When God Wrestles

May 29, 2016 1289

“Then Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 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. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” So He said to him, “What is your name?”

He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have
struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed” Genesis 32: 24–28.

The Son of God comes down in human form and wrestles with Jacob. It is not so much Jacob’s wrestling with him, but he is wrestling with Jacob. The visitant wants to get something from Jacob. What is it? Surrender, acknowledgement of his own weakness, depravity, and need.

That is so true; it is our story. We wrestle with self; with doubt, fear and guilt. Life is a wrestling with that part of us that wants to avoid pain, shuns duty, and is very self-indulgent. We spoil ourselves, even though we find spoiled people obnoxious. Of course, we wrestle with other people too, but that is secondary. The big wrestling in our life is with ourselves.

However, God is very patient with us and he deals with us through his Holy Spirit. He wrestles with us so we will come to the point where we will give up − not give up living, or wrestling, but give up trying to do it our way.

So God wrestles with us by pain, by his word, and by his spirit. He wrestles with us to try to teach us to surrender our will to his.

When I surrender to the one who wrestles with me in life’s trials and difficulties through the movings of the Spirit; when I confess my human inadequacies, my human guilt; when all I want is his way and his will, then I will be called Israel – Prince with God, Princess with God. Because we have seen God face to face, nothing on earth can scare us and our eternal life is preserved.

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