In many cases, the church in the West has circumvented the process and procedures because we believe we know how to form ourselves better than God does. We go all-in on shortcuts that make it easier on us and in so doing greatly undermine the quality of the product produced.
Here is why I love this story so much and why it gives me such hope. Jacob is as unlikely a patriarch of faith whose legacy would change the world as they come. That God would choose him and his descendants to bless every nation on Earth is crazy on any number of levels. He is a Mama’s boy, a liar, a cheat, and a coward
That’s when the old familiar anxiety I haven’t felt in years rose up in me.
Almost involuntarily the cry of my heart came, picking up momentum as it tumbled out of my head.
“Pick me, Jesus. Please, please, please pick me. Not out of pity and please don’t just settle for me. Pick me because You want me on Your team, not because You’re so nice You have to take me.”
I found myself shocked and frightened, because I realized we live in a world where a soundbite from a bad sermon in the random town of Malden, Missouri (Population: 4,277 – 3 hours south of St Louis), can become FRONT PAGE NATIONAL NEWS. . .I’m concerned, because we seem to live in a culture where we have an overabundance of religiously and politically motivated rock-bearing Pharisees and a critical shortage of extravagant grace.