When Rachel bore no children, she became jealous of her sister, Leah. She said to Jacob, “Give me children or else I die.” Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel. Bilhah, her maid, conceived a son through Jacob and Rachel said, “God has vindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son” (Gen. 30:1-7).
With mighty wrestlings of God, Rachel struggled with Leah and prevailed. When Leah stopped bearing children, she gave her maid, Zilpah, to Jacob and they bore two sons. Leah said, “How fortunate and 'successful' am I for women will call me happy.” Rachel told Leah that Jacob could have sex with her in return for her son’s mandrakes. God gave heed to Leah and she bore Jacob a fifth son (Gen. 30:8-17).
Leah concluded that God would provide wages because she gave her maid to Jacob. After she bore a sixth son, she said, “God has endowed me with a good gift; now my husband will dwell with me.” Then God remembered Rachel and gave heed to her and opened her womb. She said, “God has taken away my reproach” (Gen. 30:18-24). Family well-being and success in life depend on your wrestling with God in the heavenlies through prayer.
Jacob wanted to leave Laban and go to his own place, but asked him to stay because the Lord had multiplied his flock. Jacob now wanted to provide for his own household (Gen. 30:25-30). God blesses work done passionately for Him.
Jacob removed every speckled and spotted sheep and every black one among the lambs, which became his wages. Jacob set the rods he had peeled in front of the flocks in the watering trough's gutters where the flocks drank and mated. The flocks brought forth striped, speckled and spotted ones. When the stronger flock mated, Jacob placed the rods in sight of the flock so they would mate by the rods. When the flock was feeble, he did not put them in so Laban's were feebler and Jacob’s stronger (Gen. 30:31-43). Diligently following the laws of nature or a business model leads to financial gain that not only benefits you, but others, if not motivated by self-interest.
Success in life involves both diligent prayer and hard work. A healthy family depends on prevailing and fervent prayer. A stable family provides the foundation for reaching your work goals. Gen. 30 makes a case for determining your passion so you can work heartily (from the soul) to not only provide for your family, but share with others. Even more importantly, you receive eternal reward from God when work originates from your heart through prayer (Col. 3:22-24). Many people should consider entrepreneurial employment since working for an organization can stifle creativity and their passion.
Recent research shows that people who wrote down their goals, shared that information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals that those who merely formulated goals: http://bit.ly/writegoals
What is your passion? Are you fulfilling your passion in your present position? If not, ask God to reveal your passion as you evaluate your hobbies, volunteer and recreational activities that have given you greatest joy and effectiveness. Since life is short and all of us will stand before God at the judgment-seat of Christ, begin to take bold and risky steps to move in the direction of your passion. It may involve further education, a different position (in an organization or starting something new) or even attitudinal change in your present position. Share your thoughts with a trusted friend who can encourage, counsel and hold you accountable to take the necessary steps.