This sermon is number 3 in a series of 4
The Jacob Enigma - Part 3
"Jacob's Unconscious Encounter"
by David Legge | Copyright © 2015 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com
I want you to turn with me in your Bibles to Genesis 28, Genesis chapter 28. While you're turning to that, if you haven't been here already, we're looking at - we've looked at various things from I've been here anyway - but we've been looking from January time at a study in the life of Jacob, and we've called it 'The Jacob Enigma'. We're just looking at this Bible character, and there is great instruction for all of us. I don't know what your circumstances are, how you are, whether you're a Christian, whether you believe in the Lord Jesus, whether you're born again or not, whether you're a Christian who knows Jesus personally as Saviour and Lord of your life - well, there will be something for you tonight - but if you've been a Christian for several years, there's going to be plenty. Indeed, I believe tonight that I have a prophetic word from God for The Stables, for Fermanagh, for Ireland, and for the church in Ireland. So I'm not trying to really build it all up for my sake, but I really believe that there is a message is burning in my spirit for you tonight - and you pray for me that I will get it across correctly. But I want you to pray for yourself just now, will you? That God might speak to you personally. So whatever your circumstances are, even if you're not a Christian, even if you're very uncomfortable even sitting here tonight - and I'm not suggesting I'm picking those vibes up, but there may well be someone, if statistics are right there's probably at least one here that doesn't feel that you're in the right place tonight - well, you're probably the one that is in the right place, and God has something to say to you! Would you please pray with me now, and say: 'Lord, speak to me' - would you do that? 'Lord, speak to me'. OK, let's pray:
Father, we praise You with our prayers just now, our adoration, as we have been doing in our praise. We just know that You are here, we know that You are in this night, and we know that You are going to do things that are going to surprise us. So we just invite You, Lord: come, come and do exceedingly beyond even our imaginations, what we can even think or imagine. So we wait upon You, and we pray that You will come and meet with us tonight, that You will open heaven above us; and, Lord, that You will come down into our midst. In the mighty name of the Lord Jesus we pray - and everybody said 'Amen'.
OK, Genesis chapter 28. If you don't know what this story is about, and if you don't have a Bible don't worry, just listen, or maybe somebody near to you will share their copy of the Scriptures with you - Genesis chapter 28, and we are beginning to read at verse 10. Alright? It's the story of Jacob's dream: "Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: 'I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you'. Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it'. And he was afraid and said, 'How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!'. Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, 'If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You'"'. Amen.
The title of my message tonight is: 'Jacob's Unconscious Encounter'. In John chapter 3 and verse 6, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said: 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit'. As we've been studying the life of Jacob, we've seen that Jacob really epitomises everything that is in our fleshly humanity. His name literally means 'to grasp, to supplant, to snatch'; and Jacob is the kind of guy who got places in life as an opportunist by the works and energy of fleshliness, rather than waiting on God's time and believing by faith in God's promises. He did want God's best in his life, but he wanted to get it by the arm of his own strength. Now we have seen in previous weeks - and I'm not going to repeat this, get the CDs, and they are free - that the only answer for human flesh, whether it's the bad flesh that manifests itself in sin and the works of breaking God's laws, iniquity, or whether it's the 'good flesh', and there is good flesh with good intentions, trying to get God's favour by doing good works (that's basically a summary of religion), there is no answer for either of those sides of the flesh, good or bad. The only remedy for the flesh is death, death on the cross. You can't wrestle with it, you can't overcome the bad in you by doing good, there is only one way, and that's the way of the cross where Jesus died, and realising that you died in Him, and He put to death not only our sins, but also the fleshly self within us.
But that isn't enough, because we need something to replace the flesh. So we need to answer the question: is there something that will authentically substitute and supplant the counterfeit drivenness and energy of the flesh that gets us into so much trouble, whether it's through blatant sin or religious practices that don't get us anywhere and have us going in circles. The answer is: there is something! It is the revelation of God's Spirit, that is the answer. I'm going to present to you, through this story of Jacob's dream, his unconscious encounter, a kingdom principle - a principle in the kingdom of God: that 'It's not by might, nor by power', God's word says in Zechariah 4:6, 'but by My spirit', says the Lord. Or to put it another way - and I'll explain what I'm saying - Proverbs 29 and verses 18: 'Without a vision, the people perish'. Another translation of that is: 'Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint'. In other words, people need to be hearing from God. Flesh isn't enough! We cannot get what we need from God by might or by our own fleshly energy and power, we must have revelation from God - and without that vision, people are being destroyed. What will happen is: flesh will surface when revelation is absent. When God is not speaking, fleshly activity will come to the fore.
Now there is a biblical illustration of this in 1 Samuel 3 and verse 1. We read there: 'The boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation'. Now let me give you a bit of background to that. Eli is the High Priest, but what that verse is basically saying is: there was no voice from God in those days, God wasn't speaking through revelation and vision the way He used to do. Because of that, Eli was personifying it by his own physical blindness - the people of God were not seeing, and he as a Priest was to lead them, but he wasn't giving any leading because God wasn't speaking to him. His own two sons ministered as priests, but they were abhorrent to the Lord. I'll not go into it, but there was rank immorality in the priesthood to such an extent that God judged His people. The Ark of the Covenant (which was the open manifestation of God's presence with His people) was stolen by the enemy; Eli's two sons were killed; when he heard the news, he himself fell back and broke his neck; and his daughter-in-law, one of his sons wives, she was giving birth - when she heard the news of her husband's death, her waters broke, and she started giving birth, and she died in childbirth - but before dying she named her child 'Ichabod', which means 'the glory has departed from Israel'. Do you see the picture here? Things are really bad amongst God's people - why? Because there was no open vision, God had stopped speaking to His people.
Do you understand the importance of God's voice? When revelation ceases, spiritual life ceases, and that's why we are in the spiritual predicament that we are in in Ireland today - because we're not hearing from God! The churches have not been hearing from God! Whatever particular hue of the colour of the spectrum you want to go, I'm not interested in talking Protestant, Catholic, or what ism or denomination it is, generally speaking - now not everybody, but generally speaking - the institutional church has not been hearing from God. Jesus said in John 6:63: 'It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life' - that's it! In Hosea chapter 4 and verse 6, the prophet says: 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge', or lack of revelation. They don't know what to do, there is no direction! In Amos chapter 8 verses 11-12 the prophet Amos predicted: ''Behold, the days are coming', says the Lord GOD, 'That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it''. Now, that is where we are in Western Europe - not just in the island of Ireland, but in the Western European developed countries. There is a famine of God's truth. The place is littered with churches, we've got - in the north of Ireland anyway - plenty of Bibles and Christian literature, and the Internet is awash with knowledge about the Bible and history and so on, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about God's spoken word now to this day and generation - there is a famine!
Jacob had come to a juncture where God needed to break in to interrupt his fleshly cycle. God had to do something drastic. Now, please note, God didn't force him to do anything - God never forces you to do things - but what God did was give him a revelation of His truth, and He left him with it to work it out and obey it. This is the point that I want to make tonight: this man Jacob was so full of fleshly activity and scheming, that God had to make him unconscious before He could speak to him - isn't that incredible? He had to put him under an anaesthetic! There are times when the Lord needs our attention. I want to ask you: how has the Lord allowed debilitation into your life in order to get your attention, stop you in your tracks of fleshiness and striving and scheming, to confront you? Maybe you are so busy with life, or even religion, frantic activism is what marks you - so much so that you can't receive vision from God because you're too busy, you're not still enough. Now if you read in the Acts of the Apostles (which is the story of the early church), chapter 13 and verse 2, we read there that the early apostles ministered to the Lord and fasted, and the Holy Spirit spoke to them and told them what to do - that's what we need to get back to again: waiting upon God and listening for His voice.
Now we've seen what a great man Jacob was. He had ingenuity, strength, cunning and intelligence - but what he really needed was revelation, and that's what we all need: God to speak to us! That cannot be learned at college or university, but it has to be imparted. In other words, it's a gift of grace, not of works - God gives it to us freely, we can't earn it. You see, that's how God works. In Romans 10:17, we read that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God - who knows that verse? 'Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God', but most of us hear that verse like this: 'Faith comes by the word of God', and that's not what it says. 'Faith comes by hearing', and the hearing of faith comes by the word of God - do you understand? So, having the Bible is not synonymous with hearing from God. Sure our churches, particularly here in Northern Ireland, are filled with Bible knowledge, but they are not hearing from God generally speaking. In Galatians 3 and verses 2 and 5 we learn about the hearing of faith, hearing from God. Miracles were being done, the Holy Spirit was being given to the church through the hearing of faith, that is widespread revelation!
Here we see Jacob, without going over the old ground we've covered, he leaves home under a cloud with the threat of death from his brother Esau. His family is utterly dysfunctional, and his world has become a battlefield, all because of his flesh and the fleshliness of his family. He's on this lonely journey, and he lies down - probably totally exhausted running in the flesh and from his own flesh - and all of a sudden, as he expires, God steps in as only He can. I hope there is someone here tonight - I believe there is - and this describes you. What we need only God can give, and we cannot create it. We need God to reveal Himself as He did to Jacob.
I want you to see: this was God's appointment. Alright? Now I'm not saying - please don't misunderstand what I'm saying - I'm not saying that we can't seek and find the Lord any time any place, I'm not saying that; but there are moments, times and places, where God just invades, where God arrests us and grips our attention. We see it in verse 11, if you look at chapter 28 verse 11: 'Jacob came to a certain place and stayed there all night' - so there is a certain time and place, and it was the right time and the right place for Jacob. This was God's timing, God's appointment.
Now I don't know whether you're aware, some of you might be, but there are two distinct Greek words - different words - for 'time'. One of the Greek words is 'chronos', we get 'chronology' from it; and the other is a word 'kairos'. Now 'chronos' has the idea of the clock, OK, 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days (except in a leap year) in a year - it's the idea of the clock and the calendar that doesn't change regardless, that is 'chronos' time. But 'kairos' time has the concept of a God-moment, of an opportunity that needs to be taken but can be missed. Now this was a 'kairos' moment for Jacob, not a 'chronos' moment. I would encourage you, if you have any Bible software, or even on Google, search Bible verses that mention 'the appointed time', or 'when the fullness of time came', or 'at just the right time'. We even read about it concerning the birth of Jesus in Galatians 4:4: 'When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law'. Now I don't have time to go into this, but you can be absolutely assured that when Jesus was born, He was born at just the right time. God had been waiting throughout the whole of history, all the existence of humanity, for this very moment. It wasn't haphazard, He wasn't sitting wondering: 'Is now the right time or should I wait a little bit longer? When should I? When would be?' - He had pinpointed the exact 'kairos' moment when Jesus would be born.
I want to ask you tonight: what time is it? I don't mean looking at your watch, and thinking 'He's going on a bit tonight'; I mean: what time is it? I'm not talking about 'chronos' time, I'm talking about 'kairos' time. What time is it in your life? Well, listen: it's always time to seek the Lord: so if you've never been born again, sought the Lord, and become a true Christian and know Him personally, tonight is your night, today is the day of salvation - you've got to realise that! You've got an opportunity this evening to become a Christian, and really know God. What time is it in your life as a Christian? What time is it in the nation? What time is it in the church? What season are we in? What time is it in The Stables?
I want to share with you tonight - now this passage we've read has been intrinsic in my life on several occasions, but there are many passages. Let me give you a little bit of my testimony. My mother and father were Christians, so I grew up in a Christian environment, and I became a Christian at a very early age. You know that you might be born into a Christian tradition, but you're not born a Christian, you have to be born again to be a Christian. I knew that, and I trusted Jesus at a very early age, and went through all the ups and downs of teenage life and the challenge of: 'Am I going to go with Jesus, or am I going to go with my friends in this world, the way everything goes?'. But there came a time when I really did rededicate my life to Christ, and I felt the call of God very strongly in my heart. Now I don't want to go into it all, but save to say there is hardly a time that I can remember when I didn't know that I was going to serve the Lord in this capacity that you see me tonight. My sister, there are 10 years between me and her, she is 10 years younger, she became a Christian one evening - and I, coming home very late in my youth (couldn't do it now!), coming home very late the light was still on and my Mum was still up. I asked her: 'What's going on?', I thought something was wrong. She says: 'Your sister has become a Christian'. So we sat down and we started to reminisce that night, and she said to me, going over history, she said to me: 'Did I ever tell you about the time you were born?'. I said: 'Well, I think so, 21st of August 1976, and I'm here so I know it happened, I was there when it happened so I ought to know! What do you mean?'. She said: 'Well, the circumstances of your birth'. Now I did know she had a traumatic experience - that's why there was 10 years between me and my sister! - but I wasn't aware that she almost died and I almost died. The surgeon had gone somewhere and couldn't be found, and she had been left very precariously, and I was in a condition called foetal distress, and I was about to die. She had put her hands on her tummy and prayed to God - obviously she didn't know whether it was male or female - but she said: 'Take this child, and use this child for Your service'. Now I never knew that. I was in my late teens or early 20s, just about to step into Christian ministry, and I knew God's call on my life - but I was not aware of this! I didn't know what to do with my Mum, whether to hug her or choke her! 'Why didn't you tell me that!'. But I was so glad that she hadn't told me, do you know why? Because I would've thought that I was living out some kind of birth wish of my mother's, rather than a call of God. Imagine what it was like getting that message from God, just as I'm entering into Christian ministry!
Now this is where I'm getting to: what I did that night was, I went straight up to my bedroom, and I opened the Bible, and I opened it at 1 Samuel chapter 1 where Hannah was a barren woman with infertility, she was begging God for a child, and it was in the days of Eli, so that God would start speaking again! Are you with me? God couldn't speak to the old fellow, so He needed a new boy to be born - that's what God will do, He will bring people along, if the folk are not receptive now that are there, even the ones who represent Him, He will bring new folk along that will hear Him - even if He has to cause them to be born. I read that, and I thought of my Mum praying that prayer, and God answering because she, Hannah, dedicated that child to the Lord and gave him to the Temple service. Then I went to Jeremiah 1, and I read about how Jeremiah had been chosen in his womb and ordained as a prophet of God, and he objects that he is only a young fellow. God says to him: 'Don't say that, I'm going to use you'. Now please, I'm not focusing on myself tonight, but I want you to turn to Jeremiah - this is about The Stables, this is about what God is doing in the land, and it's about you as well - Jeremiah chapter 1 verse 4, this is the portion I read: 'Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying', Jeremiah 1:4, verse 5, ''Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations''.
Now, God used that in my life, but this Scripture - like many Scriptures that God uses in our pilgrimage with Him, He breathes new life into them at various junctures, He brings them alive again. Every time I have told my story about how Christ came into my life, I always tell this passage, I read 1 Samuel 1 and Jeremiah 1 - but when I embarked upon my relationship with you guys here in The Stables a year ago, I was sent by someone here intrinsic to The Stables, I was sent this portion of Scripture specifically - but not the verses that I always focused on, but the later verses. God has more to say, verse 11: 'Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Jeremiah, what do you see?'. And I said, 'I see a branch of an almond tree'. Then the LORD said to me, 'You have seen well, for I am ready'', or watching, ''to perform My word''. Now I had already seen those verses, and they had come to me, but then I started to learn more and more about what the almond tree is - are you aware of this? The almond tree is what is called in Israel 'the watcher tree', because it's the first symbol of spring, it's the first tree to bud that signifies spring is on the way. What Jeremiah was seeing was - God says: 'What do you see?', 'I see an almond branch'; and God was saying, 'Just like you watch the almond tree to know when spring is coming, I am watching', God says, 'to perform My word. This is a symbol of My execution of My purposes early. I am ready', verse 12 says, 'I am watching to perform. I am hastening My word, I am wakeful to My word'. Boy, was all this coming alive? Because every Christian, not just David Legge, every Christian has God's ordination and favour upon their life, and He has a job for you to do. He is watching over you to perform His word, He has a destiny for your life. Once you take that step of faith and give your life to Him, there is a whole adventure that He wants to just open up for you!
But I feel that this is bigger than individuals, just like the chorus says: 'The time is right in the nation for works of power and authority, God is looking for a very special people to be counted in His glorious victory'. I wonder are you aware that God now, I believe, in Ireland is watching, He's ready to perform His word - the buds are springing. Now I'm not finished - I'm certainly not finished, I'll maybe go on another hour - but I'm not finished with this little story, OK? Because on 28th January 2014, last year, I was seeking God over a House of Prayer in Portadown, which is where I live. God had spoken to me, I believe, in my heart about having a house of prayer, nondenominational, anybody can come as long as they are praying to the Father in Jesus' name, and seek for God's Kingdom come in Portadown. I felt God telling me to do it, but I wanted to be sure. So I was waiting for a word from God, and guess where God give me the word from? Genesis chapter 28, where we're reading from tonight, Bethel. The vision was of a house of God, a gateway to heaven - alright? - a portal of heaven, an open heaven where the kingdom of God can come. Bethel in Genesis 28 really spoke to me about this, but here's something that I was intrigued about - I want you to look at Genesis 28 verse 19: 'He called the name of that place', Jacob called the place where he had the dream, 'Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously'. Now I knew what 'Bethel' meant, it means 'the house of God', alright, 'the dwelling place of God'. But I thought to myself: 'What does 'Luz' mean?'. What does 'Luz' mean? I'm tempted to ask you because I know nobody knows! Do you know what 'Luz' means? 'Almond tree'. You think: 'So what?'. Well, what Jacob was saying was: 'This place previously known as 'almond tree', or this place that is called 'watcher', is going to be known now as 'the house of God''. Now listen, I don't believe this applies solely to the Portadown House of Prayer, here's the reason why: I believe God wants His kingdom to come on all the earth, I believe God wants gateways to heaven in every town, in every city, in every nation, so that the glory of the Lord will cover the earth like the waters cover the sea. This has always been God's will since Jesus taught us to pray: 'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven'. I believe firmly that from my relationship began with you a year ago here at The Stables, that this is a place of watchers, that this is a place of waiters, where people are looking for and longing for the kingdom of God to come. This is a place that God has already been making into a Bethel. If you read my prayer letter from January, you will find this very passage - there are actually people here tonight who read that prayer letter, and they are here this evening because of this, not knowing I would preach on this. God is making this a house for Himself, but it's because of the watching that has been going on. I'm going to tell you something: God is raising up watchers and waiters for His kingdom.
Turn with me - keep your marker in Genesis 28 - turn with me to Isaiah chapter 62, Isaiah chapter 62. Isaiah 62 verse 4, now I'm going to read several verses here, and some of these verses are going to penetrate some of your hearts - because, as I was reading these, I knew these were words for people without even commenting on them, God is going to speak into your heart through these. Isaiah 62 verse 4: 'You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate', that could be a description of your life, but certainly of this land, 'But you shall be called Hephzibah', which literally means 'to delight in her', God is going to delight in you, 'and your land Beulah', which means 'married', you're no longer going to be desolate or forsaken, 'For the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you'. Why? 'I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength: 'Surely I will no longer give your grain as food for your enemies; and the sons of the foreigner shall not drink your new wine, for which you have laboured''. Do you see what this is saying? Because there are people who are seeking the Lord, and standing on the walls watching for the Lord, crying to Him: 'God, without ceasing I cry for You to make Your kingdom come!', God is no longer going to allow the enemy to come in and take our grain, to take our wine, to take our produce the way he has been in the past - it's not going to happen any more. Hallelujah! Verse 9: ''But those who have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD; those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts'. Go through, Go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; Build up, Build up the highway! Take out the stones', the obstacles, 'Lift up a banner for the peoples! Indeed the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world: 'Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him''. And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken'.
Isn't this powerful? This is what God is doing: watchers are people who petition God upon His word, and God is being wakeful to His word, and He is about to perform it and make this place - I believe - a Bethel. But listen: you have your personal dreams, don't you? For whatever vicinity that you've come from tonight, your own family, maybe your church, you have your own personal dreams. Maybe you've been given visions by God, literal ones or metaphorically speaking? Now of course this was literally a dream that Jacob had, and we know from the Bible that dreams are significant ways that God has spoken and does speak. The ancient world always understood dreams as often coming from God. I wonder is there someone here tonight, whether you're a Christian or not, and God has come to you in dreams? I believe I have to say that tonight, I believe someone has had fearful dreams, but God has been warning you, God has been speaking to you. Maybe Jesus has even appeared to you in a dream? Maybe your dream is more like a desire for things that God has placed on your heart, or maybe it's promises that God has given you from Scripture - here's my question: are you watching for God to perform His word in your life, in your calling, in the environment that He has put you? Or maybe I'm speaking into the heart of someone tonight, and I believe I am, and you've given up? God did give you a dream, He did impart a vision, but through disappointment, through distractions, you've been diverted. Listen to Habakkuk 2:3 tonight, God is going to bring it alive again: 'The vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry'.
So I suppose I'm saying: some of you are knowing a 'kairos' moment, a moment of opportunity, a God-moment - but I wonder are you recognising it, and are you stepping into it, are you seizing it? Ephesians chapter 5 says we need to redeem the time, buy up the opportunities, because the days are evil. The time is running like sand through our fingers, this opportunity, this window is not going to last forever? Maybe you're saying: 'David, I don't have a vision from God, and I certainly don't see an open door before me, a gateway to heaven - and a 'kairos' moment? I don't even understand what you're talking about!'. Well, one of the major lessons that we get from Jacob's life story is that what he already possessed he couldn't see, do you remember? He already had blessings from God, but he couldn't see what he had, and he thought he didn't have them - yet he thought he had to strive and scheme in order to achieve them. He had the promise, Genesis 25 and 23, God gave his mother a promise that the elder would serve the younger, and that Esau wouldn't get the blessing; yet he had to scheme to get it. He had to buy, he thought, his birthright, in order to be in God's blessing. Yet God's favour was upon him. If you read verses 12 through to 16, you see that God was blessing him: 'I am with you, I'm going to do all these things for you'.
So what had changed in his environment, moving him from thinking he hadn't got these things to realising he had? I don't think anything changed in his environment, to be quite honest, what I think had changed was Jacob's perception and his perspective. He could only see with the vision from God - that's where we started! He could only see from revelation, God had to show him this, God has to show us the truth. He needs to show you, Christian tonight, what you already have. He needs to open your eyes, unplug your ears, soften your heart, and that's how this ordinary barren wilderness where Jacob put his head down to sleep that night became the house of God - how? When God imparted a vision. You watch his actions, look at verse 18, look at what he does after the dream: 'Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it'. Now look back at verse 11 at the beginning of the story: 'He came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep'. He made a pillow out of a stone, strange thing! But do you think, when he lifted that stone to lie and kip up for the night, that he thought that stone had any significance? Do you think that the situation you're in at this moment of time, you maybe don't see it as 'kairos' time, you don't see it as an opportunity in your life for God to step in, you don't even feel that there is anything significant about you - what do you think of where you are right now? What do you think of what you're doing right now? Did he think there was anything unique about this stone? Of course he didn't, he probably hated it - it wouldn't have been a very comfortable pillow, I imagine! It was something insignificant, even painful for him, it was not what he wanted or what he expected the blessing to look like - but, by God's intervention, at God's appointed time, the stone was transformed into what? A marker and a monument, a memorial to the blessing of God, an encounter with God in his life.
Now, that is just amazing to me. Jacob couldn't see any of this. I'm going to say to you tonight: you cannot see, perhaps, this evening, God in your circumstances, God in your environment, God in your situation; but if God tonight - and I believe He's going to do this for many people - if He imparts vision to you, you're going to see something you've never seen before, because the ordinary things, when they are ordained of God and given an imparted vision from God, they become anointed carriers of blessing. That's why this stone that was a pillow became a pillar that he set upright, and he anointed with oil, and it became a monument to God's dealings in his life - in the space of one evening that's how the change happened! Why? Because God gave him vision.
Revelation chapter 19 and verse 10 says: 'For it is the spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus'. Prophecy, revelation testifies of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, big question for you: what is dreaming? What is it? Now I don't mean daydreaming, and I don't mean all sorts of fanciful stuff when you eat too much cheese before you go to bed - what is dreaming for God? What is getting dreams from God? What is vision that we are talking about? Well basically, and I'm a simple fellow, this is the way I understand it: dreaming is God dreaming through you, God is dreaming through you. Do you know what vision is? Well, if you're a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives within you, and so vision is God's eyes looking through you, and so you start to see as God sees. Jason Upton has a wonderful song about Jacob, and a few of the lines go:
'Finally Jacob's lying down,
And', speaking of God, he says , 'while he sleeps I will dream
Because My dream', God says, 'is not what you do,
Jacob will you dream for me
The way that I have dreamed for you?'.
God wants to dream through you, God wants to bring His plans, His purposes, His blessings to The Stables, to Fermanagh, to Ireland, Portadown. He wants to go from Coleraine to Cork, He wants to go from Bundoran to Bantry, He wants to go from Belfast right across this whole island, without respect of persons, or place, or religion, creed, colour, culture! That is God's dream: that His kingdom should come, that His will should be done - but here's the question: are we dreaming His dream, are we seeing His vision? I believe many are starting.
What was God's dream and vision for Jacob? Let's look at it, verse 13, first of all a land: 'Behold, the LORD stood above the ladder and said: 'I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants''. Now obviously that was specific to the nation of Israel, but the blessing of inheritance of the nations that is promised here is in Abraham, and it's to the whole world, and it's fulfilled in Jesus Christ - and it's being fulfilled as multitudes come into the kingdom of God believing in Jesus. I believe God wants to give us Ireland. Now Ireland will not be completely His until Jesus returns, but I believe He wants, in spirit, His kingdom transformation to come and His renewal and reconciliation to this land that was once the land of saints and scholars, and that God has blessed in a mighty, mighty way, and Satan still wants to destroy. The blessing is the blessing of land, but it's also the blessing of offspring, look at verse 14: 'Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed'. That was the Jewish people, but all the families of the earth shall be blessed through the promise to Abraham. Now listen: when God conceives something of the Holy Spirit like a vision and a dream, there is an incubation, just like the natural seed in the womb. There is a period of gestation, but the objective of conception, impregnation, incubation and gestation is what? Travail and birth, that's the whole point of it all!
God's intention is always to bear fruit. God's own purpose has never ever changed. In the Garden of Eden, He said to Adam and Eve: 'Be fruitful and multiply'; when He destroy the earth because of sin and Noah built the Ark, and he started to reproduce again and populate the earth, God said: 'Be fruitful and multiply'. God told Abraham, and this is the repetition of the Abrahamic blessing, that God was going to multiply his seed as the sand of the shore and as the stars of the sky. There has never been a time when God was not interested in multiplications - why? Because thousands, millions, are dying and perishing without vision - so God wants millions to be saved!
Whenever the Lord makes these promises of fruitfulness in the Bible - if you're familiar with the Old Testament, and particularly the book of Genesis - you will see that whenever God promises, 'I'm going to multiply you', Satan comes in and he tries to thwart that by creating barrenness. Have you ever noticed that? How many times God brings His promised, anointed deliverer out of a barren, infertile womb. Again and again the Lord has to work a miracle: in Sarah's womb, Rebekah's womb, Hannah's womb - God is working a miracle in this place, and I believe He is beginning to work a miracle in Ireland.
Quickly turn with me, and again this is going to be a prophetic passage. Isaiah 54, keep your finger in Genesis there, Isaiah 54 - and just as I said in Isaiah 61, listen, because God has got a word for some people here tonight just through reading these verses. Let's begin at verse 1, now remember what we're talking about - barrenness, but God's miracle to overcome it. You might feel like a barren Christian, you might feel disappointed and your vision and your dream has been totally decimated - but listen, verse 1: ''Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not laboured with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman', says the LORD. 'Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited. Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the LORD has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused', says your God. 'For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you', says the LORD, your Redeemer'.
Isn't that incredible? God wants to come to barrenness, and He wants to say: 'Get ready! Get ready, because I'm going to enlarge you, you're going to have more children than you could ever imagine!' - that's our God! He overcomes the schemes and plans of Satan by the miraculous, supernatural, almighty power that He has. I was at a retreat last night and this morning with a group of Christian leaders in the local church - I wasn't doing anything at it, only eating and enjoying myself, I wasn't preaching or anything like that! But there was a prophetic word that was given by the speaker this morning, several, a couple, but one in particular that hit me right between the eyes - knowing what I was going to be preaching on here tonight, and this is highly significant to some of you who have been in prayer this week concerning this meeting - he just said: 'There are people here', and he probably thought he was talking to the church, and there's no doubt he was, the church that was there, but he said, 'There are people here, and the word for you is 'enlarge'' - enlarge. Do you know what he said? I've got it in my pocket, he didn't do this, but I thought I would do it, he says the picture that he had was a balloon - and this says 'Happy 40th Birthday', alright? I got it from a neighbour, it's not mine! He said: 'You can blow into a balloon'. You blow the balloon, OK, and it's full right away, alright? I'm covering the puncture! It's full, but it's not filled to capacity, is it? It can be stretched, just like Isaiah was saying: 'Stretch out your tents'.
Now, what are you satisfied with? When you're blowing up a balloon for children, they're not satisfied with that and tying a knot in it, but many Christians, many churches are satisfied with feeling full - whether it's full of Scripture, full of activity, full of a reputation, full of their history. Listen: God wants to expand this work, God wants to expand His kingdom work right across the earth, but my heart is for Ireland - God is wanting to expand right across this island! Enlarge - is that a word for you tonight? He wants to bring offspring for you. Jesus said to the disciples in John 14: 'You have been chosen by God and ordained that you should bear much fruit'. I believe we should not be satisfied until we are bearing much fruit.
So there was land, there was offspring, get ready for enlargement! But thirdly there was protection and promises fulfilled - look at verse 15: 'Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you'. God will protect this work, this baby that He is instrumental in the birth of, He's going to fulfil His promises. Listen: He will fulfil His promises for you, don't be like Jacob and try with the arm of flesh to make it happen - wait on Him in faith! Listen: He is watching over His word, so you start watching in fulfilment for it, and waiting, and stand upon the walls and look for Him - it's coming!
But ultimately God's dream was for His presence, verse 15: 'I am with you'. Now listen: I don't know how much you know about the Bible, but looking at all of biblical history, God's heartbeat, God's desire, His passion has always been to dwell in the midst of His people - do you know that? Right from the Garden of Eden when He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day; right to the Tabernacle where He dwelt with Israel in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night; right in the Holy of Holies where He dwelt over the Ark of the Covenant in that cloud called the Shekinah, which means 'dwelling of God'; right to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, John 1:14, who tabernacled, who dwelt among us - Jesus was the absolute epitome, because He was God manifest in flesh, God come to dwell in the midst of His people. Listen: God is always looking for a dwelling place, He is always looking for a Bethel, He is always looking for a piece of land, a group of people where He can rest. Do you want that? I do. Do you want that Stables? Would that be good in Fermanagh? Would it be great if Fermanagh was called the county where God rests? Whatever county you're from, wouldn't it be great if Ireland was known as the place where God rested?
You see, revelation caused Jacob to see what was real. Get this: revelation caused him to see what was already there. What does he say? Verse 16, look at it: 'Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it'. Do you see this? Do you see the journey he is on? He comes down to this, as far as he is concerned, godforsaken wilderness, and he lies down absolutely exhausted from his striving to get blessing from God. That's what the church is doing, striving, striving, striving to get blessing, get blessing. God reveals Himself to him with his head on a pillow, and he wakes up and he thinks: 'God is here, and I didn't even realise it!'. I think if we realised what we already had, there would be revival immediately! Some people just don't see it, some Christians just don't see what's already there - why? Because of the flesh, and they're not getting revelation from God.
What does God want? Here's what God wants: He wants a house, and He wants a gateway of heaven on earth. Look at verse 12, the dream: 'Behold, a ladder was set up on the earth', now this is interesting, the ladder was put up on the earth , it didn't say the ladder was sent down from heaven to earth, do you notice that? The latter was put up on the earth, and the top of the ladder 'reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it'. What was this? It was a stairway from earth to heaven, and there were angelic ministrations passing between those dimensions. Jacob found himself under an open heaven. Now Jesus is our open heaven, in fact in John chapter 1 Jesus came to a Jew called Nathanael, and He actually quotes from this Bible story. He says: 'Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man'. He said to Nathanael: 'You will see greater things than these!'.
Jesus is our ladder to heaven, do you know that? Some poor Protestant people, and some poor Roman Catholic people are climbing up a ten rung ladder to heaven, the Ten Commandments. They think they will get to God through keeping the Ten Commandments, you'll not. Do you know why the Ten Commandments were given? To show you that every single rung of the ladder is broken, that's what the Ten Commandments are given for. The Ten Commandments are there to show us that we can't make our way to God, not to make a way to God. Do you understand? It's like a magnifying glass to show us our sin and our need a Saviour. That's what religion does, it's a way to climb a ladder to God - but Jesus came in John 14 and verse 6 and said: 'I am the way, the truth and the life; nobody can come to the Father but by Me'. But Jesus has gone to heaven, hasn't He? So where is the Bethel today? Where is the house of God today? Do you know what the house of God is? In 1 Corinthians 3 verse 16 Paul says: 'Do you not know that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit?' - the church, and each Christian in the church. Do you know that that's what being a Christian is? Not going to church, Christians, good living people going to church - no! Christians being the church! You're the Temple of God when God dwells in you, God's Holy Spirit, God is living in you - and do you know what that means? If you are a true born-again Christian, you are living under an open heaven.
All I hear about is people telling me, 'What the devil does to me, and the demons do this' - devil, devil, devil, devil! Christians need to start realising, yes the devil can get a foothold in our life, but if you would realise that you are already under an open heaven - look at this ladder, who is at the top of it? The LORD is over it! We are to be stewards of the heavenly realm. We, as Christians, are to be gateways to glory. Do you know what that means? When people meet us, they are meant to meet heaven, they are meant to meet God in His presence - and I believe that's what a church is meant to be. People are meant to come in and sense the atmosphere being heavenly - is that what your church is like? I can't imagine it is in most cases. Is that what most Christian gatherings are like, a gateway to heaven?
Listen: you are a gate to heaven, you are an opening to heaven, if you're a child of God. God wants gateways to heaven, angels serve you according to the word of God. We need to realise this - and, listen, I believe that God is making The Stables (and I'm not saying that because I'm here, because I have no selfish interest, I'm a visitor, I'm a guest, OK?), but I believe God is making The Stables a gateway to heaven - I believe that. I believe that this, and especially tonight, is a 'kairos' moment for The Stables, of what they're going to step into, and whether they are going to realise this blessing of becoming a gateway to Ireland even, to Ireland, to bless this nation again with the kingdom blessing of the Gospel that has been lost to it for many, many years.
Someone once said: 'The church has been negligent in one thing, she has not prayed the power of God out of heaven' - that's what we need to do! That's what we need to do: 'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven'. Listen: if it exists in heaven, it's meant to be loosed on earth - that's what Jesus meant when He said, 'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done'; that's what He meant when He said, 'Whatsoever you loose on earth shall already have been loosed in heaven; whatsoever you bind on earth shall already have been bound in heaven'. It's not that we are doing stuff here and heaven has to, 'Oh, quick, catch up, they're doing something down there', that's not what it means. It means actually bringing God's will to be done on earth as He has purposed, and we have got the authority as children of God - if we're walking in the Spirit and in His kingdom principles - we have authority to do that, and to loose His will and to bind whatsoever is not of His will.
Someone also said: 'Getting us to heaven is not nearly as great a challenge as getting heaven into us'. I love the stories of revival, and I hate looking back now and getting stuck in the past and forgetting that God is a God who does things in the present, and is going to do stuff. But I love the stories of the Hebridean revival, Lewis, and the stories of Duncan Campbell and the Faith Mission. I just love the description, and when you hear that man - if you ever hear him on cassette talking about the revival, the revival resonates through his very intonations. You can feel God in this man as he communicates, he being dead yet speaks. I just can never ever forget what he says about revival: 'God was everywhere'. He describes revival as: 'A people saturated by God'. What are people saturated by in Ireland? We are saturated by addiction. We are saturated by immorality of every kind. We are saturated by materialism, sensuality. We are saturated by political correctness. We are saturated by religious adherence that is empty and dead and meaningless. We are saturated by every manner of despair, suicide, depression. We are saturated by demonic influences, superstition, all sorts of spells and curses. We are saturated! We need to be saturated, we need our people to be saturated by God! Can you envisage, can you receive an impartation of a vision tonight: what it would be like for God to be everywhere! Do you believe that's possible? It's all to do with the Spirit of God imparting vision, and what you do with it. Do you know that wee carol: 'Do you see what I see', do you know that one? 'Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?', that's what God is singing over us tonight: 'Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?'.
Jacob's response, verse 20 quickly, and I'm closing. Do you know what he does? He starts dealing with God. Some of our hymns make this sound pious: 'You shall be our chosen God'. I like that hymn, but it's wrong there. Jacob is dealing with God, he's saying: 'If God will be with me'. God said: 'I will be with you', He didn't say 'I might be with you', He said 'I will'. Jacob says: 'Well, if You will be with me', and instead of humbly submitting to the promises God was giving him, he tries to set the terms of the covenant. That's what people do with God: they try and deal with God, they try and bargain with God - 'Well, if God gives me this, then I will maybe serve Him'. You know, somebody lying on their back, and they're ill, and they say: 'Lord, if You lift me, raise me up, make me well again, I'll give You all my life' - and they're are up like a flash, and they're away to the pub as quick as their legs can carry them. Do you understand what I mean? They are dealing with God on their terms.
You compare and contrast God's promises, you read God's promises - we don't have time to look at it, but God says: 'I will do this, I will do that, I will do this for you'. They were God-centred, God's promises were God-centred. Jacob's conditions were man-centred: 'If You do this, if You do that'. Yet God was gracious with him - isn't it wonderful? God didn't call the whole thing off and say: 'I can't work with this fellow. Look I've just given him a dream, I've just given him a supernatural experience, an unconscious encounter, and he's starting to deal with Me' - but God hung in there, like He is hanging in with you, and hanging in with me. The sad thing about this story is this: Jacob remained unchanged. He had been given a vision by God, and he remained the same. It's unbelievable in a sense, but you see when you understand the propensity of the flesh to get in God's way, you realise it's not incredible at all.
Now from what I've preached tonight, I want to ask you: will you remain unchanged? Please don't go out and say: 'Wasn't that a nice meeting?', or 'Wasn't that wonderful? I never heard that before!'. I want you tonight to go away changed, transformed in such a way as your environment, and everybody that comes into the vicinity of you will be changed too. I want The Stables to be changed, I want Fermanagh to be changed, I want Ireland to be changed - is that too big? Well, how big is God? How big is God? Is anything too hard for the Lord? God lives in all believers, but the glory of His presence comes to rest on only a few. Let me repeat that in case some of you didn't get it: God lives in every believer, but the glory of His presence only comes to rest on a few. Will you be one of the few that will be a gateway to bring His presence to Ireland? Who will be the few?
Let's pray. Now let's have quietness and stillness, the meeting is almost over but we just want to take an opportunity - you prayed at the beginning of the meeting that God would speak to you, some of you did anyway, and He has spoken to you. I haven't a clue how He has spoken personally to you, but you know. So I want you to respond to that. You see, this isn't a spectator sport, this is not watching television where you have no part to play, this is not entertainment: you are receiving words from God. I'm not God, but this is God's word that we have preached, and He speaks through this medium. You have a responsibility: what are you going to do with what God is saying to you? Are there people here tonight - while heads are bowed and eyes are closed - are there people here tonight, and you had a vision from God and a dream from God, and you're a Christian who has been on the road many years, but that dream and vision has been drowned beneath disappointments, distractions and despair? But God has breathed new life into the dream tonight, and He has told you that He has been watching - you have not been watchful, but He has been watchful to perform His word - He's about to perform it, and the danger is that you're not alert enough to even notice it. But God has drawn your attention tonight that things are changing. Is there anybody here tonight - and I'm not interested in numbers, OK, I'm not interested in going away and saying 'So many put their hands up', I can't even count them, OK, I'm not interested in that - what I'm interested in is you responding, and God ministering to you. Is there anyone who has had a lost dream, and God says to you: 'I am the one who will perform this, I will do it, I am faithful to My word, have hope again, have faith again'? Is there anyone would confess that God has breathed new hope into that tonight? Just raise your hand. There are many people raising their hands, so don't be afraid to raise your hand. God bless you, you can put it down when you've put it up, just as an acknowledgement. God bless.
I think there are people and God is asking them to do something about this dream. You're in a moment of opportunity right now, aren't you? God has been asking some of you to do something, to step out - you know exactly what it is - to actually step out to fulfil this dream. Some of you have been passively waiting for God to drop it on your head someday, but you have a part to play in it. You know what He has told you to do, and you haven't yet stepped into it. He is making you aware that this is the 'kairos' moment, this is the window of opportunity for you to just step out and put your faith and make them works. Is there anybody will say: 'Yes, I know God has told me to do something, I haven't done it, and I need to do it now' - would you put your hand up just where you are? There are people putting their hands up - you know there is something for you to do, and you haven't done it yet, and so you're at checkmate - and that's why.
Is there anyone here tonight, and you know you have been operating in the flesh even as a Christian. You know you've been trying to get the blessing of God - and, by the way, you can put your hand up more than once - the blessing of God by fleshly means. You've been like Jacob, you haven't been waiting on God's time, and you need to repent of that. Just stick your hand up before God to confess that, you can put it down. God is really speaking to people, moving among people tonight.
Is there anybody, and you would class yourself as a backslider? A few people with hands up already - is there anybody else? Do you know what that means? You once walked as a Christian, but you recognise the flesh in your life that is keeping you from the promises blessing of God, and you need to come back to Him. You're like the prodigal, Jacob is the prodigal of the Old Testament - God bless you, anyone else? Jacob is the prodigal of the Old Testament, because he is Israel, God's wayward people. I believe God is saying things to people that are on levels and dimensions that are just - even how this meeting has come into being, not everybody knows about the details and minutia, but God is working, networking things here tonight on levels that are beyond any of us. That is so gratifying to know, because it's nothing to do with me or anybody, it's just happening because it's God.
There may be someone here and you're not a Christian, you're not born again. I know Ireland has been called a Christian country, I know you might go to church, or have your religion or whatever - we've all had that - but you don't personally know Jesus Christ the way we are talking about. The way the Bible says it - nothing to do with us, we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord. You want that, and you realise that tonight is your opportunity, tonight is your moment to be a Christian and get right with God. While heads are bowed and eyes are closed, would you put your hand up to say: 'I need Christ, and I want to confess my need of Him tonight' - would you do that where you're sitting? I always like to give an opportunity for anyone, although this has been mainly a meeting for Christians, for anyone here who would like to come to Jesus tonight. I will just lead you in a little prayer now that you can pray from your heart, but would you just acknowledge your need where you're sitting? Slip your hand up and down and I will see it, and pray for you.
Let me just lead, first of all, in a prayer anybody who wants to become a Christian - even if you didn't indicate it, but you want to pray just where you're sitting, do this from your heart. Just pray these words and mean them, you've got to realise you're a sinner, and you've got to realise Jesus died for you. All you have to do is receive Him as Your Lord and give Him your life - that's it, that's all you need to do, OK? It's faith that saves you, because of what Jesus did on the cross - it's nothing else. So you just say now, just from your heart quietly, between the Lord and you: 'God, I come to You in the name of Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I confess I am a sinner, and I believe that Jesus died to save me on the cross. I turn from my sin and I turn to You, and I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me, make me Your child. I confess Jesus as Lord of my life, I renounce Satan and all his works, and I ask You to fill me now with the Holy Spirit - that I may live a life that is pleasing to You. In Jesus' name, Amen'.
If you're a backslider, you just confess your sin to the Lord. Confess your sins, and He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Confess your sin to the Lord, and come to Him just now, come to the cross, the foot of the cross. If you're operating in the flesh, come to the foot of the cross and see that your flesh was nailed to Jesus there in His flesh on the cross, you don't need to strive, you don't need to struggle, you don't need to earn anything from God - it's all given through the promise. You must have faith in what Jesus has done. His resurrection life now can live through you because He is alive, He is here by His Spirit.
But there may be those here tonight and you have blockages to blessing, you're not ready for the new thing that God is breaking into the world at this very moment in these last days, you're not ready for the end time harvest that is being outpoured upon the globe - why? Because the devil has got you in his clutches, because there are sins that you're not repenting of, and maybe you feel you can't - you can't get over them. The reason is: there are wounds in your heart that the devil has a foothold in, or there is demonic empowerment that is driving you in the habits. You need deliverance tonight. Will you bring those things to Jesus, will you take them to the foot of the cross and say: 'Lord, You know that this is my problem, You know that this is the obstacle in my pathway'? Remember we read from Isaiah, we are meant to clear the rocks out of the ground to prepare a way for the Lord. The Lord can't get through these obstacles in your life because you need to remove them, you need to repent of your sin, you need to be healed of your wounds, you need to tell the devil to go. Maybe you need help with that, and that's what these meetings have been - we've been up all night some nights helping people, and they've been really liberated by the power of the Gospel and the word of Jesus. Maybe you need to wait behind tonight for prayer ministry, but even now where you are, you can deal with God and you can be set free just in the chair. People have been testifying to us we go after week that during this moment of prayer ministry, people have been set free and they haven't needed to wait behind - God did it! You don't need me, you don't need a preacher, you don't need a minister, you don't need a priest, you need God! God is here, this is a house of God, God is just right at your elbow - and He wants to come right into your heart and possess you. You say: 'Lord, this is my problem, will You please help me. I repent of it, and I ask You to deliver me, and I ask You to break the power of this'. Do it now, confess your sin, confess the wound, maybe it's a heartache, maybe it's a hurt, maybe it's unforgiveness or resentment that you have, maybe someone has harmed you are wronged you in some way, or hurt you deeply. Why not bring a person to the Lord and say: 'Lord, here is this person, and I choose - as You have said - to forgive them, because You will not forgive me unless I forgive them' - that's what the Bible says. Is it something you dabbled in in the occult? Is it some dark thing that you've done? Has it been some trait in your family, some tradition or some curse that has even been there? You know what, it's on your family, it's on your life, and you need to be set free - bring it to the Lord, and say: 'Lord, set me free tonight'.
Maybe your family, like Jacob's, has been dysfunctional. It's a mess, and you've ended up with a mess covered all over you as a result. Well, bring it to the Lord, bring your heartache, bring your rejection. Bring your abandonment to the Lord, bring your barrenness to the Lord, bring your unfruitfulness to the Lord, bring your wilderness to the Lord, bring your broken relationships to the Lord, bring it all to Him. He says: 'Come to me, all you that are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest'.
Now, Lord, I just commit this company of people to You now. I commit every person to You that has interacted with You and engaged with You in repentance, faith, forgiveness, any kind of renunciation or declaration. Lord, I ask You now in the mighty, all-victorious name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of the blood that He shed at the cross, and His glorious resurrection from the tomb - I ask You now to break the power of the enemy over people's lives. I ask You to heal the brokenhearted, I ask You to bind up their wounds, I ask You to pour in Your oil and Your wine, the balm of Gilead, pour it right deep into spirits that are broken, fractured, spirits that are fragmented and stuck in the past, stuck in traumas, stuck with other people. Break ties; break bondages; Lord, break the power of inheritance; break the power of generational iniquity; break the power of generational curse coming down on our family lines; break every association that we've ever had with anything occult, with anything evil; break every curse that has been over our lives sent by others, sent by demons, even pronounced over our own lives by declarations, inner vows and curses that we have made. Lord, break the enemy's power over our lives, remove the rocks, remove the obstacles. We are wanting to prepare a way of the Lord, to make His paths straight, so that He might come suddenly to His Temple. Lord, will You come tonight, Lord, will You come and heal troubled minds, heal hearts filled with unrest, where there is emotional brokenness. Would You come, Lord, and heal shattered and crushed, bruised spirits? Would You come, Lord, and heal those whose bodies are actually manifesting the affliction of their own heartache and turmoil? Lord, would You come and, in the name and authority of the Lord Jesus, I pronounce over this company: by His stripes you are healed, be healed in the mighty name of Jesus. I command every emissary of the enemy, every curse of darkness, every demon of hell: go in the mighty name of Jesus, go in the name of Jesus. I pray, Lord, tonight, You will baptise people in the Holy Spirit, I pray that You will fill them with the power of the Holy Spirit - I pray that they will realise, that they will actually have a vision, they will have a dream, they will have an impartation of the knowledge that they are connected with heaven, that over their head right now is an opening, a gateway to heaven. Lord, that You would witness with their spirit the heavenly realm and dimension that You're taking them into tonight. Lord, I pray more than this, I pray for The Stables, I pray that You will take these individuals - and those particularly who are intrinsic to the movement of this gathering and this group of people, and what You're pouring out - I pray that You will solidify the wineskins, so that the new wine may have a framework to be held, so that it can be reached out to the thirsty and those who are dying; and, Lord, that this place might be a receptacle to hold the new thing that You're pouring out upon us from heaven right now. Lord, make this place a Bethel, a veritable monument of a testimony to You, that the anointing would be so poured upon this place, that people would find rest from pillows of stone because the healing Spirit is pouring from heaven right down - that this would be a place, right at this moment, right now, Lord, send Your holy Angels, Lord of Hosts, to minister, to bring healing touches, to bring impartation of whatever You want to do, to break vision out in the eyes of the hearts, in the minds and hearts of the people gathered here. Lord, would You do something tonight, would You send something from heaven that will impact Fermanagh, that will impact across the border into Sligo, that will impact into Monaghan, that will impact right across the whole of the Republic of Ireland - that from North and South we would be a people again that will be awash with the supernatural power of God to the glory of Jesus Christ. Lord, we pray that tonight across our island and islands that You would release the glorious power of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; that the power of the cross would be unleashed - what You want to unleash on earth, Lord, we in agreement would unleash on earth in cooperation with You, as it has already been unleashed in heaven. Lord, there is no heartache in heaven, there is no sickness in heaven, there is no sin in heaven, there are no demons in heaven, so why should any of these things be on us and in us here and now. We know we live in a fallen world, and we know that nothing will be perfect until Jesus returns, but Lord we know that You have put the deposit, the inheritance of things to come, in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. So we're asking you now, Lord, for a little bit of heaven on earth - that's what we need, that's what our people need to see! They need to see that God lives, and God is real. Lord, there are some people here tonight, and they need a touch from You to even know that You're even there. I pray that You will just touch them now. I pray that from this meeting people will have dreams, will have visions, I pray that gifts of the Spirit will be imparted and released in their lives. I pray that new characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit will explode within them. I pray that churches will be different tomorrow in this vicinity because of people who have been here, and they have been come carriers of the Presence - that the anointing is on them, which is a testimony of Jesus - and wherever we go tomorrow, that we will carry the fragrance of the presence of Jesus with us, and others will be able to see and hear that we have been with Jesus. Lord, would You pour something out upon us tonight that is beyond anything we've ever experienced before, would You do whatever You want to do - and I don't care what it looks like and what it sounds like, as long as it's from You, that's all that matters! Would You come, and would You do it, Lord, we pray? We thank You for Your presence here tonight, we thank You for Your prophetic voice, and we pray that it will not fall to the ground because of our neglect of it. We thank You for the remnant of watchers that You're raising up, and we pray that You will raise more up from this gathering tonight - watchers on the wall, that will not give You rest until You bring Your praise on the earth.
Now let me say, before I close the meeting with an 'Amen', that God's presence is here - very heavily here. I'd like the musicians to think of something appropriate that we could sing, and I want to say that we have prayer ministry available for people who are in need. Now, you understand what that means: God has put His finger on something in your life tonight, and you need help with it, you can't deal with it yourself. Well, I want to encourage you to come - we have private rooms where you can talk to me or others. I would just say, and I don't want to put a straitjacket on you, because we're all quite cramped and it's hard - but just be aware that God's presence is here tonight, and God is speaking to people and dealing with people. We want to give people space to do that, so if you want to carry on a conversation, do it quietly. God is in this place, I hope you know what. Do you know the amazing thing? There are people, and there's one person sitting there and they feel God all over them, and there is a person sitting beside them and they don't even know God is here. Isn't it remarkable? That's the way Jacob was. Don't be like Jacob tonight, and certainly don't remain unchanged.
Lord, I bless what You're doing - I'm not asking You to bless what I'm doing, I'm blessing what You're doing. I say: have Your will and have Your way in all of our lives tonight, in Jesus' name, Amen.
Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at The Stables in Enniskillen by David Legge. It was transcribed from the third recording in his 'The Jacob Enigma' series, entitled "Jacob's Unconscious Encounter" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.
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