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Dr. Gene Scott Ph.D
Stanford University



catcher.”  He came out of the womb grabbing Esau’s heel.  Esau was born first and out comes Jacob, right behind him grabbing that heel.  Esau wasn’t supposed to be born first in Jacob’s mind—they wrestled in the womb: “And by God, I’ll make it hard for him to get out!”  That was his life story until he ran his string out, and returning to face the music in that famous night when he wrestled all night with the angel he was finally reduced to a cripple, as the angel touched his thigh and he could not fight back anymore.  All he could do is hang on.  And then the angel changed his nature, changed his name from Jacob, ‘heel-catcher,’ to ‘Israel.’  Is-ra-el: ‘a prince that has power with God,’ but literally it translates El, or ‘God-governed.’  Governed by God—a new power was in control.  That’s what’s being said here. 

Whatever darkness you’re facing, the first reaction is to solve the problem ourself—to start striking matches, kindling the flame, building a fire to drive the darkness out—using nothing but our own God-given talent and moving ahead of God to solve the problem our way.  I’ve been preaching this for the last many weeks.  You commit your way to the Lord, you rest and wait patiently—you rest and wait patiently.  What is promised here is certain.  I don’t care how dedicated you are to God, how good you are, how hard you’re trying to do what’s right, part of the journey is gonna include darkness—situation that moves in and clouds out the eyesight.  And if you start flailing away, building your own fires, your own fleshly instruments of deliverance, your own talent as the only solution, if you start going every direction at once, cross the road to the grocery store before you know what God wants ordered, then you’re gonna “walk in the light of your own fire.”  You’re gonna get light that you produce and no more.  And “ye shall lie down in sorrow.”  I don’t know how to say it plainer.  I don’t want to preach the whole message on this. 


There has to be built-in to the Christian life—to those that have come to believe in the invisible presence of God with us at all times—there has to be built-in that limp of Jacob or that pause.  Or as I’ve said it for 20 years, shove the matchboxes a little bit out of reach until it takes a little more effort to start lighting your own fire.  I’m speaking figurative language.  Christianity is not a life that we direct with God as a handy bellhop on the rare occasions when we can’t do it ourselves.  Christianity is a way, it’s a walk, it’s a journey; it’s a lifestyle that recognizes and commits to an invisible presence.  He’s always there.  You didn’t have to make the commitment to create his presence.  But whereas the world, the flesh, and the devil will crowd in on us, possess us, take control of us, God’s Spirit’s a gentle spirit.  He doesn’t presume.  He isn’t going to help those that don’t invite Him.  He really is not a great admirer of the self-reliant, and if you wanna strike your own matches, solve your own problems, build your own fire, light your own darkness, He’ll let you.  And that’s what a lot of you been doing, and that’s what Gene Scott does most of the time but I’m getting smarter.

Shove the matchbox out of reach!  Jacob walked with a limp the rest of his life to remind him he was God-governed.  Let God call the shots instead of creating a mess for God to undo.  That’s not the way out of darkness.  Darkness comes.  What not to do?  Hey, listen to God, He doesn’t speak, then go ahead and light a match.  But stop making our floundering effort, our spinning of the wheels, our frantic tension, our nervousness, our felt need to deliver ourselves the first act.  I ain’t gonna waste any more time on it.  If you haven’t got it by now, good-bye!

What do you do then if you don’t do that?  Well, you pause long enough, before you start lighting your own fire in the midst of
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