We know that the word says that God is the father of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. God told Abram that he would no longer be called Abram, but Abraham for he will be the father of many nations. Abraham had one son whom God said was the seed of the promise. In Isaac, God said Abraham’s seed would be called. God told Isaac’s wife Rebekah that she carried two nations within her womb and that the elder would serve the younger. Esau came first but Jacob was “at his heels” from the very beginning. With the “big picture” in view, there is a key turning point necessary for the fulfillment of the promise that takes place within the life of Jacob.
Wrestling with Identity
I have recognized that very same principle working in the lives of the children of God today. The principle of the treasure hidden in the most unlikely of places and the wrestling match between reality and spirituality. We have known and experienced the struggle that ensues when your manifested environment is in total opposition to your God given assignment. We know what it is to hear destiny calling but all your sight is full of obstacles standing in the way. God had already given the promise to Jacob, but nothing in the natural confirmed what God had already said. In fact, everything was in opposition. Esau was the oldest, so by law he was expected to receive the birthright inheritance. If that were not enough, Isaac whom was the natural giver of the birthright, also favored Esau over Jacob. But God’s plans are not like man’s plans. Though Esau and Jacob were twins, God placed something inside of Jacob that He did not in Esau. Jacob had a strong innate desire for the promise along with the stubborn tenacity and doggedness that would go to great lengths to pursue it. Jacob refused to be wrestled down. Knowing that even if physically it’s not mine, I still know in my heart that it is mine! The unrelenting pursuit of the promise is a gift God has invested within every believer. This is the one thing Esau, who when he was hungry sold his birthright for a plate of food, lacked.
Though both the desire for and the pursuit of the promise are pure, we often like Jacob, think that we must steal it -when in fact- God has already given it to us. So instead of trusting God’s word and waiting for His direction, we devise our own plan. But as Job said, “God knows the ways that I take and when He has tried me, I will come forth as pure gold.”
Wrestling with our God Given Purpose
When a believer asks God, “what is my purpose?” He is not in full view of the big picture. Not one person within the plan of God has a purpose independent of the ultimate plan of God. In other words, when God called Abraham he called you and me. When Jacob was only a twinkle in the eye of Isaac, God saw you and me. When Jacob wrestled, we wrestled and when Jacob prevailed so did we. When Jacob’s name was changed, we became Israel. So what does it all mean? You are your ministry and I am mine. You are your purpose. Your very life and every thing that you have walked through (every hard place, every trial, every blessing, every disappointment, and every victory), in totality. THIS IS ALL YOUR PURPOSE.
The Marriage of Identity and Purpose, Births the Promise
That night Jacob wrestled all night with the angel, there was a shift and God called Israel. God called a whole nation out of one man and God speaks to an entire nation as one man. In his sight and purpose they are one in the same. God deals in nations and generations, He is never just talking to one person. God told Jacob that he would no longer be called Jacob, but Israel for he had struggled with God and with men and had prevailed. The word says that God is the Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To Abraham was the promise given, but in Jacob was the promise established. Israel gave a double portion inheritance to Joseph. He gave the birthright blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh with Ephraim (the younger) receiving the greater portion of the blessing. So the promise goes from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob to Joseph where it is doubled to Ephraim and Manasseh.
True Strength is Magnified Through Weakness
Surrender that part of yourself to me, I’m showing you your weakness IS your strength because I AM the strength of your weakness. In the midst of a fierce wrestling match, a marriage and a birth all takes place…Identity and purpose came into covenant and a nation came forth. God birthed a nation from the struggle. So, if it seems to you that you have always gotten the short end of the stick, or had to learn things the hard way or go through the long difficult process when it seems as though everyone else just took a short cut, be encouraged! There is beauty in brokenness and most likely, you are the one in whom God has invested his treasure. For God chooses the weak to shame the strong and the foolish to confound the wise and he hides his best treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. I will leave you with this from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9:
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed”
I admonish you to be determined like Jacob! Dig your heels in and tighten your grip on the promise and don’t let go until God blesses you!