One of the Martial Arts of the Spirit – Rise in the Night
Scripture place: “And he rose that night…” (Gen.32:22)
We need to rise at night. Some people are so weak in their will that they are not able to rise in the night. How can you be led by the Spirit, if it’s impossible to wake you up? Learn to rise at night. Interrupt your sleep, in order to discipline yourself, to build up a strong man.
I realize there’s family… But would a good wife respect such a husband, who after the wedding becomes like a cottage cheese roll? She can’t obey his word, because he has no authority. A good husband is the one who listens to the Lord so devotedly that it’s hopeless for a wife to try to stop him, if the Lord has spoken to him. Even though it may be painful for the wife, but she would still respect him, because he is a man of God willing to move mountains.
Jacob rose that night. So rise in the night, go and seek the Lord. Open your Bible even for 5 minutes and stay in this solitude with the Lord alone, when all the rest in the house are asleep. Perhaps, you haven’t done it for a long time – haven’t stayed with the Lord alone.
Man can easily get lost, you can’t feel his spirit, he’s drowned in the dough.
So, “He rose that night and took his two wives, two female servants and his eleven sons – doesn’t matter what they thought, they simply obeyed because of the authority of the spirit. He didn’t wait till morning, he simply took them, because this is what he had to do. – And crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone”.
These two things I want to communicate today: he rose that night. When you are sleepy, don’t feel like doing it, your head is messed up…
And the second thing: he was left alone. We need to learn to remain alone, no matter family, church… The greatest victories come one on one. The most powerful victories of the spiritual journey of a man of God come only one on one. A crowd brings a result.
As I consider my life, all the big victories came only when I was alone. But when we are not able to stay alone, neither we have a secret place to stay alone – the man gets weaker and weaker, and eventually loses his mystery with the Lord. What can he tell me then, what do we have to talk about? The man has no mystery with God He can convey someone else’s or his own thoughts, but I know that it’s neither gold nor silver, but it’s some brass or wooden thing. The most sacred things are taken from the mystery, but he is afraid to stay alone.
I remember I went up Pedan mountain alone and received the fear and terror of God as I got caught in the epicenter of a typhoon. I returned beaten and couldn’t talk for about three days. Then I thought: “What do I do now? – I’ll go back again. Where else do I have to go? I didn’t quite get it. Make it clear to me, what I don’t know – why You did this to me… I’ll go to You, I have no other place to go.” So I went again, more humble, more careful, and the Lord had mercy on me.
Jacob rose that night, took his wives and all he had to the other side, and then he returned and remained alone. So that he could take all his destiny through the furnace of the fire. So that he could test all of himself, lie in the fire and walk out alive. It’s not that he simply stayed alone there, but he exposed all of himself to the testing. Because Esau was coming to kill him. But it was much more serious than getting protection against Esau.
This is my message to you today – learn to stay one on one. Find a place for yourself where you are alone. Not that you sit and stare into internet, but you extend yourself to Him.
“And a Man wrestled with him until breaking of day”. It was not a short grasp, when you may say, O God visited me, like a session, which you can break as you wake up. But it was sinking deeper and deeper, until he finished the whole cycle – he wrestled till the dawn.
“Now when He saw that he did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him”.
That is, you’ve got to have a mark that you truly wrestled, it was no fiction. You will have this mark either on your spirit, your soul or even your body.
“ And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” – He is already traumatized, pain given to him, but he still holding. God hit him, but the prophet is still holding. It was a strong blow, He damaged his hip so he couldn’t walk, brought him a trauma, but he didn’t loosen his grip.
It’s like in that story with the mountain climb. You don’t get scared if God hits you, but continue to hold, even if God hits you.
And look at what the Lord says in response, with no reproach:
“Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
That’s where your real thing begins, when you are beaten and broken, but keep wrestling. Not when everything is well with you, and you praise and worship, but when you don’t understand, beaten and traumitized by GOD, you still continue to hold and demonstrate faithfulness.
This is the highest level of the battle. This is where these words come:
“Your name shall no longer be called Jacob – forget it, you are not that any more – but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Esau is nearing with his horsemen, but it is already solved – you shall prevail with men. You are an untouchable one.
And you know, Jacob didn’t die a violent death – he lay his feet on his bed, he gave prophecy to his sons and left in God’s peace. No one touched him ever since.
Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.” (Gen. 32:29-31)
It was no longer Jacob, it was Israel. He returned to his family and servants – a New Man! After this dark night one on one. It would NEVER have happened if there were two of them, with beloved wife, always together like two water drops; with a friend or a brother – this would never happen. Because the greatest victories come one on one.
This is why there’s nothing to talk with you about, because you are afraid to stay one on one, not able to get in your car in the night and drive off to seek God in the woods. You feel stagnant, but no strength to drive to the sea shore and spend time there alone. Scared and not willing – have to go to job in the morning, and “after all, my sweetheart won’t let me”.
That’s a shame where many believers have rolled down to, unable to do such a thing, even such thoughts never come to their minds. They go to church – “cottage cheese Christians”. You may say, you’ve got to have so much love for that. It’s not about “having love”. A man may seem coarse, not tender at all, but he will give his life for his neighbor, because mighty Christ is within him. When the moment comes, he will die for his neighbor for the sake of Christ.
But the one with this “sour cream love” will never give a part of his soul.
I am not boasting, but giving a testimony that where we have work going on, my own feet stood there first. I was alone in those places. Walking listening to God, sitting by Potala in Tibet, confronting a snow leopard on the way to Everest, confronting satan in Patna, Bihar… Where is this taken from? No book gives instruction for that. And always alone…
The greatest victories come one on one. You can’t take a friend for a company, won’t work. And wife here – well keep a distance, won’t help; she makes home, takes care of children. But these things are about something different…
Esau slept the whole night through, got up in the morning, had some meat with his men and rode off. But this one came out of the furnice – and he is a Being. This is the way to walk out of the night.
Therefore, learn to find a place of loneliness. Learn to stay one on one. Learn to have the kind of mystery that no one else can interfere. I am not talking about forced loneliness, when no one takes a sister for marriage and she has to stay single. But she never stays alone, she has her friends with her: internet, food, couch, vacation.
But I am talking about the Veil, that we can enter in behind the Veil, where hell and death breathe in your face, where you have to strive forth through demons. This is the loneliness I am talking about.
But you come home, turn on the lights, fill the air with all kinds of noises and music. But I say I don’t have time enough to stay silent and alone. Do you know who are most busy people? – Monks are. They are totally short of time. They live lonely in their cells, but they are most busy people on earth: no phone, no TV, no computer, but he has no time at all for those things. He rises 2 am after all the people have released the worst and starts cleanses demons away. Starts to possess and govern the world, identifying with God, bringing God’s glory on earth.
Therefore, the major victories come in lonely battles. Then your name is transformed. Jacob is translated as deceiver – that is, from a cheaty Christian you turn into a man of God, from a layman into a son of God.