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Face Up

Genesis 35:1
Then God said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother."

Jacob remembers this location well. It's the place where he encountered God - "I have seen God face to face." (32:30) He found himself in that situation to begin with because he was avoiding "facing" his brother Esau. We use a term to describe the process of confronting things in our lives. It's called "facing" - your fears, your issues, etc. No matter how long we try to avoid it, at some point we will find ourselves in a "face off" with the very things we have been running from. The issue God used to bring Jacob to that moment was his fear of Esau's revenge. God knew the issue that Jacob needed to face was his identity. Really, that's what he was wrestling with that night - guilt, manipulation, all the things that had motivated his life. That night, the issue changed. It was evident in his encounter with Esau the next day. I love his words to his brother - "I have seen your face as thought I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me." (33:10)

It seems that after we face our issues, grappling with them until they cannot prevail against you (see 32:25), we see those issues differenly. In hindsight, we no longer see our fears, insecurities, our failures. Instead we see them as the face of God.

And it doesn't rest there. The point of struggle becomes a place of worship. Even more, it becomes your home, your place of residence. God will bring us back to those encounters to remember what we have faced, what we have persevered, and it becomes the place of blessing.

Lord, wherever I have to be to face what you need me to face, take me there. So that I too can see Your face.

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vfdgh yiar wyrl thdklcmnb tyji vijal vzhnku

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 17, 2004 12:00 AM.

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