"I will soften him up with the succession of gifts. Then when he sees me face-to-face, maybe he'll be glad to welcome me." (32:20)
How often we convince ourselves that our giving, our acts of kindness, etc. are enough. That they will "soften" our ABBA up.
Jacob was trying to be welcomed by Esau. Obviously by Esau's acceptance, he had forgiven Jacob. Forgiven him for a major offense. Was it because "absence makes the heart grow fonder"? Or had God transformed Esau's heart to be like His?
It isn't our stuff ABBA wants. It is our heart. It is our soul. It is our "self".
If we are "doing" all the right things and our hearts are not in the right place, we won't be welcomed in. He knows our hearts better than we do - we are unable to fool Him or pull the wool over His eyes.
So, as we go throughout our days - what is the motive for what we are "doing"? Is it to bring Him or ourselves glory? Is it to do just enough to get His pat on the back or are we sacrificing? What do we set our sites on every day? Gain for Him or gain for "self"?
If it is for "self", we are trying to stand in quicksand. He is the only firm ground.
When we give Him our "self", there isn't any "maybe He'll be glad to welcome me."
Because when we accept Christ, His arms were and are stretched out wide........