My brothers and sisters, everyone in here has one thing in common: we are all messed up! Underneath the hat, the suit, the make-up, the fake smile, the Sunday Morning “I’m Blessed” cliché and the VIP look we are all messed up. No, not everyone may suffer with smoking, drinking, gambling, or homosexuality, however, we are all struggling with sin! Sin is such a bother that Paul says in Romans 7 every time I try to do right, I find myself doing wrong. Every time I try to stop messing up, I find myself messing up anyway. Paul said, “When I try to do good evil is always present.”
Despite the front you are putting on right now, everyone from the preacher to the prostitute has suffered from the can’t help its. Oh, but is there anybody here that is glad we serve a God who regardless to what we have done or how are we have walked away from Him, He has a pre-ordained plan for those He loves. It was Jeremiah whom God told on one occasion, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” It was to Paul God gave the comforting and inspiring words of Romans 8:28, “And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I do not know about you, but I am glad that my God knows what He is doing in my life even with all of my mess.
My brothers and sisters, you must remember: Regardless to your past God has a plan for your life!
Just like all of us, the character of our text Jacob was messed up. His scriptural claim to fame came when He swindled his brother Esau out of his birthright. Later in life, his mother comes up with the grand idea to trick her sick half-blind husband into giving Esau’s birth blessing to Jacob. Now, because of the plan Jacob is running for his life from his brother, nevertheless, we must understand this was all a part of God’s plan for Jacob’s life. I come to encourage someone today, you may not have walked the straight and narrow all your life, but God is able to fix you! Isaiah 1:18 says, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”
Who would have thought by looking at Jacob’s track record God would choose him for anything but his wrath. Some psychologists would suggest that a person who has been evil and crooked all their lives could not possibly change. However, scripture is replete with evidence of God’s ability to turn misfits into effective ministers. God does not reserve His service only for those of brilliance, physical might, or great achievers. All God needs is someone willing to stand and say, “Here am I, send me!” I do not care what everybody else says about you, just keep on saying, “I promised him I would serve him ‘till I die.”
Next time you run into one of your haters, just tell them, “You may only be able to see my failures, but God has the ability to see my potential!” Yes, hater, you may only be able to see me when I am down, but God sees me on the other side of my situation, with my hands up! David said in Psalm 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” My brothers and sisters, your being who and where you are today had nothing to do with fate, chance or luck, but God’s predestined plan. What is Predestination Reverend? I’m glad you asked! Predestination is God’s planned purpose for your life.
People can speak badly about you and try to do you in until the cows come home, but if it is God’s plan for you to be victorious, you will be victorious! So, go ahead enemy and try to tear me down, 1 John 4:4 says, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Go ahead gang up on me and say what you want to about me. Isaiah 59:19 says, “So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives.”
Finally, we do well to understand that our circumstances only prepare us for what God has in store.
Many would have thought it was over for Jacob when he was run out of town; however, it was all in God’s plan to get Jacob where God needed him to be. Sometimes, my brothers and sisters, God has to allow people to run you away from the places you were being counterproductive or wasting your gifts so he can speak to you and show you what He wants you to do. While Jacob was in the middle of running he laid down and made a rock his pillow, while sleeping he saw the vision a ladder coming down from heaven to where he was. On the ladder, was angels ascending and descending. God shows Jacob in this vision that He has provided for him round the clock protection. Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” The old saints would say it like this, “All night, all day, the angles keep watching over me.”
Even with the knowledge that God would protect Jacob, when it came to confronting Esau, Jacob reverted to his old tricky ways. Nevertheless, before Jacob could mess up again God met him while he was alone by the ford of Jabbock. It was at this place the text says instead of getting rest and devising a devious plan, Jacob wrestled with God. God knew that in order to change Jacob’s ways He had to change his walk and his name. God gave Jacob a limp to remind him who God was and a new name to remind him of what God is able to do. Not only was these two things noted in the text, but verse thirty says, God showed Jacob His face. Moses asked to see God’s face, but God said, “If you see my face you will die.” God showed Jacob His face to let him know that if he could look on God’s face and live, he should not be concerned with Esau or anyone else might do.