Face To Face Part 1: Jacob
Exodus 33:11 (NIV) The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (Message) Whenever, though, they [the Church] turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil [the things in the way] and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face [change starts taking place in your life]. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
I don’t want you to just hear about someone else’s encounter, you need our own! Why?
- We need power not just words. Some of you are facing situations that words cannot fix. You need to encounter God.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 (NIV) I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words [Paul was educated], but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
- We need an encounter not just an explanation. Explanations have never changed someones life, but encounters have.
John 9:17, 25 (NIV) Finally they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him?” He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
- We need presence not just practice. We can go through the motions, read the Bible, but no longer encounter God.
Jacob found himself in a low spot of His life. On the run. His life is falling apart, and that’s where we pick up in this story.
Genesis 32:24-30 (NIV) So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak [we wrestle because we’re still trying to do it our way]. When the man saw that he could not overpower him [Jacob was being stubborn—resisting Him], he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man [Humility comes when we recognize our limits]. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” [I’m done fighting with you] But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” [He recognizes his need of God] The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome [you’ve been wrestling your whole life but you finally surrendered] . . . .” Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
- A new strength. Lord I give up. I am tired of doing it in my own effort. I am desperate for you God.
Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV) He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- A new identity. Lord change me. God changed his name.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
- A new joy. Lord bless me. God wants to fill you with joy.
Psalm 16:11 (NIV) You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.