We can plan our life out the way we think it should be. But, what is God’s plan for your life? How can you ever really know what His plan is if you don’t communicate with him?
Are you happy with where you are right now? It may be painful because of your past, but if you live in the past (or the future) you’ll miss the present. Isn’t that a sad thought that you could be so concerned about another point in time that you miss out on the blessings that God has for you now?
When God gave Abraham the blessing of a land flowing with milk and honey, he never saw it. But his descendants did! God never went back on his promise. The blessing was passed on through Isaac to Jacob.
Jacob spends much of his time looking over his shoulder because his brother, Esau, has threatened to kill him for taking his blessing. So his mother, Rebekah, sends him away to her brother Laban’s for safety and to find a wife there. Four days into his journey, Jacob, stops to rest for the night and lays his head on a rock and sleeps.
As Jacob sleeps he dreams of a stairway going to heaven.
13 There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”Gen. 28:13-14
Jacob took this dream to think that
16 “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”Gen. 28:16
This place he called Bethel and Jacob took the stone he had slept on and set it up as a pillar to acknowledge the house of God.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”Gen. 28:20-22
I don’t think that Jacob understands how it works. God already owns everything. The blessing already offers him everything he is asking of God. The “if” makes it conditional. If God does this, I’ll do that. God goes way beyond anything we could ask. Jacob’s plan is not tithing, it’s arrogance.
When we see what God truly has for us our vision changes. God has been there the whole time, Jacob just wasn’t looking for him.
Don’t we do that sometimes? We become so caught up in the life we’re living that we forget to check in with God. We make our plans for the future and forget to consult him to see what he has for us. What is his will for us?
Sometimes what we ask God to approve is just dumb.
It would have been better if Jacob had said something like…Because, not if—I’ll be completely yours. But, you know what? Despite that arrogance, God didn’t take the covenant off the table. God’s grace is so great! He plays the long game though. His answers don’t always come instantly. But in Exodus 3 begins the journey to the promised land!
Here’s what you should take away from this…
- All peoples will be blessed—this is us! God came to us in the form of Immanuel. Jesus comes as the bridge between here and heaven.
- Holiness, not happiness is what God wants for us. The blessings God has for us are so much better than the plans we’re making. (Yes, he gives us the freedom to choose, but how’s that working for you so far?)
- The promise you’re making with God may not be the thing He has for you. But he won’t leave. He’s always there.
- It’s not the place we visit. It’s the place we abide in that’s important. The mission field is in the church just as much as it’s out in the world.
- You will find life in abundance when you have a transforming relationship with God. His plan is greater!
This is my take from the sermon of Jon Porter on 10/16/22 at Milan Christian Church.
You are blessed! See what God has done and is doing in your life. Open your eyes to the work he is doing!