This teaching is our 28th session in our verse-by-verse study of the Book of Genesis by pastor Barry – given as part of our family service on 15th October 2017.
In 2 Corinthians 5:7 Paul reminds us that, as believers, we should walk by faith, not by sight.
If we walk by sight we begin to reckon with the actual problems of life as we perceive them. The enormity of the challenges facing us can be overwhelming and we can even start to blame God for allowing the circumstances in the first place. Most of the world exists on this level, and life spirals down into just trying to make it through the day.
For the Christian however, we are told that we are citizens of Heaven and that we are seated –above the storm – in the heavenly places with Christ.
Have you ever been on an aeroplane? There may be a storm or dark clouds on the ground, but when you soar up above the clouds, the Sun is still shining and the world seems so very different! That should be the experience of each believer. “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).
In Genesis 32-33 we see a great lesson in the simplicity of trusting God and walking by faith in stark contrast to the emotional turmoil we put ourselves in when recon on things without God.
Jacob had left Laban and there was now no way back. The line had been drawn and that chapter of Jacob’s life was most definitely at an end!
But he was afraid to go forward, despite God’s promises and assurances, because he now faced the wrath of his brother Esau whom he had not seen for 20 years. His mum, Rebekka, had promised to send word when Esau’s wrath had abated, but no word had come.
Jacob sought for a way to buy grace, but nothing could seemingly take away the deep fear and apprehension he felt!
But God had already given Jacob the assurance he needed, and reminded him that there is an unseen world around us, ordained of God to care for us. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)
When Jacob finally met Esau there was no wrath, just tears of reconciliation. God had gone ahead of Jacob and softened Esau’s heart. All of the stress Jacob had brought upon himself and his family was proven to be unwarranted.
Oswald Chambers comments (thinking about Peter as he stepped out of the boat to walk toward Jesus…)
The wind was actually boisterous, the waves were actually high, but Peter did not see them at first. He did not reckon with them, he simply recognised his Lord, and stepped out in recognition of Him and walked on the water. Then he began to reckon with the actual things, and down he went instantly. Why could not our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves as well as on the top of them? Neither could be done saving by recognition of the Lord Jesus.
We step right out on God over some things, then self-consideration enters in and down we go. If you are recognising your Lord, you have no business with where He engineers your circumstances. The actual things are, but immediately you look at them you are overwhelmed, you cannot recognise Jesus, and the rebuke comes: Wherefore didst thou doubt?” Let actual circumstances be what they may, keep recognising Jesus, maintain complete reliance on Him.
Let this study remind you that there are two camps – Mahanaim – one we can see without natural eyes that actually blinds us to the things of God, and the other camp we see with the spiritual eyes of faith that gives us the clarity to see above the storm!
To be continued…
You can listen to the audio on this web page, or save it for listening to later. We have also made available the Powerpoint slides (in PDF format) that outline the key points of this study.
We hope and pray this teaching will bless you and encourage you to undertake your own personal study and adventure in God’s Word!