is do what we call
Committing his life to Jesus Christ.
You may hear some say, well that was a different dispensation. And it doesn’t apply to us today. Well baloney. We see this with Jacob. If you have been with us the past few weeks you have seen that Jacob is not a good man. In fact after years of knowing God, he still isn’t a good man.
Know any people like that? Yet God sticks by him.
Now here is where the danger is: God is full of grace – so generous, pouring blessing upon us. Some of us take that to mean – I good just the way I am, I won’t worry about sin. In fact in our churches today we have people who will try to justify their sin. They go to a church. They have given their life over to Christ and they see blessings from God in their life. So if I see blessings from God, everything in my life is ok.
Well here’s the news. So did Jacob. He saw blessings in his life and wanted to stay where he was – same place over 20 years.