My Exit Strategy

Hebrews 11:21 - "By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff."

I often wonder if Jacob ever felt fulfilled in his ambition to have God’s blessing. In his younger days Jacob was an “I’ve got to have it” kind of guy. His desire for his father’s blessing drove him to coax his older twin, Esau, out of his birthright. Then, his dream compelled him lie to his father, Isaac. Jacob was driven to have the best, and somehow, God was okay with this.

But here’s my question. Was Jacob ever satisfied with his attainments?

After Jacob’s sons threw their younger brother, Joseph, into a pit and sold him to passing gypsies, Jacob seems to fade from the story. Time passes and Egypt reigns over the nations of the ancient world. A famine hits and the story goes that Jacob's younger son, Joseph, rises to fulfill his boyish dreams. But Jacob, I’m not sure about. Something in me just feels that he never attained “the blessing” he dreamed of.

I’ve asked myself, Am I fulfilled? Has my dreams been realized?

What about you? Has time passed and the dream of your heart still bigger than the evidence in your hand? “My dream was a fluke,” you say. You gulp air and sigh deeply.

Somehow, I think Jacob found in his last days on earth full satisfaction when he blessed his son, Joseph, and grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, then worshiped. Worship is not released—not fully—until you’re satisfied in the moment with the presence of God. Jacob not only blessed them, he worshiped HIM.

When all is said and done, you may die with unfulfilled dreams in your heart, but by faith you can release them to those you’re leaving behind. And though the dream remains in your heart and not in your hand, you become fully satisfied in an atmosphere of worship.

“By faith, Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshipped as he leaned on top of his staff.”

It takes more faith to bless others with what you’ve carried in your heart than it does to see all your dreams come to pass while you’re alive. Many men die a weary death because they didn’t see everything materialize in their day. I want to die a worshiper, just like Jacob. Jacob left his dreams for his sons to fulfill. Greater still, as he was dying the last picture we see of Jacob is that of a worshiper, the ultimate model for his sons to emulate.

I’ve lived with big dreams, so when I die it’s possible I may not see everything accomplished that I carry in my heart. But by faith I can pass my dreams and visions on to those who follow me and worship God as I exit this life and go to my heavenly Father. The faith chapter in Hebrews says, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised” (11:39). There IS something greater than great attainments on earth and that’s being commended as a worshiper while passing unfulfilled dreams to the next generation.

I want to be like Jacob. If my dreams are not fulfilled in my lifetime, I choose to pass them to my sons and spiritual sons after me. Then I’ll “lean on my staff” (or pick up my guitar) and worship. It's how I want to be remembered: "He was a worshiper of God."

And that's my exit strategy. Selah.

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