We all know that our journey in following Christ is not going to be smooth and not always advancing our faith, but there are times when we are facing challenges and difficulties. In our journey following Christ that there are also times described as “mountain top experiences” in our lives, but there are also times when we are facing failures in our journey following Christ. Do not be judgmental when I talked about “mountain top experiences” in our lives, these are not the times of smoothness and accomplishment at the time we understand in-depth experience that shaping our lives, that is very important in the lives of those following Christ. People have been powerless when the Children of God senses their failure, hopelessness that have been present in this world, except when they are hoping for God – that God shows His mercy, blessing and strength to those who are weak and had no hope.
The failures in the lives of Children of God commonly occurred when we feel ourselves that we are great and strong, that they gave us the sense that we no longer cling on God. We feel that our strategy, diligence, and own efforts that allowed us to do everything on our own feet. These are the times when the Children of God can sense their failures and experience the big difficulties in their lives. Today we want to learn on how we can understand God’s formation in our lives as Children of God in our journey facing struggles, how to understand that God is working and forming us and what things that we need to pay attention when God is working in our life journey as Children of God. Particularly we have learned about the lives of Jacob that we have read and learned in the past weeks. Last week we have learned on Chapter 28 that Jacob has experienced “mountain top experiences” where the vision of “grace ladder” that God declared to Jacob, has been given by God stating His blessings where Jacob in his loneliness, powerless, that God solely stated His blessings because of His mercy but not because of Jacob’s worthiness but solely because of mercy and blessing that God stated to Jacob. That was the first time God declared Himself by talking directly to Jacob and confirmed His promise that has been given to his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac and now to Jacob.
God has chosen Jacob to be His people, God has blessed him although His blessings have not been strong enough and rooted in Jacob’s life, but God will never leave Jacob that God will keep working to form and will not release Jacob until he realised in full and the meaning of his life only to be found in God in His will. And this was not because of Jacob’s worthiness to accept God’s will, but all of this was because of God’s grace and mercy towards Jacob. And to all of us today, that God has sent His son Jesus Christ to this world as to bring us back to Him that we seek our own satisfaction, joy, the fullness of life and anything else outside of God – God came to state that outside of God that you cannot do anything, that God came to give life – abundant life. This can be seen in the interaction between God and a Samarian woman, on the edge of Jacob’s well between a man and a woman. This time, the man was referred as God Himself who deliberately came to Samaria and sit on the edge of well for seeing a Samarian woman whom throughout her life seeking for a satisfaction in man’s embrace but every man made her heart feels emptier than before. God told her that she does not have a husband as she already had five husbands and she is currently living with a man who is not her husband who is also the sixth man in her life. Jesus Christ ransacked her sins, and He gave her living water. Jesus’s words “I am the real groom” is not only referred to those who do not have a partner, but it is also referred those who have married, that if we make our partner as our savior, that we can become disappointed. However, this does not mean that we have to reduce our love towards our partner but to add our love to God and our savior that this can also add our love towards our partner with the right way.
For us the Children of God, that we have believed and accepted the gift of salvation, be assured that God will never leave us that God will always shape us although we can still fall like what Jacob did. As we are the Children of God that our hearts can be shaped, God ransacked our sins, to form our spirit and character and our deepest longing until we realised as what Jacob later realised when he returned to Bethel that he represents his own life and said “You God are everything to me. Without you God that I will die, will be meaningless and will be lost”. Will you want to be shaped and guided to know more about God? To love more about God? To live more according to His will and plan? We will begin to experience eternal living now and so on that God will continue to raise us even when we fall. The faster that we come to God and living according to His will, the more blessings and joys and His help will become blessings to people around us.