Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

It is one thing to step up to a new spiritual level; it is quite another to maintain it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Jacob understood, so he named the place Peniel, “the face of God.”

The sun rose upon him because this was the beginning of a great change in Jacobs life.

With his physical infirmity, Jacob was a stronger man than he had ever been before.

He felt better able to meet Esau as a lame man than he had felt before in the pride of strength.

The sinew only “shrank,” it was not removed just as the “flesh” is not eradicated from the believer.

Not until these truths are apprehended shall we cease to be “contenders” against God and then gladly take our place as clay in the hands of the Potter, being content for Him to “command” and order our lives for us.

It was the moment in which he stepped up to a new level in his experience - the level of being “Israel, a prince with God.”

It is one thing to step up to a new spiritual level; it is quite another to maintain it.

Turn to PSA 106:6

Some believers, when they reach a new spiritual stage of growth or attainment, keep it, and are blessed by it throughout their lifetime.

Others, after tasting a great spiritual victory or experience, actually withdraw from it.

Turn to HEB 10:35

JOH 6:66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore.

JOH 6:67-68 Jesus said therefore to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”

Turn to GEN 33:1

God is very compassionate toward us and if we do not learn His lessons at once, He will present them to us again and again, in one form or another, until at last His objective is accomplished in our lives.

ROM 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;

1. The first failure was in his manner of meeting Esau, verses 1-11.

2. The second failure was in the deceit to which Jacob resorted, to free himself from Esaus company, when Esau offered him the protection of his armed men, verses 12-16.

3. The third failure was in settling at Shechem, a place which he will totally regret and which represents going only half-way with the Lord.

First, we have the tremendous experience with the Lord, then the coming of Esau.

How often do we find that a great blessing like that which came to Jacob during the night is sent to prepare us for a great trial.

God prepares us and then tests His preparation in us.

2CH 14:7 “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.

We should never ever let down our guard after a spiritual victory or during a time of prosperity.

A believer is most vulnerable to failure after a great spiritual victory, like Elijah, 1Ki 19.

Turn to JOH 15:20

JOH 16:1 “These things I have spoken to you, that you may be kept from stumbling.”

MAT 13:21 they have no firm root in themselves, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

ROM 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.

1CO 4:12 when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;

GAL 4:29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.

2TH 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

2TI 3:12 And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Robert R. McLaughlin All Rights Reserved 2002

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