I wrestle with God a lot. Like Jacob, God leads me to a place of transition, and the core of who I am is exposed. God points out a deep rooted sin, and He waits on me to make a choice: Will I allow Him to uproot the ugliness or will I run and hide from His hand? If I let God do spiritual surgery on my heart, I will have spiritual health to carry the weight of His blessings. If I run and hide from this divine appointment, I will be filled with my own ugliness and unable to bear His fullness in my life.
Out of obedience, Jacob moved forward with God until he was stuck in a place of transition. He couldn’t run back to Laban (his father-in-law), yet he feared going forward to Esau (his brother). Jacob’s deceitful past was catching up to him, and he ran out of hiding places. With no where to turn, he had to confront the facts — he was a deceiver (Genesis 32).
God had been blessing Jacob even though he had this character flaw. God provided Jacob with children, servants, riches, authority, etc. However, God wanted to bless Jacob at a new level, but Jacob needed some excess baggage cut off. Jacob couldn’t move forward into God’s abundance because he was tied down by his sin.
Finally, Jacob confronted God face to face and had an all-out wrestling match. The interesting thing about wrestling with God is that God never moves or changes. God is perfect and unchanging. If we decide to take Him on, we will be the ones who move and change.
When we wrestle with God, we become meek. Meekness means that we allow God complete control over our lives, so that we can have the fullness of His glory, power and strength displayed through our lives. If you want the power of God, wrestle with Him whenever He calls you into the ring. Let God be the Divine Director of your life, and He will use you to shine His glory.
I used to try to avoid wrestling with God. I thought that if I could just pray hard enough and keep my ears focused on the Holy Spirit, that I would be good enough to bypass this painful encounter with Him. I thought I could change myself without feeling the pruning of His hand. But I’ve learned to embrace it! I want to be blessed by God; and if I have to wrestle with Him and allow my sinful nature to be cut, then so be it! I want His blessings more than I want a painless, carefree life.
How do you know that God is inviting you to a wrestling match? Just remember M.E.E.K.
Moving: You feel a movement of God and obediently follow His lead.
Exposing: You feel stuck because you can’t go back to who you were and are unable to move into God’s fullness for you.
Extracting: You feel God cutting away hidden sin and endure for the promised blessings.
Kneeling: You feel changed in Christ and are more aware of His majesty and glory.
I don’t know about you, but I want to wrestle with God. Do not feel guilty when you go through this process. It is not a sign of your lack of faith. It is a sign that you hunger for Him more than you hunger for comfortable and easy. So get into the ring! I promise that you will lose, but you will gain His blessings!
“Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ But Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me'” (Genesis 32.26 NIV).