There Is a Prince Inside You by Ray Haynes
“The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable–who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
“Rebekah conceived. But the children struggled together within her…And the Lord said… the older shall serve the younger.” …And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. [Genesis 25-33]
It was a grand entrance, and it gave Jacob his name – supplanter; deceitful; one who takes the heel. It was also a picture of what the brothers relationship would look like. “Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day” …So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.”
Jacob’s deceit didn’t lead to any brotherly bonding, but his next exploit would change his world, “When Isaac turned one hundred years old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son…Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death…I want to give you my blessing before I die. Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”
Isaac’s wife Rebekah had been holding on to the promise of God for forty years, the older shall serve the younger. It was her time to act, so she conspired together with Jacob to create an elaborate ruse to trick Isaac into blessing Jacob. Jacob’s part? He would lie repeatedly to his father, and the maneuver worked. But to avoid Esau killing Jacob for vengeance, Rebekah sent Jacob far away to live with her brother Laban in Haran.” It’s easy to rationalize doing the expedient thing when you are holding on to a promise from God. We don’t know how God would have fulfilled His word because Jacob manipulated the situation.
And the wrestling continued in Haran. First Jacob would labor seven years to win the hand of the woman he loved, but would end up with two wives and seven more years of labor when he was out manipulated by his uncle. After deceiving each other for twenty years, each gaining and losing the upper hand time and again, Jacob took his family and flocks and headed back home. Along the way he heard news that Esau was riding to meet him with four hundred men. Jacob naturally assumed Esau was ready to get revenge on him, so he sent his flocks and wealth ahead of him with his servants as a present for his brother, hoping to get to keep his own life. And then as the sun went down, everything changed.
Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 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. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
The next day Jacob saw Esau coming, and then one shocking thing happened after another. First, Esau ran to meet him, embraced and kissed him, and they wept. Jacob asked Esau to accept the gifts he had sent ahead of him, but Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” And then, after stealing from his brother from birth, the supplanter begs his brother to accept it, “because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.”
Both insist that they have enough, but Jacob insists on making restoration for a lifetime of thievery. Clearly, that wrestling match with God did more than just make Jacob limp, it changed and redefined everything. First, Jacob, the Supplanter, became Israel, the Prince with God. What’s in a name? A prince has been given authority in a kingdom. Jacob had spent a lifetime longing for the benefits of a first born son; illegitimately receiving the blessing of his earthly father led to Jacob’s twenty-year exile.
Twenty years earlier, when God promised in a dream to bless him, Jacob responded, “If God will be with me…then the Lord shall be my God.” He had no ability to take God at His Word. After his wrestling-filled night, suddenly he discovered a higher prize that required no lying or deceiving to claim – the blessing of his Heavenly Father. This led him to give his entire fortune away to Esau, because he was confident that God’s blessing would sustain him. The man whose life pursuit was taking was transformed by an intimate encounter with God. To limp in this fallen world is no great burden to the man who’s not carrying a load. A slower gait is no tragedy to a man who has stopped collecting.
Let’s apply this to our own hearts. What are we to make of all this wrestling, supplanting, and mere men becoming Princes with God? The Bible describes each of us as kings and priests. That’s a little odd. If everyone’s a king, what’s the point? If everyone is the ruler, then who gets ruled? There is more to being a king than ruling. Revelation 1 describes Jesus as: “The Ruler over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 5 then describes the church: “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
One aspect of praying, “Your Kingdom come and Your will be done”, is taking our place as a king or prince upon the earth to supplant those things God has set aside to advance His Kingdom. Since Jesus is the King of kings, we need to consider how kings give to kings. Kings give provision to those who serve them, but kings give abundance to other kings. They are trying to bless them, not meet a need. For a king to consider what another king needs is an insult to that other king. A king treats another king differently than he treats a servant. Until we understand who God has made us, by His death and resurrection, we will approach Him wrong and petition Him wrong.
When we discover that God has made us kings on the earth, it should widen our calling and give us a vision to bless and provide for those around us. Joseph’s anointing and authority sprang to life when he discovered his domain in Egypt, and so he saved countless lives, including his father Jacob and his whole family. If we see ourselves as just men, then we will lack vision. If we see ourselves as kings, we will ask God to show us our domain and then ask Him to increase it.
There are some profound spiritual lessons to learn from Jacob. Esau couldn’t see the value of earthly possessions – so he gave up his double portion blessing that belonged to the first born. It was his inability to value the things of God that made the gifts that God gave him susceptible to being supplanted. To supplant mean to replace, displace, succeed. Jacob fought for what others despised. Esau despised the blessings of God, but Jacob eagerly desired them.
Laban deceived Jacob into working for Leah, because she had no value to her father. Jacob loved Rachel more – but he came to love Leah. Why did Jacob have to work an additional seven years for Leah? For Jacob to supplant her, he had to treasure her. He had to see her value. She would bear him twice as many children as Rachel. To supplant, you must see value in what someone only despises, so it becomes yours to supplant.
We should not confuse supplanting with envy, lust, or coveting what someone else values. That’s always sin. Supplanting is focused on what they despise, and so reject. And the world despises the things of God. He has given us the treasures hidden in darkness. They are all around us.
Supplanting is simply reclaiming a destiny that was rejected by the one it was given to. Things are lost for many reasons. We don’t have to understand everything. Supplanting is God’s plan, so that His words are fruitful. The Jews who came out of Egypt despised Gods promises. So a younger generation received them. The promise was fulfilled not cancelled. God protects His word to fulfill it.
Prayer tells God, “I see it this way. How do You see it, and how should I see it?” Prayer propels us from the natural into the supernatural, so we can change things in the natural. We have been given spiritual authority to transfer provision through prayer – stored up by God for kingdom purposes – for such a time as this. “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when one stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.” Luke 11:21-22
“For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:2
God has made His treasures available to the whole world, yet the world does not esteem them, so we must learn to value what God treasures. We need to let His light shine in the midst of a dark and crooked generation. We must wrestle free the souls trapped in darkness that Jesus died to save. We can make a difference in our sphere of influence if we refuse to allow evil to rule where we have spiritual authority.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13