- Renée Coventry
Stepping into Your Prophetic Destiny, Pt. 14: Investing in God's Promise
After being given his new name, Israel, Jacob meets face-to-face with his brother Esau. Now there are some differences of opinion regarding whether Esau kissed his brother or tried to bite him in Genesis 33:4. However, the common consensus is that Esau did not wholeheartedly forgive his brother, Jacob. Esau still "remembers when," and these types of individuals create barriers when pursuing God's purpose for your life, particularly when you have a past, which Jacob did. Even Jesus, eternally perfect, could not perform many miracles in Nazareth because people had constructed a box around His identity and refused to allow it to change. Sometimes all others can see is who you were, not who you are.
When Jacob convinces Esau to accept his gift, Esau insists that Jacob come with him to Seir. After some discourse, Esau leaves without Jacob. However, instead of following Esau, Jacob settles in Succoth. Now, we would be remiss not to mention that Jacob never communicated his plans to his brother. He may have a new name, but he is still operating in the flesh. Jacob deceives his brother. I can only imagine how that must have reinforced in Esau's mind Jacob's character. He could have described his face-to-face encounter with God. He could have told his brother he had changed, and God wanted him to move on to Succoth. But he doesn't. My guess for why would be fear; however, fear will hinder your witness and destiny more than anything else.
Jacob then purchases a field (33:19). This is important because up to this point, while they owned many possessions, the only thing purchased by contract had been the cave for Abraham's grave, and yet here is Jacob already seeing the fulfillment of God's promise in the purchase of land. It wasn't much, but it was his. Perhaps you could call it his seed money. Jacob invested in the promise of God.
We, too, must decide whether God's promise is worth our investment. Jacob has struggled, and God has renamed, but when it came to finances, was he willing to put his money where his mouth was? What about us? Are we ready to take God at His word and step out in faith? This is the entirety of the Christian life: declarations of belief in God accompanied by actionable faith, even if that action is standing still. Will we purposefully choose to partner with Him?
After Jacob invested in the land of promise, what was the first thing he did? That's right. He built an altar. Jacob reinforces his covenant with God but with a marked difference in its name. He names the altar "God, the God of Israel" (33:20). The Hebrew name is El-elohe Israel and is translated, "the mighty God of Israel." This is the first time that Jacob doesn't address God as the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac. No, this time it is personal, and notice it is not the "God of Jacob," but of "Israel." In doing this, Jacob both acknowledges who God is, mighty, and comes into agreement with God regarding his name and destiny.
Now, let me say that investing in God's promise and coming into a verbal agreement with God, while the first step, does not mean that life will be rosy. Remember that shady side of Jacob? That fleshly part of you that hasn't quite learned to submit to the Spirit of God? It's going to continue to pop up, and it will challenge you and your calling. But we'll address some of those in Jacob's life next. For now, let's allow the Spirit to move us into a place where we can invest in God's purposes and see God might manifest in our lives.
Father, You are mighty! You are my mighty God, and I worship you! You are the God who has enabled me to come face-to-face with my past and move forward. You are the God who is setting me in a vast open place, a place where I can invest in Your promises. Holy Spirit, thank You for guiding me into this next season of my life, where every day You walk with me and allow me to partner with the Father's plans and purposes. You are a good God! While I know things will not always be wonderful, I do know that I am on board with all that You desire to accomplish in and through me, and I trust You to see me through. Have Your way, Lord! Have Your way in me, I pray. Amen.