When you allow God to work in your life, amazing things happen. When I first came to know my Savior, I was a very different man. I was selfish, negative, and extremely closed-minded in my thinking.
Then when I allowed God to work in me, things began to change. I began to care about the needs of others; I was more hopeful about situations that would seemed dire to others; and I became more flexible in my thinking about the things of this world. This was all done not by my power, but by the transforming power of God’s Holy Spirit.
The transforming power of God also changed Jacob dramatically during his time outside of the land of Canaan. Before he left, Jacob was a selfish deceiver; but in Genesis 32, as he returned home, he had become humbled by the grace that God had bestowed upon him. He recognized that the family and wealth that he had with him wasn’t acquired through his cunning, but by God’s blessing.
We are Like Jacob
In many ways, we are all like Jacob. Even though we have a past that is more checkered than a checker board, God still showed us mercy and forgave us of our past when He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on our behalf. The fact that He paid such a heavy price to pay for our mistakes is humbling indeed.
The Past Returns
In Genesis 32, Jacob was on his way back home and sent messengers ahead to let his brother Esau know. When the messengers came back, they informed him that his brother was on his way to meet him and he was bringing with him over a hundred men. Thinking about how he had cheated Esau, I am sure that Jacob thought that his brother was on his way to exact his revenge upon him.
It is out of fear of what his brother Esau might do that Jacob prayed in Genesis 32:9-12. He prayed to God for deliverance from his brother. Now Jacob made this request not because he felt God owed him or anything; far from it considering that he himself was no saint. Instead, he made his plea calling to remembrance the gracious promise that God had made to Jacob before he left Canaan; a promise that God would be with him and his family and that he would become a great nation.
Grace over Earnings
Jacob understood that everything that he received from God wasn’t because we earned it but it was out of the Lord’s grace. Had we gotten what we had deserved, we would have earned nothing but death and suffering. This truth is very humbling and ought to make us be more appreciative of what God has done for us.
Humble State of Mind
The more and more we allow God to change our lives, the more we understand how amazing our God is. Therefore, when you ask God for anything, do not think you will get it just because you feel entitled to it. Instead we should ask in humble submission and out of sincere gratitude to God for what He has given to us already.
What is Our Response?
While we were yet sinners and rebels against Him, He sent His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our rebellion so that we can be together with Him again. Do you understand the gravity of what God has given to you already? What should you do in light of this abundant mercy?