THE GOD OF ISAAC AND THE GOD OF JACOB
We have to know the God of Abraham. If we want to go on, we have to commit ourselves to the Almighty God and allow Him to reveal Himself to us as the Father at the proper time. We have to see that nothing from ourselves will satisfy His heart and that everything must be of Him, because only God is the Father. We must also know the God of Isaac. We have to see that everything is accomplished by Christ. In the past, He accomplished everything. In the future, He will still accomplish everything. His facts are ours, His life is ours, and His experiences and power are ours. It is one thing for us to be in Christ. It is another thing for Christ to be in us. Neither aspect requires any effort on our part. One day the Lord will open our eyes to see that everything is of Christ and from God and that everything has been accomplished by Christ. God is the source and Christ is the One who is working.
After we know the God of Isaac, we still must know the God of Jacob. What is the difference in spiritual significance between the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? We can say that the God of Isaac shows us how God has dispensed His Son to us, while the God of Jacob shows us how God is disciplining us through the Holy Spirit. The God of Isaac shows us God’s gift, while the God of Jacob shows us God’s workmanship. The God of Isaac gives us the boldness to testify, "God has given me new light and shown me that Christ is my life. I have overcome!" The God of Jacob causes us to confess humbly, "God has shown me the self, and I can never trust in it again or boast of its usefulness." The God of Isaac causes us to proclaim boldly, "Sin is trampled under my feet!" The God of Jacob causes us to fearfully confess, "I can still fail at any time." The God of Isaac shows us Christ, while the God of Jacob shows us ourselves. The knowledge of the God of Isaac gives us the confidence to know that everything is done by Christ and not by ourselves. The knowledge of the God of Jacob causes us to know ourselves and delivers us from presumptuousness. If we study God’s Word carefully, we will see these two different kinds of experiences.
We can say that the God of Jacob completes the work of the God of Isaac. The God of Jacob works in us to make room for the God of Isaac so that Christ will gain a place and occupy more and more ground in us. It is this very work that puts us "in weakness and in fear and in much trembling" (1 Cor. 2:3). Our life is a paradox. We have much assurance in Christ, and at the same time, we have no assurance in ourselves. On the one hand, we are bold to testify and speak, but on the other hand, we are fearful of speaking anything and feel like dust before Him. Without the blood of the Lord, we cannot face God. After we know the God of Isaac, we still have to go on to know the God of Jacob. When we combine these two experiences together, we have the proper Christian life.
(The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Chapter 8, by Watchman Nee)