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THE GREAT TURNING POINT
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The Great Turning Point
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Genesis 32:24-28;
A moment comes in the life of an individual, organization or nation when there’s a sudden change in the course of events. This point at which a very significant change occurs is known as the TURNING POINT.
At some stage in our lives as individuals, certain decisive and defining moments, as a matter of necessity must be triggered, and these in turn are the very things which bring about the significant changes required for notable progress and fulfillment of our destinies here on earth.
Looking at the story of Jacob, his journey to the house of Laban in Padan-aram was obviously a product of circumstance. Having tricked Isaac his father to get the first born covenant blessings which rightfully belonged to Esau his elder brother, Jacob fled to Padan-aram on the advice of Rebecca their mother, to take cover in Laban’s house, and there he ended up spending the next twenty years of his life.
The life of Jacob for the twenty years he spent in Laban’s house was indeed a mixture of bitter and sweet experiences. However, taking a closer look at his story, it appears the bitter experiences by far outweighs the sweet moments, considering the ruthless way and manner Laban dealt with him. In his own words to Laban, according to the book of Genesis 31:38-42, Jacob says: ‘This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes. Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight’. The bitter experience Jacob had in the house of Laban continued for complete twenty years until a certain day, the day he made a critical decision to return home following divine instruction.
Jacob’s singular decision to move out of Laban’s house and return home was the beginning of the great turning point he experienced in his life and destiny. While remaining in the house of Laban, it appears there was no way he would fulfill God-given purpose, so the Lord instructed him to move out. From Jacob’s words to Laban, according to Genesis 30:29-30, ‘And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me. For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?’, it was clear his eyes were set on returning home and there was no going back! Although Jacob wasn’t sure of what the future held for him, considering especially the fact that he still had an unresolved issue with his elder brother back at home, notwithstanding, he made up his mind to return as instructed by the Lord.
For everyone who desires to experience great turning point that will bring about significant change and transformation of destiny, making some hard decisions is the starting point. In fact it must be stated that it is your decision that triggers significant changes in the course of your life and puts you on the path of destiny fulfillment. Remember the story of the prodigal son, according to John 15: 17-18A, it was the decision he made to return home to his father, that triggered the great turning point he experienced in his destiny. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father… To experience the great turning point that will change the entire course of your life and destiny, there’s no way you can shy away from certain critical and painful decisions if and when required!
To experience the great turning point that will redefine your life and put you on the path of greatness, another key requirement is to follow your decision with timely actions and practical steps. It’s not enough to make a decision, you must be committed to your decision and be ready to follow through with the required actions and practical steps. Looking at the story of Jacob, it’s clear that the moment he made up his mind to return home, no amount of negotiation from Laban would make him stay back. In fact from the day he took the decision to leave, he began to take practical steps for his departure from Padan-aram. So many people have missed opportunities which would have brought about great turning points in their lives because they are not committed to their decisions and follow through with practical and timely steps. There’s a great lesson to learn from the prodigal son; after many days of suffering in a strange land, he came to his senses, he made a critical decision to return home. He said ‘I will arise and return to my father…’ that’s the decision, and afterwards he did actually ‘arise’, that’s the practical step he took. If you continue to pay lip service to your decisions but refuse to take practical and timely steps to actualize them, you may never experience any significant change in your situation; you may remain on the same spot for long.
There can be no great turning point that will bring about significant change in your life and situation without your involvement. Jacob realized that without him calling upon God and wrestling in the place of earnest prayer, there may be no meaningful change in the story of his life. What Jacob actually thought initially was that his physical strength, smartness and ability to swindle others were enough for him to excel in life, but when he came to the realization that the Almighty God was all he needed, he held unto God until he received that change he desired. Dearly beloved, the major factor that brings about great turning point in lives of men is divine encounter with God. When you have divine encounter with the Almighty God, you’re bound to experience great turning points which change the course of your life and destiny. Oh, how much do we need to seek divine encounter with the Almighty God as individuals, Church, nation and people! Except God steps into our situations, we may continue to wait in vain; divine encounter is what we should earnestly desire. Divine encounter is what will trigger the great turning point that will change the course of your life and place you on the path of fulfillment.
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