Lessons from the life of Jacob: Part 2
When dreams become vision.
Jacob has grasped for a future that belonged to another. He has done everything in his power, right or wrong, to gain power, position, and security. Are we much different? Are our children?
In this reaching, the action is all Jacob—his striving, his manipulating, his work, his dishonesty. It is the flesh-work of a sinful man desperate to secure the blessing of both his God and his father.
Though I have not stolen the birthright of another, I have often chosen not to trust God with my future, working my own devices to gain position and security that will fulfill dreams. The methods may differ, but in some way, I share the same kinds of sin with this Jacob of days long, long ago.
And so does my son.
And so do my daughters.
And so do we all.
Until we have come to that certain place in which God makes himself real to us, we will all strive and strain and grasp and pretend and worry and work and manipulate to make ourselves feel OK, to find success, and to gain security.
Until God reaches into our hearts with the ladder of his love, we are all Jacobs wandering in desolate places, unsure of what the future holds.
“And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.” –Genesis 28:13-14
Rather than point the finger of judgment for sin, God reveals Himself to Jacob, “I am the LORD…” Rather than lectures of condemnation, God gives this young man a promise and a vision for his future.
God’s dreams for our wandering hearts.
So often we make this story about Jacob, but in truth it is a picture of the magnificent heart of God for his people. Not the perfect people, but the flawed, grasping, striving, wandering, wondering ones.
Hope for the future.
There are moments, certain places and times, when God chooses to reveal himself, to unfold a future and a hope. God initiates this dream because He wills to do so, not because Jacob did the right thing.
Not because Jacob deserved it.
And not even because Jacob was seeking God.
God’s future plan for Jacob was not dependent on having a desire to honor and follow God. As a parent with my children standing on the brink of adulthood, this is a powerful concept of grace.
God gives the blessing of opportunity—the promise of land, value, position, family, and significance. What else could Jacob need? What else could he want? Every fundamental need that drives a soul to seek and strive in the flesh is provided for in God’s vision for his future.
God has a vision and plan for the future of each one of us. As we pray for our children, let’s pray that God will bring them to that certain place to discover God’s dreams for their lives.
What dreams has God initiated in your life? In the life of your children?