Skip to content

Questions That God Asks

by John W. Follette


As we expose our hearts to the Lord and open to Him, may He find the access that He desires.  God is seeking us.  Sometimes we think that we are seeking God, but He is seeking us.  He has been seeking us from the day He sought Adam, and He has never been yet satisfied.  The eternal attitude of God toward humanity is that of a seeking God.

As you advance in God, as you move on in Him, it is wonderful how the Holy Spirit can keep projecting before us unexplored territory that we have yet to move into, over which He seeks dominion.  We say He reigns and rules in our heart; this is very true, but has He found the absolute and perfect control and possession of all the territories – I call them territories yet to be possessed in Him?

He desires to possess us.  He wants to take hold of us, to shape us, mold us, and do miracles in us, and with us, so that sometime, He may see good to lift this strange mystical body of believers.  A body that has projected itself down through 2000 years, and we are coming toward the end, but each of us are also little cells in that body.  And someday He wants to take this out of the world, out of time, and out of the sense relations, and present it to the Ancient of Days, the great desire of His heart.  But He desires that He shall have something to present.

Now, I want to say it again.  Do not let your heart be deceived into thinking that any experience, I do not care how profound it may be, how very moving it may be, how very revolutionizing that experience may be – there is no experience into which God leads you that will ever mature you.  Do not allow yourself to come under the power of an experience, and then live in that and build your life around it.  Someday when we are released and taken, you cannot come back and make choices and decisions.  No, what there is of spiritual value in you and in me – all that we will carry with us into the next age is what we acquire now.

Do not be disturbed if God is not using you to make a manifestation out here of your life, say as a preacher, teacher, a great evangelist, or some missionary.  He does not want that from you.  He is not expecting it from you.  He had one Paul, and He had one Wesley.  He has one of you and you are the only specific edition of who you are.  He is desirous of possessing every last individual that He can find, to accomplish in that individual the thing for which He has brought you into time to experience.

If He has called you to be a great preacher, then preach.  If He has called you to be a good farmer, then be a good farmer.  The whole thing swings from this angle that “whosoever will do the will of God” that is all that He is asking.  If it is to plant potatoes, then plant the potatoes to the Glory of God, and sing all the while you are planting them.

We become entangled in the mechanism and forget the objective.  Do not lose your objective.  Keep it always before you – the Glory of God, your life surrendered.  The totality of your being moved back again to the heart of God, being disciplined, educated, trained, and conformed.  How?  By the thousand and one things that God throws into your little pattern.  If I am called to be a good plumber – how many know that this is a sacred calling?  What makes it sacred?  Plumbing?  No!  What makes it holy?  It is the will of God.  Not the plumbing, but the will of God.

And if you can do this, then we move on, as none of us have arrived.  We are in the process of becoming, and we will be in this process until the Lord takes us home.  God dealt with your sin.  He can do that in very short order, but it takes a life time to deal with you and with me.

The Lord is saying, “I have been dealing with all that externality.  Now, I want to come in here and get a hold of you.”  This is what makes it difficult.  Truth will always disturb you.  But it has a two-fold way of disturbing and moving.  If you allow it, truth will actually slay you.  But it will also be the truth that will resurrect you.  Do you see these two opposing forces, and how we vibrate between them?  What a strange effect it has upon life.  He talks about death, but He also talks about life.  He talks about the slaying, the crucifying, but He talks about the resurrection and the life.

Never divorce Mary and Martha.  They both had their vocations; they are sisters in the same family, let them remain.  Whenever Martha gets up in you and hurries around, you know you are agitated.  Mary represents the aspiration of the spirit, the ascent, the moving toward God, sense of vision and light.

But listen, all that has to have a field of demonstration.  Otherwise you become unbalanced.  Never be caught into the most magnificent spiritual revelation of life and truth, and a deeper probing into this field.  Never do this unless you remember what?  A descent into the plain reality where you live.  And as far as God is able, by the Spirit, make a demonstration, a tangible result of the thing caught.

When Jesus spoke about our coming into His kingdom, He was not talking about heaven.  He did not call it heaven.  He called it a vast realm. What is this realm?  All spiritual reality.  The same as we have all natural phenomenon in what we call the real of our natural.  We have natural laws which govern – the law of gravitation, the law of light, heat, vibration.  All of these are natural laws which God has established and placed here for our well being so that we could live a comfortable life.  He wants us to be perfectly practical to discern, and yet at the same time say, “This is not my realm.  Here is my realm; I live with Him in Spirit.”

In the realm of the spirit, I have been making discoveries of truths, principles, laws, methods and facts which are just as real in that realm, but they are abstract and spiritual.  Now, in that field I made little discoveries.  I find how God works; I watch Him work here, then I watch Him work there.  I am reading in the Old Testament and it pops up in one of the Psalms, and I say, “Oh, I know you.  I caught you in Matthew, and one of these days I will catch you and put you together.”  And then you do.  So you make discoveries. This is what I hope to share with people.

I would like to share some about prayer.  I want to show you how prayer is governed by a law, a spiritual law.  Do not think we are in psychology; we are not.  We are in the Word of God.  There has never been a psychologist or a psychiatrist as clever and as wonderful as our Lord.  He is the greatest one that ever walked the earth.  But you see, He keeps it veiled for fear that people will stumble and fall down.  But to those that He can trust, He will unveil it to you, if you are able to be trusted with it.  Often times He will say, “Do you see how this works, do you get the drift of that, do you see the psychology back in here?”  This is wonderful, as it has always been in there.

There are a few Christian psychiatrists, and they do a very wonderful work.  I have a friend who is a real Christian and he is a psychiatrist.  He just loves to come to listen to these things that I talk about.  The last time he contacted me, he put his arm around me and said, “Follette, I have driven 150 miles today to get in on one talk.”  You know, in some places, they will not come from a block away.  I said, “I appreciate this because you know, it is not I.  I am a very simple creature.  But, God has opened truth and I am able to see and discern, and if you are helped by it, Amen.”  He said, “I am helped.  I came 150 miles to get in this one service.”  I thought then; think of all the people sitting.  What are they getting?  Well, you get according to your capacity.

In this field, I have made a few little discoveries, and I am finding how things go.  I watch the Word of God and then I watch it in life.  I like to be a guinea pig too that He experiments on.  Have you ever let yourself be exposed enough for that?  To watch how the Lord does things in you.  What was the last real contact He had with you in Spirit, not in religion?  Would you dare to expose yourself like that to Him?  But, do not do it unless you are willing, because God may do some very drastic things.  But, the Holy Spirit has possession of it, and He will hold us and He will not allow any harm come to us.  He loves us too dearly.  He would not wreck us.  Here is God working from His side.  Here is the enemy working from his side.  How many know there is something in here that works too?


I was reading the Word of God and this is what I discovered.  It seemed a little strange to me at first, but after I took it to the Lord and said, “Now Lord, please tell me how this thing goes.  I see this, but tell me why it is this way.  What is back of this thing?”  I was reading in the Word and I found Him asking a question in His conversation dealing with some people.  I knew all the time that He knew the answer and yet He persisted in asking the question.  He knows it very well, then why should He ask the person the question that He already knows?

There has to be a reason why He does this.  He asks the question and He knows all the time the answer, and it is a better answer than even they could give.  He asks them, they answer, and you will see all the results that come following along.  This is a principle that He works on, in the Word and in your life.

I have found four occasions in this word where God asks a question with which He is very familiar, in order to provoke an answer.  Then from the answer, He works His way out.

The first one is the question that He asked Adam after he had sinned and failed the Lord.  Do you remember what God had said to Adam?  “In the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”

The story is of the testings on the part of God, but the temptation is on the part of the enemy.  I will deal with this question a little later.  Never confuse it, as the occasion and incident may be one, but it is your approach.  The tree was a single item, without any special moral value at all.  The tree is an impersonal thing, but it is the medium that He is going to use which will depend upon the approach to the tree, and how you interpret it.  God planted the tree, not the devil.  God planted it, for a specific reason – for His testing and His proving.  The enemy takes advantage of exactly the same setup, for what?  The occasion to defeat and kill and destroy.

When God plants it, it is for an objective point of development, growth, and releasing, bringing His personality into being.  The enemy says, “I can use that same thing too and I will use it to destroy and kill.”  So we find in the New Testament, this program; the enemy has come to kill, to destroy and to rob.  Of course, that is all he can do.  “But I have come to give you life, and that more abundantly.”  Your negatives and your positives continually clashing over some media here. in the center.

So He says, “In the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”  He does not say, “You will fall from grace.”  It is much easier to teach religion where they have something left in the poor old wreck – that he has sort of tumbled over under some terrible condition.  But if we breathe on him and shake him, we might sustain him, resuscitate him.  You cannot, as he is dead!

He said, “In the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”  He did not say you shall fall from grace.  That is why in theology today, they do not like the word “sin” and “die.”  These words are very unpopular.  But they are Scriptural words, they are words that God uses.

You shall die.”  Did he fall over dead when he partook of the fruit?  No, he lived hundreds of years later.  Then what died?  Did not judgment fall upon him?  Yes.  He died spiritually.  That is, all spiritual contact with God had been severed through his disobedience and he was left a sub-normal being.

We are made spirit, soul, and body, a trinity.  The upper spiritual department of our being is where the Holy Spirit would like to come to rest, and this is where He dwells.

And in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die,” – for this life principle, the spirit of life, the spirit of God, will be cancelled and you will remain a sub-normal person.  It is a horrible thing to think that when we are dealing with intelligent people, beautiful lovely intelligent specimens of humanity, if they have not the Spirit of Christ in them to restore them again to God, they are under the normal set-up.  Why?  Because their spiritual life has been canceled.

They have mental life, a psychic life, and they can move out into the realm of our religion, you see.  Man is by nature a religious creature.  We do not go to the foreign fields to try to make people religious.  How many know they are cursed with it.  We do not go there to create in them something that will take a hold of religion.  They have it and they are taking hold of everything on God’s earth, from snakes on up.  Why?  Because of that inner hidden urge for God and life; and light is pushing through all the trash and darkness and nonsense within them saying, “Where is light?

I worked in the field some, and had a wonderful time in Africa with those natives, and God gave me some precious ripe, raw, heathen souls.  It was terrific.  Some of them had never seen a white man, and God turned me into an Evangelist.  How would you like to see an Evangelist?  I become an Evangelist every once in awhile.  It is very delightful because you have such a lovely access and you see some results.

But you see, when you are a teacher, you do not see anything.  You just plot it out and say, “God bless it.”  And you go on.  You do not have a report, “So many hundreds saved,” or “Seventy two baptized,” and “Sixty miracles,” and dear Lord I do not know what else.  You know how they do it.  Well, I never get into all that, I do not want it, and I am not out for it.  I tell you, it is quite vulgar.

So He says, “In the day that  you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”  What is it that dies?  It is that lovely spirit of life, light, truth and reality that actuated Him.  I like Augustine’s old saying, “The heart was made for God, neither shall it find rest until it rests in Him.”  This is the philosophy of our whole Christian thought.  If we could only remember this.

We were not designed by God to be all cluttered up in this mess of earth.  “Man shall not live by bread alone.”  This is the same philosophy.  No, so He said, “You shall die.”

It would be beautiful if there could have been a lovely, noble response on the part of Adam, when he had discovered this terrible condition in which he had found himself.  It would have noble and beautiful if they could have returned and said, “Oh God, we did what you told us not to do, and we are in an awful condition.  Oh, God help us.”

That would have been so beautiful, but human nature, when it has crashed, has nothing in there to do that.  What then does it do?  It always substitutes a natural fling instead of admitting failure and need.  What was it?  “Let us make a covering of leaves.”  That is only a human substitute from an earth that has a curse upon it.  And so you are going to take from the earth, which is already a cursed thing, the materials to make a covering to come before God.  Quite impossible. And so He has to clothe them.

Oh, that wonderful heart of God, the Father Heart, the heart that had created this strange and wonderful being that we are.  He had made all creation to be all about Him, in all of its fields and ramifications.  The created, moved of God, had been breathing and moving until in the God-head there was the counsel that said, “Let us make a new creation that is something different.  Let us make what we will call man.  We will make him in our own image and likeness.”

Not a physical body, He is talking about a moral and spiritual likeness.  The imprint, the impact of a personality which is lined up with God, so that there would be an intelligent communion and fellowship with Him.  And the Spirit of God, dwelling within us, can take hold of our little, immature, limited aspects of God and do what?  Commune with Him.  God is Love.

Well, are we all pure love?  No, but we have a love capacity.  God knows, as He is infinite in all of His knowledge.  We have a knowledge capacity also.  All of these characteristics are within us, in a very limited fashion.  They were made limited in His thought.

After sin and failure, there is a mess, a broken down chaotic mess.  But do not try to restore it, as it cannot be restored.  There has to be a new birth, and a new life as a new being.  If you are the same being that was born a few years ago, there is something very wrong.  God sees each of us, but not as we were born, as He knows that.  But He is by faith always penetrating through, to see us as new creatures in Christ.  Little new creatures with a little life in us, a little vision, a little hope.  That is what He sees.

Adam did not have the courage to come to God, so He made these dresses and he hides away behind the trees.  It says, “Because he was naked.”  He is not talking about a physical nakedness at all, but a discovery of what?  A terrible failure, a terrible loss, a nakedness as far as any access to God.

He was aware that, “My access to God has been ruined.  How can I come to Him?  How?”  It was not because he was ashamed of how he looked.  The lovely wonderful thing that God had created for His glory; a thing which He had hoped would sometime evolve and develop, not only carrying the nature of the human, but that the character qualities hidden away would come up under the pressure of trial, testing and proving, and blossom before Him and then finally into glory.  But he does not see this.  Adam, not knowing the objective of God, thoroughly crashes, and so he hides himself away.

Now this is the question – Who takes the initiative to make any discovery?  It has to be God.  Man would never come back.  Some have a different interpretation of that idea.  Some think that it is God, in the sense of righteousness and judgment, coming down to meet the first aspect of sin.  I do not see it that way at all.  “In the day that you eat thereof; you shall surely die.”

Adam had not attended several funerals, and he knew nothing about dying.  Death was not in his vocabulary.  He did not know death, but just that it was some terrible thing, which would come as a result of his disobedience, and so he hides

Who is it that has to take the initiative?  It is always God, the Eternal seeking God.  I think it was God, broken-hearted.  It seems as if it must have been God saying, “Oh Adam, where are you?  Oh, Adam, what have you done?”

I cannot imagine God coming and sternly saying, “Now Adam, where are you.  Stand out here and I am going to judge you, and hell will hold you as the first victim.”  No, let us not get into that stuff.  He could not do that.  It is the broken heart of God loving, seeking, hoping.  It is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, finding its first place.

He says, “Adam?  Where are you?”  Do not leave this in the physical, in which Adam got behind a tree and God could not see which tree it was, and so He said, “Adam, which tree are you behind?”  This is horrible, as I am a realist in all things; deep, lovely, rich spiritual values hidden away, behind the scene – “Where are you?”  Now, God knows where he was.  He knew which tree he had been behind – “I was afraid and so I hid.”

Where are you?”  This represents this first question that the Lord is asking.  He asks it of each one of us, concerning our experience in God.

This first one, I call “position where.”  “Where are you?”  This is in Genesis 3:9.  It is the question that will bring the confession of your position.  God cannot do very much with us, if we are not first straightened out on our position.  The question is always asked to provoke an answer.

Your answer will be a confession and, on the basis of your confession, a blessing will move.  This is all through the word, in all the different fields into which we are going to progress and move in God.

This very first one of finding our identification, our relation, and our position in life, when God first approaches us, His first question is, “Where are you?”  What are we to answer?  We have to answer as Adam.  Make the confession of the thing which has brought us to the level, or, the position in which we find ourselves to be, before Him.

And so he answers and makes a confession of it.  Upon the basis of that confession, God is able to bring a blessing?  What is it?  His answer.  “All these leaves will never cover you Adam.  You admit to where you are?”  “Yes.”  “And you admit to how you would try to cover?”  “Yes.”  “Do you see how it is of no avail.”  “Yes.”  This then becomes a deep lovely confession of the whole situation?

Then this loving God slays a little animal and takes its skin and covers Adam.  This is the first picture of Jesus, the the first picture of the Lamb slain, the first shedding of blood for the redemption of man; because they have now answered the question.

Question?  This is of God.  Why?  To provoke an answer.  What is the answer?  A confession.  Why?  Because your confession will become the platform upon which God may move once more, restore and bless and do a thousand things for us.

God works from a solid foundation.  He starts with “position” and we have to own up to our position.  But it is quite difficult for us to do this.  We could make all other kinds of confessions, but we need to just say, “I am wrong,” and this is the hardest one.

There are people who are willing to be martyrs, rather than say, “I was wrong.”  Yes, this ego is powerful, watch out for him, as he has a lot of religion too?  The devil has religion too?  He understands it very well, and even quotes Scripture.  He is very pious and at times comes as an “angel of light.”

Some do not know the Lord from the devil.  When the Lord wanted to get hold of Job, what did He do?  He let the devil loose on him?  He did not come down to Job and say, “Now dear brother Job, there is something I have to say to you, you are a perfect man and a great potential is in you, and I want to help you.”  No, He says, I can only get at you through this means.  And He let the devil loose on him.

The Lord will come on His platform, not on the one we are fixing for Him.  We have tried to regulate God in the Spirit, but we cannot.  If the Lord were to pour out His spirit in some lovely new beautiful moving, in six months from now that would be all channeled, named, and labeled.  This is the way that flesh does, as we are not willing to let God move as He desires.  Instead, it is cataloged, programmed and labeled.  If you live long enough, God is going to get in there, if you are really honest, and He will upset a lot of things.  Some have already found it in their experience, and He is not finished with any of us.

When I was in seminary, S.D. Gordon came and taught a Sunday school lesson.  We were quite young then.  They called him the “soft peddle Evangelist” because he was more or less of the Quaker stock and he never raised his voice above a conversational talk.  I remember one time when he came, and they had one of these Sunday school lessons all fixed for him.  It disturbed him and he said, “Oh, these Sunday school lessons.  I cannot get anywhere with this.  I will lay it aside and just talk.”  I will never forget one thing that he said; “Always remember, walk with Jesus as I want you to walk with Him, as being your daily companion.  He is a divine companion, but He is also a divine disturber.”

There is a difference between our being disturbed through flesh, or being disturbed through the enemy, and our being disturbed by God.  Do not get these run together and confused.  There is a disturbance that is purely of the enemy.  There is a disturbance as a reaction and result of our own self-life.  Then, there is the disturbance which God, by His own desire and thoughts, will work in our heart, and we cannot alter or remove it in any way that we may try.   This is because the the “divine disturber” is in there working.  Pray all the prayers you want to, and claim all the promises you can, but you will never get anywhere with this approach.  Because the divine disturber is working, and you cannot buy Him up.  He does not work this way.

There is another question in which the Lord also asks a question, and I am sure He knows the answer.  This person has moved from a position of failure and death, and through his confession, he has been lifted up into another level.  He is now what we would say, “A saved man.”   He is moving into a a new level, rejoicing in the Lord, and the Lord blesses him like he did Miriam, when she came out of the Red Sea, singing before the Lord, beating her tambourine and they were all dancing before the Lord.  Then, a short time later, she has a nasty, critical spirit that judged Moses, and upset all that was happening.  The Lord came  down and said, “Miriam, do you know how I see you?  Like a leper, as that is what you are.”

This was a terrible thing, but it was in here and needed to be exposed.  She had carried this right through the Red Sea.  It was a part of her, but she did not know it.  It is good of the Lord to not expose all of these things that we are made of at once.  He does not do that, but lets us see a little bit, and then he blesses us.

Now, this man is coming along, and is on a new level, but there is something that he has to learn.  He has a new position, but this is what we call “condition.”  This little story is in Genesis too.  It is a nice story, but as a rule it is usually misinterpreted.

“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.”  Genesis 32:24

Jacob was left alone.  It is dreadful to be left alone.  And he wrestled and fought in prayer with God Almighty until he got the Lord in a corner, and the Lord said, “What do you want?”  In a real crisis, it has to be settled by us, alone.  You can have the prayers of all the saints, but you have to make your own decision, and you have to make your own confession.

Let us see what Jacob is doing.  We will take him as being a man who is saved, filled with the spirit, and walking with God.  Jacob is not just a beginner.  Look at the experiences he has had with God.  But God said, “Jacob, I have somewhat to say to you, and I cannot say it unless you are alone.”

The Lord is saying to Jacob, “I am going to so circumscribe your living and your doing, and so manipulate all these externals into which you have become involved, which you are using as an escape mechanism because you do not like your ego to be disturbed.  I know this, but I am going to push that all aside because I want to find you, and I want you to find Me.  I want real contact, but I cannot through the mechanism which you are presently involved in.  In the end, you will find that is a very disconcerting thing.  It has certain advantages, but terrifying disadvantages.”

So when he is alone, and God is after him, do not get this story all mixed up with praying through, by getting a hold of God and wrestling with God until the prayer is answered.  Jacob never wrestled with the angel, the angel wrestled with Jacob.  It says distinctly, this man, this angel came down and he took the initiative to start the wrestling.

There is a reaction in the wrestling, of course.  If God deals with you, how many would sit still like a dumbbell?  No, you would not as you would have reactions.  That is the way we are made.  How many of you have thoughts?  Sure you do.  This is the way that we are made.  Do not apologize about it.  I am a realist, but I am spiritually minded.  I have some moving in God, but it does not make me less a realist and practical.

Let us see what happens.  “And Jacob was left alone.”  He will leave you alone, but do not become afraid.  He will strip every last thing that you had as a source of inspiration, comfort or solace.  He says, “No, I cannot deal with you with that.”  You say, “but I am saved.”  God is not talking about your salvation and your baptism.  Perhaps you have all the gifts.  That does not get you anywhere in God.

Jacob is left alone.  Some people cannot stand to be alone.  This is an age where no one wants to be alone, or still.  And also, the power of the enemy is working all the time to bring confusion.  He gets into a spiritual meeting, so that the Lord could not have contact and access.  I have known the devil to start a commotion so that God would not visit.  I mean a religious commotion.  It was gendered in flesh religiously, but it did the trick.  It diverted the whole thing from any moving of God in the Spirit.  I know his tactics.

Paul said, “I am not ignorant of his devices.”  And after you have lived a few years, you will see it too.

It is not Jacob wrestling with God, to make God do something.  Get this settled, you have never made God do anything.  God has His eternal will and purpose moving.  He has been able, sometimes after severe working, to align you with His will, so that when you prayed, you prayed in the will of God and you began to understand.  Then you rejoiced, because you thought that you had prayed through.  You prayed through?  No, God was six months bringing you to a place where He could bring you to pray.  How?  In the spirit, and then God prays through you.

And there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.”  This is the angel.  Where did this angel come from?  God has been a long time getting this poor deceiving creature into a place where He can deal with him.  He has been occupied with his herds, the cattle, the wives and children, which God had given him.

Then the Lord said, “I want to be alone with you for a few minutes.”  You responded, “I do not have time now, Lord.”  “Well, I will give you the time, because once you had prayed and wanted to know who I am, and all about it.  Therefore, I am taking you at your word.  In order to show you, do you know what I am going to do, Jacob?  I am going to send a special messenger down, an angel, and he is going to grapple with you, and work with you, until I can get you into the position that I want you to be in, and there is nothing in the world that could do this, except this method.”

God sees that temperament in Jacob that nothing less than hell and damnation could get hold of him.  Some people are made like that.  They just cannot listen.

But the Lord said, “I know how to get you.  I will send an angel and he will wrestle with you until you come through.  I am after you, Jacob.”  “And there wrestled an angel with Jacob.”  In response, Jacob begins to wrestle too.  Naturally, there is a response.

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.”  Do not wait until he has to do a thing like this, put your hip joint out of place.  Learn the lesson from this, because Paul says, “All these things happened as an admonition for us.”

Jacob is here, do you feel that you are still in the flesh, naturally?  We are still in flesh, still bound by certain temperamental setups.  He knows this, too.  Therefore, when He comes, learn your lesson from this.  Do not wrestle back with Him, until He has to put your hip joint out of place.

There is no record that God healed him of this, as Jacob is of the temperament that at any time, he might move back into this mood, and he has a reminder to not do it.  This hip that is out of joint is Jacob’s souvenir of wrestling; of having to face God.  Therefore,  he limped ever afterward.  No matter how he was blessed, he would limp.  What is this saying?  “Stay put Jacob.”  Paul also had a thorn to do this to him.

And the Angel said, “Let me go for the day breaks.”  And Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you first bless me.”  If this angel could have spoken, do you know he would have said, “This is what I have come to do.  I have been commissioned from God, the Father to come down and bless you.”

Jacob responded, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”  He said, “Do you really want to be blessed?  What is your name?”  Do you mean that this angel had been wrestling all night with a man who he did not know?  No, the angel knew only too well, but I will tell you something.  Jacob did not want to say it.  Why?

A name bears your character.  Names are always given because of character.  Jacob means “deceiver, crooked, liar.”  Whoever wants to say to the Lord, “My dear Lord God, I am a wreck?”  Would you like that?

So all he says is, “What is your name?”  He wants Jacob to own up to what he was, “Jacob.” This confession now became a platform upon which God meets him the very minute that he will own up to what he is.

Then the angel said, “You have prevailed with God.”  You have prevailed in what God had intended you to do.  You have come through, but I had to bring you through in this drastic way of sending a special minister, who could do this work in you so you could come to the place where you could say who you really are, and be changed.