Kathy Hoare - Visiting Worker to Maroota - 2012

Hymn 353 – Mine the Privilege to Labour

Hymn 92 – God is Longing

We sang in the hymn that the secret of victory is to let in the Overcomer. It is quite something to let in the Overcomer. Human nature doesn’t want to be conquered but, if we do that, we know peace. We have an elderly brother, Arnie Foss, and one day he asked me where my forefathers came from, before they came to Australia. I told him that they came from Scotland, England, Ireland, and Poland. He said, “Do those nations often fight within you?” I said, “Yes, they do!” It is wonderful to know peace through letting in the Overcomer.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God drove them out of the garden. There was no place in the garden for man any more. We are thankful we can have a place in heaven because Jesus is the Overcomer and He wants to conquer this human nature. The greatest nation is imagination, and it can be a very dangerous thing. It is like being in a dark room where you imagine things and make yourself quite afraid, but when you put on a light there is nothing there. That is what it is like when we accept the Overcomer into our lives. Why were we afraid? Another nation is determination. People get determined not to give in to the claims of God, but when they let in the Overcomer, this determination can be channeled in the right direction. It can be a good thing to have a strong purpose.

I was thinking of the struggle we have within us, and I thought of Jacob and Esau. Rebekah was the bride of Isaac, a godly woman. She was aware of a struggle because of these babies. Before babies are born, mothers are happy to feel movement because it shows there is life, but this must have been a struggle. She didn’t go to Isaac and ask him; she went to the Lord and enquired. Genesis 25:22, “And the children struggled together within her; and she said, 'If it be so, why am I thus?' And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, 'Two nations are in thy womb . . and the elder shall serve the younger.'” When they were born, Jacob had hold of Esau’s heel and it would have been confirmation to Rebekah. The older one wasn’t free because Jacob had him by the heel. Verse 25, I think Esau must have been quite an unattractive baby, as we read that he was red, all over like a hairy garment. It appealed to me this way: there is nothing attractive about human nature. We may think a good human nature will help us reach heaven, but it won’t.

Verse 27, “And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.” That means Jacob was a peaceable, contented man. Their paths took different directions. It was God’s will that Jacob should receive the birthright because the firstborn nature can never receive the blessing of God. We read how Rebekah helped Jacob to attain the blessing. Firstly, Esau sold his birthright; Jacob didn’t take it from him. He sold it for so little, something like soup, just to feed the flesh. He sold so much for so little and didn’t realize what he was doing. God has predestined everyone to accept eternal life, the birthright, but people just sell it for something to feed the flesh for a short while.

So, Jacob got the birthright. Isaac’s vision had become dim in his old age and Rebekah knew that God wanted Jacob to receive the blessing. Genesis 27:28, “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth . . Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee.” That was the blessing for the firstborn. What a terrible thing if Esau had received that blessing, but it wasn’t meant to be and Jacob received it. Even so, it was difficult for those two natures to live together, and Jacob fled. It was years later before Jacob came back, fearing his brother Esau. Jacob grew spiritually and Esau grew in power. It is beautiful to think of Jacob coming to his brother with his family and flocks and bowing down to his brother. In this respect, the Spirit was moving Jacob to bow down for the sake of peace.

Genesis 49:14, “Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.” The burden was so heavy that the animal was squatting on all fours. It is a picture of these two natures, the human nature and the divine nature. It was a heavy load and he wanted rest. The way to get it was to bow his shoulder in service to that burden. This is how we have rest. We have these two natures, our human nature and the nature God has given us, and one grows at the expense of the other. It is good when we just bow our shoulder and realize that this spiritual nature that God has given us must not be a servant, but human nature is the servant and we must bow ourselves so that there will be peace in our lives.

Mark 3:27, "No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” Bind the strong man. This strong man, self, has to be bound. When there is a little bit of contention, the strong man soon shows himself. We have to bind the strong man and that is when we know peace. Luke 14:31, “What king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?” The lesser king wanted peace, what to do? He sent an ambassador with conditions of peace and total surrender. We are glad to have proved that. When we surrender to God’s will, this strong man can be bound.

Just a little story from a convention in South Australia, where a father told about his little daughter who was 9 years old. The previous year she came to convention and saw the job list, and she was crying because her job was to collect cutlery again for the third year. She made her choice at the end of that year and said, “Even if I get cutlery again this year, I will do it.” There was a change in her. We will know rest and peace when the divine nature is ruling in our lives, and when there is true surrender.