Jentezen Franklin - Pressing For The Blessing
If you have your Bibles, I would like for you to open them with me to the Book of Genesis. I wanna go to the Book of Genesis, Genesis 32. I just felt like that what I'm gonna share with you right now, if you will let the Holy Spirit kind of plow deep, if you will let the Holy Spirit do what He wants to do, because you've come from all over the world. So open your heart, open your spirit, and let Him speak to you tonight. So I wanna talk to you for a few moments about pressing for the blessing. Pressing for the blessing.
In this story, Jacob was afraid, he was greatly afraid, greatly distressed, because he had 400 men coming to wipe him out, his brother Esau, you remember, he had stolen the birthright from his brother. And now, some years later, his brother has finally located him, and he is mad, and he is furious, and he's got 400 armed men, and he's going to not only wipe Jacob out, but he's going to wipe his family out, he's going to wipe his children out, because he has to destroy the blood line to get in that position of inheritance.
Again, he has to wipe his brother out, and the Bible said that he was greatly distressed. He was afraid. Afraid for his family. Afraid for his future. Afraid for things that were going on. And in that moment, he became desperate. And he begins to focus on Esau, and he begins to cry out to God at the River Jabbok. He begins to cry out, "God, do something about Esau. Esau is my problem. Esau is my issue. God, I really need You now. I'm in a desperate situation. I'm afraid of what's gonna happen if You don't handle Esau. Esau's coming to get me. Esau's coming to kill me. God, do something. Esau is my problem". He thought that he had too much Esau, but God was thinking, what your real issue is, is you have too much Jacob.
Sometimes, what we think is the real problem is not the real problem, the real problem is us. God can handle your Esaus. God can handle whatever is coming to stop you and hinder you. God was saying, "You don't have a problem that I can't handle. The issue is not too much Esau, the issue is too much Jacob. But when I get through with you this night, by the time I finish wrestling with you, there shall be no more Jacob. You're not going to leave here like you came. You're not gonna leave here struggling with the same issues that you struggled with. Because I'm going to so touch you, I'm going to so transform you", then He says something powerful. If you look it up, if you look and get a few other commentaries to look this verse up, He says: "I'm going to change your name, and you shall no longer be called Jacob. I'm going to call you Israel, which means Prince".
And then, He makes this promise, and it's powerful. He said, "For you shall have power with God and favor with men". Power with God, and favor with men. God has got a plan and a purpose for every person who is listening to me right now. God wants to make something useful, something influential, something powerful with every person under the sound of my voice. Right now, God is wanting you to understand that He can bless you tonight with something called the blessing.
It's a supernatural force on your life that gives you power with God, and it gives you favor with men, and it causes the blessing to come on your life, to such a degree that even if people try to curse you, even if haters start hating on you, even if people start attacking you, there is a blessing on your life that God says, "Because they have wrestled and they have desired what I had for them, I'm going to give them power with God and favor with men". Everybody shout, "Power with God and favor with men".
The Bible said that in Hosea he was weeping and wrestling. Weeping and wrestling. He was a desperate man. It's time for us to get a little desperate. I wanna say to all of the men in this room, that the women shouldn't be the only ones who shed tears and weep. But there comes a time when as men, we need to wrestle with God for our families. And it's okay to weep sometimes, because I try to act strong in front of them, but sometimes, I tremble inside because I don't have all the answers, but I can go and I can wrestle with God on behalf of my family, and I can wrestle and I can weep. All night, he wrestled and he wept. He was broken. He was desperate.
You know you're desperate when you'll wrestle an angel. Jacob wrestled the angel until it was a draw. It was a tie. This is crazy. They're not even in the same weight division. The Bible said in Psalms 8:5, that He has made man: "A little lower than the angels", Psalms 120 said: "Bless the Lord, O ye angels, which excel in strength". One angel slew 185.000 men in the Old Testament. And yet, he is so desperate that he wrestles and he weeps with that angel, because he says, "I can't let my family just be attacked and I can't let my life just not matter, and something's not right, and I need a change, and I need something in my life that is forever changed, and I won't let go until You bless me".
He's wrestling, until it was a draw. How is that possible? You've seen the stories, I've see them, that some terrible accident happens, and a parent in desperation, a man or a woman, they pick up a car. It's a superhuman strength, because they're not just doing it. Maybe their child is caught up under the car, and something in them says, "I'm so desperate", that they get supernatural strength. This was the desperation of Jacob's heart. He was not wrestling for fun. He was not wrestling for bragging rights. He was a desperate man, and he was capable of doing desperate things.
And what I'm trying to say to you is when you're really gonna get changed from God, when you're gonna go more than the surface, when it's gonna be more than happy and clappy, and then you go right back to who you were, and what you were in, the fear, the depression, the sin, whatever. If you really want change, you have to lose the casual state of mind. And you have to get desperate. You have to say, "Lord, I'm wrestling and I'm weeping". And he lost the casual state of mind. The angel is closely monitoring the fight. He could've killed him any time he wanted to.
But notice something. God is not interested in destroying you and hurting you. God is interested in changing you. He's focused on one thing, He wanted change in Jacob. He could've killed him, but instead, He just held onto him, and let him fight until there was no more Jacob. His name means liar, deceiver. You know, he stole the birthright. He came out of the womb as a twin. His brother Esau, and he had his brother by the heel, and he was trying to remove him from the blessing, from the birth. Something in him was always lying and deceiving and was just shady. He was partly cloudy. There was always, he was that kid, you know, that you always, something's just not quite right about that guy. This was Jacob. I wanna get the Jacob out of Jacob, so that he can reach his full potential.
The reason that God allows us to struggle, the reason that God allows us to have pressure and weeping and wrestling is not to kill us, is not to crush us, is not to destroy us, but to change us. We're not prone to change in comfort. We're not prone to change when we're on top of the world. We're not prone to change when everything's going our way.
And God is more interested in your character than He is your comfort. He's more interested in His will and His plan, and He wants to get to a point where He says, "Hey, you know that old you that always was playing the game? When I get through with you this night, there will be no more Jacob. You're going to emerge from this place as a prince with God. And you're gonna have power with God, and you're gonna have favor with men, and I'm going to open doors no man can stop. I'm going to pour out blessings on your life, and I'm going to use you for My cause and My glory. And I'm going to see you reach your full potential".
We've got to become more aggressive in getting the blessing of God. We've gotta hunger and thirst. We've gotta get desperate. I'm telling you, the world is desperate, and the world is looking for some people who've had an encounter with God. The world is looking for some people who have been so transformed, that there's no more Jacob, and they have become princes with God, they have become people who have power with God and favor with men. Get more aggressive, when you've got God's attention like you've got it this week.
I just sense in my heart, and I just feel deep in my soul, this is your hour. This is your moment. This is when the Holy Spirit is saying, "I'm ready to change some things in your life, and I'm ready to move you to a level that you have power with God and favor with men, like you have never experienced before".
Now, here's the key to this story. The angel asked him, "What is your name"? And why is that so significant? Because the last time he was asked that very question was when his father was dying on his death bed, and he was blind, the old man was blind and he was dying, and Jacob came in, and when his father asked him, "What is your name"? He couldn't see him, he said, "What is your name"? And he said, "My name is Esau". And because he deceived the father, the father blessed him with the double portion blessing, and he left.
Now, the angel, or God, is asking him, "What is your name"? And he says, "I'm gonna deal with who I really am. The last time You asked me that question, I didn't tell the truth. The last time you asked me that question, I didn't admit I was a deceiver, I was a liar, I was a manipulator. The last time you asked me that question", and what really God was saying was, "Are you still plagued with that lack of character? Are you still plagued with that old nature? Are you still plagued with Jacob"? And he said, "I am Jacob".
In other words, he could've lied, and he could've tried to say something else, but God was wanting him to get to the place that he came to the end, and faced who he really was. And He said to him, "No longer will you be called Jacob. From this night forward, there will be no more Jacob. But you shall be Israel. You shall be a prince. You shall have power with God and you shall have favor with men". And that night, Jacob walked away. He had a different name. He had a different nature. He had a different future. He didn't walk the same. He walked with a limp. He was not the same person that he used to be. God, in one night, so transformed him that he had a pronounced blessing on his life. And God gave him favor with men, and God gave him power with God, to such a degree that we still talk about the transformation.
And inside of every Jacob is an Israel, waiting to be renamed. Inside of every Saul of Tarsus is a Paul the Apostle, waiting to be renamed. Inside of the drug addict or the alcoholic or the person who's got issues going on, there is someone that is waiting to be renamed, and God is saying, "I'm ready to pronounce tonight that there's no more Jacob. You are a new creation, and you have power with God, and you have favor with men".
Put your hands together and clap, just a moment. I want that to get down in your spirit. I want it to become a cry of your heart. Power with God, and favor with men. And so, what I felt in my heart was to call you to a challenge. Every day of my life, for many years, I pray several prayers. I pray the Prayer of Jabez. I pray the Lord's Prayer, and I pray this prayer. Father, give me power with God, and give me favor with men. And there's things that God will do for you when you reach that point of blessing, and it's all been purchased through Jesus.
The blood that He shed on the cross has the power to transform and change your family, and many of you are in this place tonight, but your burden is your family, because there are forces that are coming to destroy your family, and you're saying, "God, do something about Esau". And you thought it was about Esau, but God has brought you here tonight to say, "Let Me transform you, and when I get My will with you, you're gonna go home, and you'll have power with God and such favor with men that no weapon formed against you or your seed will prosper".
I don't know who I'm preaching to tonight, but I wanna declare that our God is a healing God, and He can heal your body right now in this room. Cancer must bow down. AIDS must bow down. Heart disease must bow down, because there's something called the blessing that can come on our life, and it gives us power with God, and favor with men. The resources will come, the finances will come, the blessing on your life is unstoppable.
And I just wonder tonight, if there are young people in this room who would be willing to say, "I'm going to get my blessing. I will not let You go, Lord, until You bless me. I'm pressing for my blessing. I'm not gonna let up. I'm not gonna let go". Because when you get broken before God, look out. When He asks you, "What is your name"? And you get honest before Him, and you quit playing the game. You quit pretending, and you say, "Lord, this is who I am. This is all I've got. And I give myself completely to You".
There is a blessing that comes on your life. Through the blood of Jesus Christ. And suddenly, you have power with God, you have favor with men. Everybody in this room, stand to your feet. There in Brisbane, and all over, wherever you're viewing us, at different campuses. How many of you tonight would like for God to pronounce, and don't put Jacob's name in there, put your name in there. No more. How many of you would like for Him to put a blessing on you, that you have power with God? When you pray, and favor with men? Right people. The right blessings. The right doors. The right opportunities. Power with God. Favor with men.
Oh, I feel that in my soul tonight. Somebody is going to get the blessing on their life like never before. Lift your hands high, and if you don't care what anybody thinks, open up your mouth and cry out to God for a few moments. Cry out to Him all over this room. If you've got a son, if you've got a daughter, if you've got a situation in your family, cry out to God for a moment. I didn't say whisper, I didn't say just kinda mumble. I said cry out to God with a hunger, with a desperation. Cry out to Him. Change me, God. Change my situation. Give me power with God. Give me favor with men.
Does anybody feel a stirring in your heart tonight, that's saying, "This one's for me. This one's for me. This is my word. I'm tired of some things. I'm ready for the change. I'm ready for the blessing. I'm ready for the favor. I'm ready for the power and the favor of God, like a tidal wave, to hit my life and my family". I want you to reach over and put your arm around somebody, and begin to pray for a moment. I wanna hear an army of prayer warriors beginning to pray for a moment. We're wrestling right now. Everybody say, "Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Change".
No more Jacob. No more, no more, no more. No more double life, no more. No more depression. No more fear. No more intimidation. No more holding me back. No more telling me I'm a nobody and a nothing. I'm done with that. I've got power with God. I've got favor with men. No more holding my dreams back. No more feeling like I'm a failure. I shake all of that off. I shake yesterday off. Lord, I receive power with You and favor with men. That's it. Lift your voice. Come on, pray. The Spirit of God is changing people. Chains are falling off. Miracles are happening in this room right now. Go for it. Hunger for it. Get desperate.
Like Jacob, you need to say, "I will not let You go until You bless me. I will not let You go until You bless me". There is an answer. There is a miracle. Miracles can strike as suddenly as tragedies, so just raise your hands now, and begin to rejoice, that the blessing is on you. I speak blessing to you. I speak power of God, and the favor of men on you. Receive it, right now, with a shout of praise in this house. Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God. No more Jacob. No more. No more. No more addiction. No more.