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« The Spoils of God | Main | Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda »

Wrestling With God 

“And He said, ‘Let Me go, for the day breaks.’ But he said, ‘I will not let You go unless You bless me!’” Genesis 32:26 

Jacob had stripped himself of his worldly possessions and sent his wife and children away.  “And … there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” Jacob didn’t know the identity of his silent wrestling opponent, but he was determined to win.  For the rest of us, ninety percent of our battles are against unseen enemies and unknown powers.  Many say, “If I only knew what this was all about, I could live with it.” But if we knew, then our success would be due to our own smarts. Jacob found that all his human success was ultimately in vain. Everything he had plotted and connived to get had to be given away. The biggest struggle is not to get, but to lose; not to acquire, but to disown. 

Jacob fought against his shady past that God seemed both to bless and to curse. He fought against reliance upon his own ingenuity to get ahead in life. He fought against his deep insecurity and fear of losing everything. We often talk of fighting the devil, people, and circumstances, but our greatest fight turns out to be with the very God who wants to bless us.  You may know how to fight with other people. You know may how to fight against human nature. But, how is it possible that we would fight with God?

  • We fight with God to understand and accept his truth.  This kind of victory does not come without a struggle!
  • We fight with God about his will for our lives. Moses didn’t want to be the deliverer of Israel.
  • We fight with God about his purposes in the world.  Jonah got mad at God for sparing Nineveh.
  • We fight with God to prove to him how much we want him in our lives.  This is what travailing prayer is all about. 

Are you waiting for the preacher to say something that will bless you? Do you think it is the choir’s responsibility to birth victory into your soul? Are you mired down in depression because someone won’t help you? How long has it been since you travailed in prayer? How long since you fasted and prayed until you broke through to God? Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.” Genesis 32:25.

How could Jacob fight a supernatural being to a standstill? How is it possible that our Lord, or an Angel, could not overpower Jacob (v. 25)? It is an important question. Is God bound by man? Is God ever left helpless? The man (or angel) had the power to disable Jacob at any time. At daybreak, when the angel wished to leave, all he had to do was touch Jacob’s hip socket and it wrenched it out of place. If the man could have won whenever he desired, why didn’t he?  It was because the struggle was necessary for the growth of Jacob. You cannot distance yourself from God and still receive His blessing. You cannot play church and have church. You cannot be knowledgeable and ignorant at the same time. You cannot know God and not know God at the same time. 

When you wrestle with God for a life-changing blessing, prepare to have your life changed! There did not seem to be any pain with the wound Jacob received. Jacob didn’t cry out.  He didn’t stop wrestling. The miracle of God’s touch is that it both wounds and heals at the same time.

You cannot wrestle a blessing from God. The blessing is walking away a different person. Jacob became Israel. The name change said, “You have succeeded in breaking through to victory.” You may have encountered deity, but you can only get the blessing by wrestling with God!

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