I Woke Up Like This, by Levi Lusko Preaching at Elevation Church
If you woke up today, you woke up with God's favor - period, it's a fact.
God’s favor isn’t limited by us or by our failures, as a matter of fact, there is no limit to God's favor. God loves to lavish us with His favor, so if you woke up today you can honestly say, "I am blessed, and, I woke up this way. Meaning, I didn't do a single thing to earn or deserve God's favor, but I am definitely "favored" and the evidence is overwhelming!"
The truth is that our failures in this life have no impact on God's favor, and sometimes the more we fail the more we see God's favor.
We learn about Jacob in the book of Genesis. Jacob, as we come to learn was the second born twin of Isaac, and Isaac was the chosen son of Abraham. Basically, Jacob was the twin brother of Esau, the firstborn grandson of Isaac.
Jacob is famous for cheating his slightly older brother (older by mere seconds) out of the birthright. Meaning, Jacob ended up tricking everyone and cheated his way to the blessing.
Like Jacob, sometimes we do not know that we have the favor of God. Sometimes we are oblivious to the fact that God's favor surrounds us, goes before us, and we are in it always.
God's favor is like air, it surrounds us, and is "in us" and we actually live and move and breathe only because of God's favor.
Remember, the God and Father of Jesus is totally for us and wants nothing from us. The Father only wants us to receive His great love which He poured out through His son, Jesus.
Jacob Cheated His Way Through Life But He Never Had To, He Was Already Blessed and Didn't Know It
As we read about Jacob's transformation we learn that he worked extraordinarily hard to deceive and cheat his twin brother Esau out of his birthright blessings given to the firstborn. If you read the story all the way to the end, you learn that Jacob was successful. Jacob cheated his way into the blessings of God.
Jacob came out of the womb with a certain personality and throughout his developing years he earns the reputation of being a deceiver and a trickster, so much so he felt as though he had to flee for his life at one point.
Jacob knew his days of cheating people and tricking others was over. He felt defeated. He felt like all was lost and that he was too damaged and beyond hope. He was wrong. In truth, God had big plans for Jacob.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt lost and all alone and afraid? Like you've blown it too many times and there is no hope for you and "you are a lost cause?" Don't believe that lie... God is not even close to being done with your transformation. Your best days are yet to come!
As you watch the full sermon by Pastor Lusko, (I Woke Up This Way) you will learn that we all go through the process of being transformed.
In our life journey, if we seek God and trust Him with our life, He will transform us from Jacob to Israel. We will go from the darkness to the light, and from death to life, and we will receive the life only found through Jesus Christ.
On the fateful night that Jacob wrestled with an angel of God (and does so to his own detriment), Jacob was determined to get a blessing from the angel (receive the favor of God), even if he had to fight for it. Jacob was not going to give up the fight even after being injured.
The problem was, Jacob already had the blessing and the favor, only he did not know it.
It was during the dream and the wrestling match with the angel that God touched Jacob's heart and mind and changed his personality and his mission (transformed his heart and mind).
Jacob's transformation from Jacob to Israel is an example of our transformation from sinner to saint. It is only through Jesus Christ can we be saved.
The Cool Thing About God's Favor
And, the cool thing about God's favor is that it prevents a lot of bad things too. As a matter of fact, we know that God's favor surrounds us and protects us from the things we don't see.
As we look back on 2020 I believe we will find that this year was blessed, and in this year of 2020 we had the favor of God and it showed up BIG.
In “I Woke Up Like This,” we hear a word from Pastor Levi Lusko. Levi is the lead pastor of Fresh Life Church in Missoula Montana. In his message, Pastor Levi shows us how God’s favor often flows through the connections we make and the steps of faith we are willing to take.
"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” So Jacob rose early in the morning and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Genesis 28:15-22
The Foot Catcher Meets the Foot Washer
Have you ever woke up feeling like you are less than zero, no hope, no direction, and it seems like everyone has left and you are all alone? Well, it's a lie. Don't jump to any conclusions from your past, or your current state. Because the truth is, you are never alone God is always with you.
Jacob is a very important character in the Bible. He was called the "heal catcher," the "manipulator," the "cheater," and the "deceiver." He earned those titles.
Jacob, as we know was highly favored by God, too! But for the longest time, Jacob did not know how blessed he was. As a matter of fact, at one point Jacob had given up and he had thought all was lost. That too was a lie, because God had another plan for Jacob.
Jacob just woke up changed, transformed, and it was by the will and work of God. In Genesis 28 Jacob struggled within himself. He had come to the end of himself. He was lost and felt all alone, so he thought. Jacob struggled with everything, and all of a sudden Jacob had an encounter with God (an angel of God), and in the process, he was changed. Jacob had an encounter with God in a dream and then woke up different, changed.
Jacob was even given a new name and he woke up amazed. He thought he was alone, but in the struggle with God in his dream, Jacob discovered he was never alone. Jacob's new name is Israel. Jacob went from "the deceiver" to "God's blessed one."
Jesus came to earth to create and establish a stairway from heaven to earth. Jesus is the only way to God. The story of Jacob transforming to "Israel" is a type and shadow (example of) God coming down from heaven on a ladder, a gate from Heaven to earth, the only way to the Father. Jesus is a type of Jacob's ladder.
Jesus is the only way to the Father. Jesus is the bridge and the ladder and Jacob simply woke up after his dream saying, "I am amazed, God is saving people, but not by their own means but by the provision of God through Christ, only!"
God has a master plan and God has you and me in that plan and together we are going to change the world for good. God will do the work in you and in me and together He will prepare you to be effective.
Please enjoy the recent sermon by Levi Lusko at Elevation Church, titled, "I woke up like this..."