The Blessing!

This is my little doggy and her name is Zoe!  She is our little bundle of life and energy!! 

One of our mainstays in training her is using treats.  When she goes outside to potty she gets a treat.  When she comes back in she will follow you everywhere expecting her treat… right behind your heels…everywhere!  She never forgets until you get the message that she wants her blessing.  Sounds similar to another story I know…

“And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. 23 He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. 24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” 27 So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” 28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel;  for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel:  “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”; ”  Gen. 32:22-30

Our friend Jacob was in trouble, I mean it kind of seemed to follow him.  In the natural,  he had been given a name that meant, “Supplanter (substitute) or Deceiver” and apparently had lived up to that meaning.  He had deceived his dad in blessing him rather than his brother Esau and Esau in turn hated him and wanted to kill him.  Now some 20 years later God was speaking to Jacob and telling him to return to his family of birth because God wanted to deal well with him.  I’m sure he was thinking, well?  After what I have done?

At the same time Jacob is pondering his presumed demise, you see this scenario unfolding where Jacob’s men have just given him a report that Esau is coming near with a force of 400 men (vs. 6).  Jacob is shaking in his boots with fear and dread.  He has his wife and whole family that he has invested years to have and to build and adore.  Now, this thing he did 20 years ago is coming back to potentially take everything from him the same way he took everything from his brother?  What a dilemma!  So, he continues reasoning and scheming to justify in his own mind how things could possibly go “well” with him and how he might, “help” God along.  He tries to win Esau’s favor with stuff, tradition, intimidation and his preferred method…deceit.  That night with his future uncertain and looming before him he has this encounter with what Hosea says is an angel of the Lord. 

We know that Jacob is quite a tenacious man and he knows a thing or two about blessing.  He deceived Esau out of his and then worked for Laban for years for a blessing from him. It seems fitting that he would go after it since it is such familiar territory! But, as with all things concerning God, mans tactics may work on man for a season, but they don’t work on Jesus.  He sees straight through them and straight through us; right to our heart.  He knows that Jacob has learned bad behaviors and has never understood who he is and that will not work for the ultimate blessing God wants to give him.  He doesn’t mess around, He understands how Jacob sees himself and He doesn’t want to give him the opportunity to rely on his past methods.  He jumps right in there in his face and wrestles him!!  I love this!!

  You can rest in knowing that God sees you. He will not allow you to operate in your learned behaviors when it concerns Him!  He will not be manipulated or controlled!  He loves you too much!  He knows the only way for the blessing to come is by complete encounter with Him!!!  Complete encounter brings complete transformation!!   This transformation brought Jacob a new name, Israel.  Israel means “Prince with God”!!  All of these years Jacob saw himself as a deceiver and a substitute and God wanted him to know how He saw him…as Prince!

Jacob was destined for encounter.  He was destined for blessing, that is why he was so drawn towards it his whole life.  He just had to learn that he didn’t have to trick for it, work for it or any other human method.  You simply receive God’s blessing through encounter. Then when he saw who he was in God’s eyes He longed to know who this was who had loved him so…

Do you ever find yourself like Jacob.  God has given you a promise but the circumstances are the exact opposite of that promise and those circumstances are producing a dread in your heart, strategizing in your mind and anxiety in your soul?  Well one thing you can trust is that God knows how to find you and there is nothing in all creation that will ever separate you from His love!!  He will do what He needs to have a vibrant encounter with you.  Call out to Him today in response to His love, grace and favor on your life. Jesus has made a way for you to have great relationship with him! He is the blessing! And that relationship is what will guide you through your distresses. He wants you to know how He sees you and what name He has for you so you don’t fall back into your old patterns and reasonings. So, when face to face with Him, you like Jacob will understand all He died to give  and when you really see that love, you will not let Him go either until you receive Him as your blessing in Jesus Name!!


“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,  tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,  he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”   Matthew 14:22-31


This year I just can’t get away from Matthew 14:22-33.  He is speaking to me about it a lot and bringing out more truth with each lesson.  I am in love!  (My previous post on this passage was written in January and called, “God, I Want Your Fullness”.)  This Sunday, in our Sunday School class, guess what he taught on??  Matthew 14:22-33!!

I don’t know about you, but when I study passages in the Bible I come away with more questions than I typically do answers for a season.  This has been one of those passages that I have had a lot of questions about.  One question in particular I have wondered about for years is why did Jesus tell Peter he had little faith? I, personally, have always been in awe that Peter was able to walk on water at all!!  What was it that caused Jesus to call out his doubt?  I like how my husband said it best on Sunday after church to me, “How many of us in our class thinks they could go out to some body of water and have enough faith to walk on it?  Many water-walkers here?  That’s kind of how I saw it.  Almost like I wondered, while he was chastising, rebuking, encouraging, or whatever tone you might think He was taking with Peter, what was He really thinking?  And what could He be thinking of me and my whiny little faith?  In comparison, it couldn’t be good, could it?

As is my history with any passage I desire to understand, I ask Him and then leave it and wait for Him to show me.  And yes, this may mean to leave it for a long while.  I have seen Him time and time again over the years bring 2 or 3 more friends (this is what I typically call scriptures or my Bibles) to agree with it and they lead me towards the truth He is teaching me.

The two friends he brought to me that helped me have such an A-Ha! moment this time were,

They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.”  Psalm 34:5

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

You see, their agreement brings insight!  That’s why 2 Cor. 13:1 says, “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”   This is why scriptural agreement is essential.

In this specific case, I hear these passages speaking to my original inquiry, “Why did Jesus say to Peter, ‘O, you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  If you look one verse prior, I have it highlighted in the above passage, one little word is amplified among the others.  It is the word, saw.  That little word opens a wellspring of revelation to my heart!!  I believe that God said “little faith” to Peter because Peter was looking at the storm rather than the Savior.  When he looked to the Savior-he walked!  When he looked to the storm-he sank!  I truly believe that “little faith” is defined by the sinking that takes place when we take our eyes off of Him.

I spent years sick and tired and being sick of being sick and tired.  Well meaning people I’m sure, would tell me just to have faith!  Or on some rare occasions I was told that because my faith was weak or little, that is why I continued to deal with such hardship.  It would infuriate me to no end!!  I would respond, “You listen to me, the only reason I am still sane and have a relationship with God at all after this mess, is called faith!”  It is not defined by the storms of this life.  Not in the storm or out of the storm, not by any circumstances (the great, the good, the bad, or the really ugly).  You do not have GREAT FAITH because everything in your life is going hunky dory!  You do not have LITTLE FAITH because everything in your life is going south!  No success or boldness or strength can define you as having great faith.  No failure or weakness could define you as having little faith. That would define you as being human which God gets.  What He doesn’t get, is what victory we think there is in taking our eyes off of Him!!  How could Peter, I mean this was even his second storm with Jesus?  He was standing right there and Peter was still so consumed with the storm and not the Son??  Get the picture?

If you choose to FIX your eyes on Jesus=GREAT FAITH!

If you choose to FIX your eyes on anything else=LITTLE FAITH!

Whether the storm exists or not has nothing at all to do with your faith, other than possibly the trying of it (James 1).  Get that today.  You are not condemned because you have storms in your life.  You are not blessed because you do not!  God is not chastising you because you are afraid in the midst of the storms, some of them are really scary.  But where are your eyes??  Your heart??  Your mind??

When you feel yourself sinking or that sinking feeling coming upon you, look to Him!!  You were created to be a water walker my friend!!  Fix your eyes on Him, He is the author and perfecter of this deal!!  Ask Him to help you! Decide to look to Him like never before and do it!

Let the shame of your circumstances melt in His presence.  He despised shame, so much that He died to deal with it once and for all.  Don’t let it lie to you!!  He died to deliver you from all shame.  Look to Him and be radiant, my friends!!  You can choose GREAT FAITH!!  It is your choice!!  You can look to Him!  He is the Healer, The Deliverer, The Helper, The Savior, The Comforter and The Lover of your Soul and He has made a way specifically for you to have great faith and great victory!  Then, as verse 32 says, “And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.”  Be together with Him in the boat of life and watch the things of this world grow strangely dim in Jesus Name!!