In this 9-part series, Dr. Michael Youssef walks you through the life of Jacob—demonstrating how the grace of God overrules in the lives of His people. The Almighty God is able to bring His perfect will to bear, even in the midst of our mistakes and shortcomings. Therefore, to Him be all the glory, honor, and praise!
there is that kind of surrender. That is not only wonderful, but it’s the only thing in which blessing is awaiting you. The surrender of our plans to the plan of God for our lives by nature. We want to be the captains of our ships until the ship of life hits an iceberg. I’m gonna show you from the word of God that there are times when surrender is the only secret of blessing. Are you ready to surrender up next on leading the way Sir Winston Churchill said during World War two, we will never surrender. Never never never surrender. I know these words of Sir Winston Churchill have encouraged a lot of people, many people through the years and they hung on to this and today I want to tell you that there are times when we must never never never surrender. But then I’m gonna show you again from the word of God that there are times when surrender is the only secret of blessing. Now I’m talking of course about the surrender of my will and your will to the will of God. The surrender of our plans to the plan of God for our lives, the surrender of our desires to his desire for us. It is that surrender that I’m talking about. And that is why I would like to call it sweet surrender. Can you say that with me? Now? I want to give you a warning. A warning warning that surrender is not always sweet. There are times when that surrender doesn’t feel sweet. There are times when that surrender is painful when that sweet surrender is filled with agony and grief. Why do I say this? Because by nature and the bible calls that the flesh, our lower nature by nature by nature. We want to do our own thing by nature. We want our own way by nature. We want to chart our own course by nature. We want to be the captains of our ships and the ships of our lives by nature. We want to be in charge of our destiny by nature. We want to handle our problems and and by nature we love and we fall in love with our own strength and with our own thinking with our own ego. All of this is well and good even for those who try until the ship of life hits an iceberg and the ship begins to take water in and then they began to think of surrender. And this is where we find our friend Jacob in genesis 32 we began to look at this man’s life from the prism of the Grace of God that is multiplied. Jacob was a man whose name had to be changed from Jacob to Israel because you see that’s what the grace of God does. That some people in the Church of jesus christ to think that those of us who are in the reform tradition believe that grace is merely a license to live in sin after salvation and that is why they rejected. But this is a misunderstanding as many times I quoted Charles Spurgeon, he said the Grace of God that does not transform our lives into the image of jesus christ is not the grace of jesus christ. You see, Grace has to change us, change every one of us from a Jacob to Israel. And so here we see this so clearly in Genesis 32, Jacob is truly caught between the rock and the hard place. In Genesis 32, you find Jacob in a deep predicament. His uncle slash father in law was pursuing him from behind and he was after him. His brother S. O whom 20 years earlier vowed to kill Jacob heading towards him. I mean, I mean you think about this, this is not between the heart the rock and a hard place. This is like this, I mean the rock coming right in front of you and the hard place behind you. This is what you call beloved friends heads, you lose tails, you lose, there is no way out his uncle behind him. He wants to dominate him, his brother in front of him, he wanted to kill him. Or at least that’s what Jacob thought, that’s exactly what he thought. This is something was in his head and he believed it even though his fears were not based on facts, even though his fears were based on conjecture, even though his fears were based on, not on reality, but he believed it. This is what he thought, This is what he anticipated in his head. So look closely at this very exciting episode in Jacob’s life. If you review the situation, you find of course here in verses one and two of genesis 32 Jacob sees an angel of the Lord going before him, but that was not enough because there’s more. In the past 20 years, he has seen the hand of God working in him specifically the last six years. God blessed him out of his socks in ways he could never have anticipated. 20 years earlier, he saw a vision of the pre incarnate christ and a letter going from earth to heaven and the angels ascending and descending. That’s why he called it. This is the house of God beth el. But way, way, way, way back before he was born, God gave an article to his mother that the descendant of the messiah is gonna come through his line, not his brother Esau 20 years earlier, he saw a vision Uh God fulfilled his promises. He blessed him. He left a solitary man and he says this in verse 10. But now I become two armies. God promised Jacob that he will be the fulfillment of the covenant that God made with his grandpa Abraham. And yet of all these facts with all this knowledge, with all those realities. At a moment of panic and fear, Jacob forgets all that have you been there too. I mean you look back and how God blessed you, How God protect you, How God did things for you and you are overwhelmed. But then a moment of fear, A moment of panic and all that is forgotten. Oh but some rumor hearsay, false information, Some misunderstanding. We plunge into a survival mode and we begin our own wild schemes verse nine Jacobson’s one Telegraphic Prayer. And he’s not really sure if God is going to answer, he’s not really sure yet. He just sends it fast and hopes for the best. So he asked himself what do I remember about my brother is so it’s been 20 years since I saw him. But I do remember some things about him, what do I remember about him? What about his character? What kind what kind of a person he is? I remember um he is greedy and covetous. He is into instant gratification. I mean he sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. Uh He wants to satisfy his ferocious appetite. I know what to do. I feed his greed, I feed his covetousness, I’m gonna send him stuff. Here’s here’s his scheme. What I do. I’ll send him goats and then we hope that he likes goats. But if he doesn’t like goats, I’m gonna send him camels, maybe he’s gonna like camels. But if he doesn’t like camels, I send him donkeys, donkeys are cute aren’t I send him some donkeys and if he doesn’t like donkeys, I’ll send sheep? I mean I’m gonna keep sending the fruit of the month until he gets something that he likes. In a state of panic. He tries to buy his brother off my precious brothers and sisters. What Jacob did not realize was that God had already heard and answered his prayer and he’s answering them in ways that he could never imagine. Look at Jacob’s closely pleased with me. God did not only prepare his brother’s ESAs heart and cause him to repent and to forgive his brother Jacob. But God himself showed up. Be very careful when you pray a prayer like this because God is gonna show up and don’t miss him when he shows up. Don’t miss him. S. O. Is sending 400 man army not to kill his brother Jacob, but as a welcoming committee, how do you like them apples? I wonder how many of us in our scheming? We become so possessed with our own negative emotions, our own negative imagination and we think the worst. I want to share with you four thoughts that whenever you find yourself at the horns of a dilemma, ask yourself that question. If you don’t have a pen and paper, get your iphone and send yourself a memo, write those four things down. I hope you’ll never forget them. You might not need them now, but you will need them at some point. First of all, find out what causes you to tremble. 2ndly, understand the necessity of wrestling. And thirdly discover the blessing of clinging. And fourthly experience the power of limping. They will make sense in a minute. Okay, find out what is causing you to tremble. You’re facing a problem real or imaginary. It’s in your mind or it’s not, doesn’t matter most often what causes us fear, what causes to tremble. Not even real. Most often most of it is in our own imagination, most of it based on half truth. Most of it is not even factual, but be that as it may. I’m gonna take it for granted that is real. When Jacob heard that Esa is coming to meet him with 400 Man Army, he panicked, he become a panic stricken man after all. Why in the world would s O. B. Coming out to meet him with that many people? This is the very man 20 years earlier said I’m gonna kill you and Jacob trembled and shook. That’s what the literal word. He was trembling. He was shaking all night long. He was trembling over what erroneous information. Wild imagination and wrong! Contemplation. Jacob was sleepless. He can’t sleep. He’s tossing and turning is restless. Every time an animal makes a noise he starts singing nearer. My God to thee! Every time he hears an unusual sound, he probably reciting the Lord’s prayer. Now he didn’t. But you do. Which brings me secondly to the necessity of wrestling with God, I’m gonna explain that to you because a lot of people misunderstand that part. I wanna explain it very carefully, verses 9-12 and Jacob cries out to the Lord and he says oh Lord, my God deliver me my beloved friends. I hope you know what you’re saying when you pray pray like this because you might be praying for something. But then you discover that the Lord himself shows up and he’s right there in the midst of fear and terror. Jacob christ to the Lord and the Lord shows up in person. Watch this, don’t miss it, don’t miss it. The Lord shows up to bless Jacob, that’s really the purpose of coming of showing up, he was to bless Jacob, but here’s, here’s here’s the big but before he could bless Jacob, he needed Jacob to surrender in the middle of the darkness. The pre incarnate christ appears to Jacob. Now some of you know this, some of you may not know that in the old testament, the Lord jesus, the pre incarnate christ appeared many times. He appeared to Abraham, he appeared many times. The theologians have a big word for it, they call it often, can you say Tiffany now, your past first year of seminary, here’s something else I don’t want you to miss because many of the bible and the wording and the translation says that Jacob was wrestling with God. You got it, you see it in your bible and many are preachers through the years. I’ve heard, he said oh Jacob wrestled with God. You must wrestle with God until God answers you. You must do this and you must do that. No, wait, wait, hold on. The Lord did not show up so that he may give Jacob an opportunity to wrestle with him. Are you with me? The Lord was not really looking for a wrestling match. The Lord showed up so that he may wrestle with Jacob rather than the other way around. It is true that Jacob asked for a blessing, but he would not get it until he surrendered. It was God who showed up to bring Jacob to the point of surrender because he was not gonna get that blessing until he surrendered in the end he wanted it. And yes, he received it. But God waited until he surrendered just as the camel cannot receive goods until he kneels. It’s too high. And I’m gonna explain to you This is really the root of the hebrew word. The word means a blessing. It has its root in the word of kneeling barrack, a camel has to get down on all four in order for the blessing to be loaded on top of him. In the same way God will not bless the non surrendered. There can be no real blessings without surrender. There can be no true success or there might be worldly success. I’m talking about true success without submission. There can be no true victory without relinquishing control. There can be no effectiveness, true effectiveness for God without yielding. There can be no great power without obedience. Find what caused you to tremble. Understand the necessity of God wrestling with you experience a blessing of clinging. Jacob kept up the struggle till daybreak. He was not about to surrender. If you think it’s easy, you have not been there. He stubbornly held on. He wanted a blessing from the Lord. But the Lord would not give him the blessing until he surrendered and because the Lord did not want Jacob to see his face, he was about to leave without blessing him. Because Jacob would not surrender. Beloved, I personally believe that Jacob knew why the Lord is wrestling with him. It’s for his good, it’s for his good. So he clung onto the Lord what the Lord wanted of his chosen vessels. All his chosen vessels. What he wants from them is to learn just as he wanted Jacob to learn that all of his past striving, and all of his past, struggling all of his past scheming, all of his past maneuvering and manipulating all the stuff that he was been doing did not really bring him a real blessing. But now he must struggle against the Lord and lose. See that’s the purpose of wrestling God does not come here just to have a wrestling match. He wants us to lose. Find what caused you to tremble. Understand the necessity of wrestling experience the blessing of clinging Finally welcome the power of limping. The last thing that you see here in Genesis 32 is dear old Jacob limping his way over to meet with his brother. S. O. He was limping. It’s not all that bad, not all limping is bad, it is a limp that says I am decreasing and God is increasing. It is a limp that says I am walking. Not in my own strength anymore, it is a limp that says I am no longer Jacob, I am Israel and the word is ra El means God rules or God commands or God prevails more accurately, just like the other names. Danielle, Danielle, Danielle means God judges or Sam U. L. Sam. Well God hears Israel, God prevails. God prevails. He’s no longer a grabber Jacob but he God prevails. Jacob lost and he began to experience true success, beloved, let’s be honest with each other the world, the world outside will never understand. They will never understand until they come to christ. They will never understand that for us, believers in the Lord jesus, our success isn’t losing to the Lord. Our victory is in surrendering to the Lord. Our blessing is in submission to the Lord for years. Jacob contented and cheated and his father and tried to cheat his brother and try to scheme and maneuver and didn’t go very far. God said from your loins, my messiah. It’s gonna come from your seat, jesus, The messiah will be born and therefore you have to lose so that God might win. Now, I’m not saying that any of us in this kind of a situation now, but you are a beloved child of God. Jesus died on the cross for you. He loves you so dearly and he wants you to surrender because he wants to bless you. Can I get an amen? Because here he is, Jacob 20 years later, he was still terrified of his brother Esau. He’s not living in victory despite of the fact that he was successful worldly standards and everything else. He was still living in fear, not in victory. Now he knows what victory is all about. So let me ask you, are you ready to lose? Are you ready to lose? Are you ready to give up fighting? Are you ready to surrender? I was born and brought up in south lincolnshire. I was brought up in a christian home. I wanted to become a home group leader, revival study group leader and my wife Jan came to that group one evening and she told me she seemed to rather like the way that I led the group. Things really moved on from there. God led us into marriage in 1983. My wife and I listened quite a lot to christian radio and Michael use if we started listening to his ministry and certainly someone who is is not afraid to stand for the truth seven years ago, Jan develops cancer. Her condition deteriorated seriously towards the end of 2020 and she was admitted to hospital and died suddenly within 24 hours. To the surprise of the medical team, I wasn’t even able to be with her before she died and that really left me with a lot of deep questions with her death. Question, My Lord, what are you saying now? You know, all these plans ideas seem to be shattered recently. Wrote Michael Yousef’s life changing prayers and reading the book, I realized that I had been praying prayers of Brokenness to God and what I found very, very helpful that Michael Yousef brings out is the assurance that God does hear prayers Brokenness and he does answer Michael Yousef’s ministry is to use that phrase. It’s where the rubber hits the road. Life is difficult, things are hard when there are unanswered questions in your life. That’s the thrust of where his minister goes. And it’s deeply encouraging all over the globe, leading the way, is spreading the life giving hope of jesus ministering to the broken and bringing the truth that sets people free to find out more about how you can be a part of spreading the hope of christ contact us today. When you think about the state of the world today, What fears and concerns do you have for the future? How can you live out your faith in an age of crisis and instability with constant headlines of global disasters, persecution and economic turmoil, Fear as originally envisioned by God when he created it in us is that we may fear God. But what happened when Adam and Eve fell in the garden, we inverted that wonderful gift and we ceased to fear God and we fear meant we fear people. We fear circumstances in his book Fearless Living in troubled times. Dr Michael usage guides you through 1st and 2nd Thessalonians and shares how you too can live fearlessly in today’s world, Fear is natural. Even some of the great men and women in the bible experience fear, it’s what you do with that fear and that’s really the theme of my book. Fearless Living in troubled times. I even caught myself saying, you know, I’m fine, I’m going to heaven. It’s Children that I worry about their future. That’s the flesh. Talking in me, not faith, That whole concept of saying I fear for my grandchildren should be eliminated from our vocabulary and I’m starting myself doing that in this book. You’ll find encouraging answers to life’s greatest challenges and find an overwhelming hope in christ’s return. Faith is believing in God’s word. Even when the world is falling apart, Faith says no matter what happens around the God will keep his word uncover the true nature of the N times and why you should not panic. I think the most important message is that you are not a victim, you are a victim and it is the will of God for you to live victorious. And therefore when this book comes into your hands and you read it, you will be lifted up regardless of what circumstances you might be facing. So, I hope you’re gonna get it. Fearless. Living in troubled times is available now for your gift of any amount, visit us online at L T W dot org. To request your copy today, visit L T W dot org today to grow your relationship with christ, strengthen your faith. As you watch, listen to and read sound Biblical teaching from Dr Michael Yousef receive encouragement as you hear miraculous stories of God moving here at home and around the world through vision 2025. Take a quick break and receive spiritual refreshment. As you read one of Dr Yousef’s daily devotionals visit L T W dot org today and join our global Gospel movement passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth. Leading the way with Dr Michael Yousef thanks you for your faithful support through your continued prayers and gifts