“…The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau…. And he did not recognize him….so he blessed him.” – Genesis 27:22-23

This chapter in the book of Genesis details the story of how a mother (Rebekah) plotted and schemed with her younger son to deceive his father (her husband). The story highlights the importance of the gift of discernment and the act of waiting to be confirmed when we are unsure of a decision or feel pressured into making a rushed decision. Let’s examine some of the lessons from this story that will help guide us when making critical life decisions.

Don’t Bless (Cosign/Condone/Engage In) What You Don’t Recognize

The Bible says “Isaac did NOT recognize Jacob… SO he blessed him…” (vs 23). Sounds absurd doesn’t it? Yet, you and I have been guilty of the very same thing at one point in our lives or another. How many times in life have we proceeded with a decision or an act, in the midst of painful uncertainty, crippling doubt, or lack of peace? It is evident that Isaac was unsure of his decision because even after blessing Jacob (thinking it was Esau), he asked him, “Are you really my son Esau?” (vs 24). There are times that God will warn us of deception in our lives, but we ignore the Spirit’s promptings and proceed anyway. Why? Most times it’s because we’re afraid (afraid of missing out on a “good” opportunity; afraid of losing something we value; afraid of disappointing others; afraid of failure; and the list goes on).

Decisions That Are Truly Spirit-Led Are Never Made From A Place Of Fear

Isaac feared that he would die before blessing his firstborn (vs 2-4), so he rushed ahead despite his doubts. If fear is driving your decisions, recognize that you are playing right into the hands of the enemy, as fear is his most prominent tool. The Bible says “God has not given us the spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7), neither is God the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). So, if it is God who is leading you to make a certain decision, EVERY Word HE sends will serve to confirm or clarify His will, not confuse it. If there is contradiction, that simply means we need to wait to be confirmed by His peace before proceeding.

Use ALL Your Senses

Another very important decision-making lesson from this passage is found in verse 1, which tells us that “Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see”. Sight is one of the five senses that God has given us to help connect us to the world. Furthermore, spiritual sight (vision/discernment) is especially needed as we connect with the world and navigate life situations. ALL your spiritual senses must be in tune when making critical decisions. If you’re not hearing God clearly, or you can’t see exactly what He’s showing you; if something smells “fishy”, tastes “off”, or doesn’t feel right…. Do not proceed! Wait for the Holy Spirit to confirm what it is that He wants you to do. One very important lesson I’ve learned over the past couple of years is simply this – When the skin feels like Esau, but the voice sounds like Jacob, do not proceed! Wait to be confirmed by God’s peace!

Check your circle

Finally, be careful of the manipulators and deceivers that are closely connected to you. It was Rebekah’s (Jacob’s own mother’s) idea to trick Isaac (vs 5-10). Recognize that as humans we are innately selfish; and people, in wanting their own needs met, don’t mind deceiving you in the process. You need people around you who: have your best interests at heart, have the right motives, and will hold you accountable to God’s Word and will for your life. Ask God for wisdom and discernment to reveal the people in your circle.

Prayer: Lord, we want to make decisions that align with Your will for our lives. Help us to not be deceived by the enemy or misguided by people. We recognize that the enemy cannot stop your will, so sometimes he tries to cause us to rush ahead because he knows that TIMING with You is EVERYTHING. We cannot separate Your will from Your timing. Speak to our hearts today Lord; unite our spiritual senses; and guide us by Your undeniable peace. Amen.