Monday, June 18, 2012

Declaring Your Name

1 Cor. 16:13 - "rise up....."

Many men WANT to rise up...... rise higher, do better.
Question???  Why don't we???
            - don't know how to rise up?  what to rise to?  afraid of God's calling?  - where it might lead, what would have to do (have to give up?  take up?)
or:  because we're sinful, selfish, insecure?  - don't want to serve the Lord, want to serve self.
or.... because have tried and failed until given up in despair?

On one hand, there are no easy answers.
But, there is one helpful story - Jacob(deceiver, supplanter, manipulator) becoming Israel (one who struggled with God and prevailed)

Some background to Gen. 32:22-31

Jacob - 2nd. son of Issac and Rebecca (grandson of Abraham)
           - A twin - heel grabber (deceiver, trickster)
          - bought the birthright, stole the 1st. born blessing, fled to Haran
          - worked 20 years, acquired family and wealth and NOW headed home.

Was Jacob doing well at this point?

On one hand, he has wealth, servants, 2 wives, 11 sons, huge herds of animals.  He's done well.

On the other hand,
         - he has a first wife that he doesn't love, and his two non-wives create constant rivalry with the two wives in the household.
         - he's been at odds with his father-in-law employer for 20 years.
         - recently left there without notice!!!  (chased down and released because he was 'family')
         - going home to the father he deceived 20 years ago.
         - is facing the brother he stole the blessing from (who is approaching with 40 men)

Jacob's life is a shambles.

SO... he decides to pray!  (reasonable idea!)
                          to get serious with God.

AND, something significant happens in the midst of that prayer time.

Gen. 32:22-31

What is the significant thing?  His confession.  Gen. 32:27  of his .....
1.  Name, character!
2.  His predicament - at odd with all - where to go?
3.  His failure(s) - relationships, especially with his family - (of his own doing)
4.  Ineptness  - A. problems - of own making
                          B.  seems unable to "fix" them
5.  Need ... of God, God's blessing - forgiveness, assistance, correction, transformation
Interesting thing:  when he confessed, he got the blessing

Jacob spent 30 years trying to "Rise Up" but is going  "downhill"

He finally recognizes it and that leads to the turning point - Jacob into Israel.

Declaring (to self and to God) (admitting, owning) your name. (who and what you are)

#1.  Admitting your name is the 1st. step in rising up.  - because we don't fix what's not broken.

#2.  Admitting your fault is part of the naming.
Some of the problems:  Esau, Laban, Leah, Isaac - "can't help where we came from but can help the response"

#3.  This is common to all people (not just men!!)
Example:  Peter - "though all others forsake You....", "love me more than these?"

#4.  It is designed to help (lift) us UP!!  - this whole concept of confession of who we are.
The point is not "know your place" (push you down)
The point is - see the truth, know your need

#5.  It's only the first step.  (not the arrival, completion)
Naming leads to God's blessing, God's assistance!
Then go forward, trusting God, becoming what you should be.
Note:  The family didn't start calling Jacob "Israel" the next day!!!

#6.  It's not just a one time thing. - have to do it repeatedly in life.
Example:  Paul - 1 Tim.12-17 - he still recognizes who he is. - Vs. 15

Summary verse - from Peter:  1 Pet. 5:5 (b) "..... all of you, cloth.." and 1 Pet. 5:6

NOTE:  next morning Jacob didn't look blessed.
BUT:   1. He was
and       2. He knew it
and       3.  in time ... he ceased to be Jacob and became Israel.

Also Note:  Rise up won't happen if you won't admit who you really are!!

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