ENTANGLED IN THE WILDERNESS
After the deaths of the first-born sons in Egypt, Pharaoh finally allowed the Israelites to leave. Over two million people departed, taking with them great wealth from the land where they had served as slaves.
God told Moses that the enemy would pursue and try to capture them and take them back to slavery. God warned: "...Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in" (Exodus 14:3).
Like Israel, many believers have escaped the bondage of Egypt, the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ has marked their lives with redemption, and they are on their way to their destiny--but they do not realize that the taskmaster is hard on their heels. Once you have accepted Jesus as Savior and have determined to pursue the divine purpose for which you were created, the enemy wants to drive you back into bondage. Like Pharaoh, your enemy declares, "I will
It has been said, "Where God guides, He provides." Despite four-hundred years in slavery, Israel left Egypt with great wealth. They took with them much cattle, flocks, and herds (Exodus 12:38). They also took with them the wealth of the Egyptians:
And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. (Exodus 12:35-36)
When you start heading towards your divine destiny, God will place into your hands the finances you need, even funds accumulated by unbelievers. You will receive whatever is needed in order for you to accomplish His purposes.
THE POWER OF THE BLOOD
The Bible teaches that the life of man and beasts is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11,14). Because the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23), and since life is in the blood, God established the principle that forgiveness of sin comes only through the shedding of blood: "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (from sin) (Hebrews 9:22).
As Israel prepared to depart Egypt for their destiny, a powerful event occurred and is recorded in Exodus chapter 12. The final plague on Egypt was the death of all first-born sons. To protect the Israelites from this judgment, God's people were instructed to slay a lamb and put its blood on their doorposts. The Lord said, "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt"
THE ROD OF GOD
At the command of God, Moses was on the way to fulfill his destiny as the deliverer of God's people, Israel. Forty years previously, Moses had tried doing this his way, acting in self-effort. This time, he went forth with the rod of God in his hand:
And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. And the Lord said unto Moses , When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. (Exodus 4:19-21)
This time, Moses not only had the vision of his destiny, he had the
MOVING CLOSER TO DESTINY
Despite the years of struggle Jacob experienced--despite his few and evil days--the emerging nation of Israel was still on point with destiny. Jacob--or Israel, as he was known by his new name--became the father of a young man named Joseph who became a vital link in Israel's divine destiny.
For the next few days we will learn how Joseph's personal destiny was intricately entwined withGod's plan for His chosen people. We will see how--despite great adversity--Joseph fulfilled hisGod-given vision. And yes--along the way we will find additional spiritual truths to apply to our own journey towards destiny.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
READY FOR BATTLE
The truth of Jacob’s circumstances is revealed in Genesis 32:28. Jacob was not a weak, defeated, fearful person who needed to run, compromise, and bow before men. He was a son of God who was called, ordained, and given power to meet every circumstance of life. The angel said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."
Was Jacob someone special, that God would do this for him? Is God a respecter of persons? Would He give one of His children the power to overcome the circumstances of life and not give the same ability to another?
Of course not! What God did for Jacob, He has done for you.
TAKING THE LEAD
On the way to meet Esau, Jacob organized his family into three groups. He was probably thinking, “All right--you in the first group go on out and meet Esau. He is coming with 400 mighty men, probably to kill me. When you see him, bow down, give him these gifts, and tell him they are from his servant, Jacob.” Jacob still didn't get it! He wasn’t Esau’s servant. Esau was Jacob’s servant. The prophetic word, even before their birth, was that the elder would serve the younger (Genesis 25:23).
You are not a servant of your circumstances. You need not bow or bend in the face of the enemy.There are powerful prophetic words that have been spoken over you by God Himself who has said: “Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19). God said: “And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail”
THE TRAP OF COMPROMISE
Because of lack of understanding of God's promises, Jacob almost succumbed again to the trap of compromise. God had told Jacob to return to his homeland, that it would be well with him,and that he would be blessed. Doubting God's promises and acting out of fear, Jacob made plans for compromising with his brother who he perceived to be his enemy. He decided he would try to pacify Esau with bribes and gifts.
One of the greatest temptations believers face when we encounter challenges is to compromise. For example, a church may sincerely want to reach a city for God. They have the spiritual power and authority to do this, but what they do instead is compromise biblical standards to try to attract people to the church. They try wooing them by worldly activities instead of creating an environment where the supernatural power of God is manifested.
You should get the true picture of your circumstances from what God has to say about them, not from what you perceive, from what man has to say, or from what natural circumstances seem to dictate.
Your shelves may say, “Look, I’m nearly empty. There’s no food left. You will soon run out of provisions and you will starve to death.” If your understanding is based on that empty cupboard, you are not understanding the situation as it really because the Word says: “... my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Your checkbook may reflect that you can't afford gasoline for the car to get to work or for money to buy a warm coat needed for cold weather.
In Genesis 32:28, the angel told Jacob that he already had something that by human effort he was still struggling to attain. Jacob did not need to struggle for God's power. He already had sufficient power, given to him years previously by the Lord.
As a believer, God has given you His power to meet every challenge in life. Could it be that this God-given ability to overcome any problem or circumstance is lying dormant within you, just waiting for you to recognize and activate it?
When will you stop struggling? When will you stop wrestling to obtain God’s power to help you face your circumstances?
UNDERSTANDING YOUR POSITION
In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” The thief is Satan, and one of the things he seeks to steal is your position before God.
Self-esteem is defined as confidence in your own merit as a person, the quality of feeling worthy of esteem and respect by yourself and others. Low self-esteem is when you feel unworthy, alienated, and incompetent. But there is a difference between self-esteem and Christ-centered esteem. It is not who you are, but who He is and what He has done in your life. "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends" (2 Corinthians 10:17-18).
STANDING ON THE PROMISES
Jacob had experienced several personal encounters with God since leaving home and he had been blessed mightily as far as family and material benefits were concerned. But still, in the recesses of Jacob’s mind there lingered the memory of the threat that his brother had made to kill him.
Jacob was looking at his circumstances in the natural, from the standpoint of what he deserved rather than on the basis of what God had promised. If we could just learn to see things as God sees them and adopt His point of view, how different our lives would be!
If we could see as God sees, we would never need to ask “Why, God?”
WRESTLING AT JABBOK
It had been over 21 years since Jacob extorted the birthright that belonged to his older brother, Esau. Jacob had also deceived his father, Isaac, into giving him the blessing which by tradition should have gone to his brother.
Esau was enraged after losing both the birthright and the blessing and he vowed to kill Jacob. With his mother’s help, Jacob fled to Haran where he worked for Uncle Laban. While there, God blessed Jacob with wives, children, and a large number of livestock, despite his continued deceptive and manipulative behavior.
Then one day God told Jacob to return home.
After the experience recorded in Genesis 28, Jacob's troubles continued because he had not changed. He deceived and was deceived by his Uncle Laban, married two wives, had many family problems, and was a man who could not control his household. Same old Jacob.
Why had Jacob not acted upon the revelation God gave him at Bethel? Genesis 32 reveals several things that hindered him--issues that can also prevent you from receiving your spiritual breakthrough.
-Denial. Jacob ran away from situations instead of confronting them. He fled from Esau, then he fled from Uncle Laban (Genesis 32).
IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
In Genesis 28, we see a lonely man fleeing from his home. Jacob left Beer-sheba and traveled toward Haran on the way to his Uncle Laban's house, running away in fear from the problems he had created. At the end of a long day of travel, Jacob settled in as night fell with only a couple of stones for a pillow. This sad, solitary figure huddled in darkness on the cold ground does not seem like a man of God-given destiny.
But that night, Jacob had an amazing dream. He saw a ladder set up on earth, with the top reaching to heaven and the angels of God ascending and descending on it. Above it stood the Lord, who reconfirmed the promises He had made to Abraham saying:
HOW GOD SEES YOU
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are mentioned frequently in scriptures as spiritual fathers of the nation of Israel.
Isaac, the son of Abraham, had two sons who were twins, Esau and Jacob. While these boys were in their mother's womb...
...the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.