Step Out!

God Called Me Jacob

How difficult it is to be unique, i.e., different from the crowd and, therefore, often misunderstood by man. Yet, if we walk the path God has ordained for our lives, we will undeniably be both. Throughout history, God searches for those individuals who will step out to follow Him; to become the uniquely different people He called them to be. At the very beginning of our Judeo Christian heritage, uniqueness clearly appears in the lives of the patriarchs of Israel. Of the three patriarchs chosen by God – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is Jacob who is the most unique; the least understood and certainly the least revered. Yet, out of his genetic pool were born the entire twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. More was produced from his life numerically in extending God’s kingdom on earth than Abraham and Isaac’s lives combined. Abraham began the nation; Isaac continued the nation. But, it was through the life of Jacob that God’s desire for a people for Himself was advanced and increased. We are in desperate need today for advancement in the Kingdom of God: both through God’s nation, Israel, and God’s body, the church.

Throughout recent history there have been those like Abraham who have been chosen by God to begin…birthing both the nation of Israel and new movements in the body of the Messiah, the church. We have had those who have caught the fire of those beginnings; then continued developing, building on what was begun, as did Isaac. Now, where are the Jacobs who will take this fire from their predecessors and run forward to bring dramatic, worldwide extension of the Kingdom of God? It could be you and me!

However, if the Kingdom of God is to be advanced and increased through our lives, we, as Jacob, need to develop and demonstrate our uniqueness in God; to step out of the box, go over the wall, outgrow the ordinary, and venture beyond the limits of the possible into the miraculous realm of the Kingdom of God.

Walk with me, if you will, through the God ordained journey of the most unique, impossible, improbable, paradoxical life of one named Jacob, the one God hand-picked to advance and extend His kingdom. I know this man well, for “early one day,” God also called me “Jacob.” I hope you will enjoy reading and understanding parts of my life’s journey, too. As you read, may He give you tremendous insight into His patterns and plans for you; for you are a very special, very unique child of God.

Jacob’s Lament

 God called me Jacob early one day.
Oh, don’t call me Jacob, I earnestly prayed;
Surely there’s a name I could accept
Better than Jacob; that makes me upset!

 Call me firstborn, I cried from my innermost parts;
I could serve You as leader,
I’m quick and I’m smart,
But God called me Jacob as right from the start.

 Call me blessed, for then I know I could bless
Others around me; don’t let me be less.
“Jacob is cunning, surely, and proud;
Your name is still Jacob,” God said out loud.

 Call me delivered, responded my soul;
Perhaps You’ll remove all that is foul.
“Yes, you are Jacob,” my Father declared,
“And much of your personality is snared.”

 All caught in traps, I know You’ll undo;
Call me restored, Father, please for my sake move.
“In all this you’re Jacob,” God did respond,
“And each cry of your heart, I’ll meet without bound.

 For Jacob I love you as I look at your heart,
And behold great beauty not there at the start.
You’ll no longer be Jacob,” my Lord did explain;
Israel now is a much better name.

 You’ve learned your lessons,
Well you’ve been taught;
Older and wiser, more humbly you’ll walk.
I’ll trust you to share
In all that I do,
And in this day, My church
Will honor you, too.”

Penny Sheahan
March 31, 1994

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