Bible Reading for: January 13
Who are you seeking to serve? God or yourself?
I view the relationship of the Israelites to God as analogous to the relationship of the saved to God. Now you might think it more analogous to the relationship between the Lost and God but I respectfully disagree. When we submit our lives to Christ we become one of His children and God disciplines His children. Having been born again in Christ we have a lot of growing up to do.
If you’ve had or have children you know they make a lot of mistakes. They struggle to do what they know they should do and their immaturity often leads them to do things they shouldn’t. It is with patient discipline that we bring children to adulthood. At family get-togethers, my siblings, parents, and I will often reminisce about some of our escapades as children. The conversation often concludes with my parents shaking their heads and saying “I don’t know how you guys made it to adulthood”.
These struggles by the young and inexperienced are not good, but they are to be expected. In today’s reading I don’t view Jacob as analogous to a Lost person but analogous to an immature Christian. Now I suppose one could say that we see in today’s passage Jacob’s “come to Jesus” moment, but whether he already has a relationship with God, or finally begins one, he demonstrates an approach to God that many a Lost person and immature Christian take; they bargain with God.
While sleeping alone on the road to Haran, God speaks to Jacob in a dream. God calls him to a right relationship with Him. Upon waking Jacob is in awe of God, but look at the deal he tries to strike with Him.
Genesis 28:20-22 ESV
“ Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear,  so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God,  and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.'”
Jacob says that if God will do X he will do Y. This is a child’s way of dealing with God. God wasn’t angry with Jacob for this foolishness. God understood that Jacob had a lot of growing up to do and intended to see him through that growing up. The immature Christian looks for how God can serve him. The mature Christian looks for how he can serve God.
Jacob is one of those characters who, in my book, never fully grows up in his relationship with God. What we learn from this, however, is that God loves His children no matter how well, fast, or completely they mature in their relationship with Him. The question for you and me today is this: will we remain immature in Christ, seeking how God can serve us, or will we mature in Christ, seeking how we can serve Him? We all have some growing up to do.
Victorem Viver! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!