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"And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and I have lived." Gen 32:30

Jacob's experience at Peniel is renowned in biblical history. It is where he wrestled with an angel and experienced a name changing transformation (from Jacob to Israel). Jacob has finally broken ties with the house of Laban (His father in law). He has journeyed southward to the land of his father's, and as he is coming again into the land of his father, he encounters an angel. His fear has shifted from Laban whom he has left in the north, to his brother Essau to the south. So he divides his company and sends them ahead in two bands, while he hangs back and prays a prayer of deliverance from his brother Especially Essau, whom he hasn't seen in twenty years, and he encounters the angel of the Lord.

It is said that life is what happens while we are making other plans. Twenty years have passed since Jacob encountered God at Bethel and subsequently made a covenant with him, to now coming to Peniel, Seeing God face to face. But now in a time of crisis and stepping out in faith, what once was isn't enough. And Jacob has a second major life-changing encounter with God.

In our spiritual sojourning, we get caught up in life, having kids, raising a family, and even though God is a present part of our lives, He's more like the silent partner, or the distant relative. But now the God of your youth is laying claim to what has been promised him in your youth. The vagueness of your relation to God is brought into serious mode at Peniel. Jacob had said twenty years before, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall the LORD be my God." Gen. 28:20,21. God is going to revisit promises made in your life. While your focusing on prayers that you are praying today, God is visiting prayers that were made twenty years ago. What is sad is some of you do not have a twenty-year history in God. You are short term men and short term people. IF you can't get it now you move on to other things. Well, this message is for the long term man. God is going to visit promises made early on in your sojourning. It's time to have a face to face with your father. This is a pivotal time in your history, and life-changing experiences are on the way. They will put your life back in perspective. Peniel means, "the face of God", and it represents a name changing God encounter.

God bless you in your journey.

The next angel you meet, say “Let’s wrestle!”


Pastor Rusty





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