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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jacob to Israel What it means to "prevail" with God.

Listening to a 3 CD teaching on "Jacob" by Art Katz for the "I don't know how many-eth time" and was given this little insight. Jacob whose name means "cheater" had his name changed to Israel which means, "He who wrestles with God and prevails." Well he did wrestle with God but he got his hip permanently moved out of socket and walked with a limp the rest of his life, so I was having trouble with the whole 'prevails' thing... when this thought came in, the only way we 'prevail' with God is by wrestling with Him long enough and desperately enough to LOSE. To LOSE to God is to win! To be broken by God is to 'prevail.'

Monday, July 20, 2015

Desperation


1.     Very good service with our pastor emphasizing praise, there are seven words in Hebrew for praise.  He only got the first 3 done and then God totally sidetracked him with Isaiah 6, and how Isaiah was overwhelmed with the presence of a Holy God.  He opened the altars for prayer and I was the first one up out of my seat because I desperately wanted the angel to take a coal from the altar and put it to my lips.  My words to my wife have been “ugly” and critical lately and it needs to stop.  No plan of mine or resolution of mine will work.  So I gave up on me, and threw myself on Him!  As I was praying at the altar the pastor’s wife Lynda began to sing the song …. This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me

And I I'm desperate for you
And I I'm lost without you

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me

And I I'm desperate for you
And I I'm lost without you

And I I'm lost without you
And I I'm desperate for you
And I I'm lost without you
I'm lost without you
  At the altar it came to me that the Sovereign loving God we serve is going to raise the level of our desperation.  As judgment begins with the house of God, we need to see His judgment as pure mercy. Anything that He does that raises our level of desperation for His presence is love, is mercy, is what we truly need from an eternal perspective.  It is not about our job or our marriage or the person who is rubbing us the wrong way it is truly about what God is doing to change us into the image of His Son.  We need to recognize how far away we are from that image and accept everything that God is doing and will do to “re-make” us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Spending time with mercy

A little focused time on “mercy.”  
Hosea6:Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Matthew 9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matthew 12:But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
 
So Hosea says it once and Jesus quotes it twice once when He is being criticized for who He is hanging out with and once when His disciples are being criticized for their actions on the Sabbath. 
 
One more Psalm 102:13 You will arise and have pity on Zion;
    it is the time to favor her;
    the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold her stones dear
    and have pity on her dust.   
God is moved to pity when He sees His servants having pity/compassion/mercy.  I think He is working in us a knowledge, a deep knowledge of how much we need mercy, so that, we are then vessels of mercy to other people.  
Romans 9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 
 
Suffering is tied to “our” glory, and mercy is tied to “His” glory.  
Stuff worth thinking about.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Israel, "one that has power with God."

For a full overview of the end times go here.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/250499355034709/permalink/639599526124688/

This is just a little snippet.   "Of course the history of the concept of Jacob's trouble begins with the crisis that Jacob faced upon his learning of the approach of Esau with four hundred armed men. This is the crisis of ultimate weakness that prepared Jacob for his desperate wrestling with the angel of the Lord's presence at the ford of Jabbok.
For Jacob, this was the ultimate, divinely appointed crisis that brought about the new priestly brokenness that would now distinguish the true "Israel" (one that has 'power with God') to be a priestly blessing to all peoples (Zech 8:23). This is very instructive in understanding such passages as Deut 32:36 with Dn 12:7 (the shattering of Israel's carnal 'power'). It is a key to the purpose of Jacob's trouble, and, of course, it is also a pattern for the individual and the true body (Acts 14:22; 2Cor 1:19; Phil 3:3). But the concept of an ultimate weakness and destitution through great tribulation in preparation for a final transforming event of saving revelation goes all the way back to Moses (see Deut 4:30).
Moses knew that although Israel would soon enter the land, the larger part of the nation lacked the kind of heart that could keep and possess the land in any enduring way (see Deut 29:4). Therefore, knowing the everlasting covenant promised to the Fathers, Moses looked ahead to a time of great tribulation that would have its outcome in a national circumcision of the heart, i.e., national regeneration (compare Deut 4:30 with 30:1-6). This anticipates what the prophets would later see as an apocalyptic 'day of the Lord'. (Note that Deut 4:30 anticipates Jer 30:7)."

Even that little bit is a lot to grasp, but let me summarize what the Lord was showing me this morning.  Jacob's new name Israel, has been used to point out what a "heroic" effort and struggle he was making in wrestling with the angel, but that is a humanistic perspective.  The God perspective is that Jacob obtained "power with God" and therefore became Israel at a time of utter helpless desperation.  A  man clinging to a piece of wood to stay afloat in the ocean and not drown, is doing so because he has come to the end of himself, he cannot swim, he cannot stay afloat without the wood.  His clinging is coming from a place of ultimate weakness and desperation so the strength with God that Jacob is displaying is weakness and utter helplessness when viewed from God's perspective.  And guess what ...that is where He is taking the true body of believers, and only from that place can we be a blessing to the world that will be going through an unequaled time of tribulation.