Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wrestling with God

Have you ever read the story in Genesis 32 where Jacob spent the night wrestling with God? I find that story so fasincating. It always stops me and gets me thinking. What started this holy wrestling match anyway? Did the Lord appear and Jacob started arguing with Him? Did he challenge God? Did he ask for something God refused to give him? Who jumped on who first? And why? Surely God could just have said a word and Jacob would have been frozen solid or disabled in some way. Why would the Lord spend an entire night wrestling with one of his creations? Absolutely fascinating.

Yet. . .

During your prayer time or Bible reading, have you ever felt as though you were wrestling? I have. Sometimes I feel as though I'm fighting my way through some thick wall or mass of sludge just to speak with God or hear His Words in return. Now, I know that most of that opposition is the enemy, for in Ephesians 6, Paul tells us that we wrestle against "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

But let me suppose that some times God allows these battles--even participates in them perhaps. For what reason? To test us.

1. What are we willing to sacrifice to know Him?
2. How hard are we willing to work to do His will?
3. How important to us is His blessing, His favor, His salvation?

For Jacob, to know God and receive His blessing meant everything. We already know he held God's birthright, or salvation in High Esteem because he tricked his elder brother out of it when they were younger. Here, we see Jacob willing to lose a night's sleep, willing to exert himself to the fullest of his strength, and willing even after he was injured to NOT LET GO OF GOD, until He received all God came to give him.

This is why God chose Jacob over Esau and this is why we see his story written for so many generations to read.

How about you? Where is your heart? How much are you willing to sacrifice, how hard are you willing to struggle? How important is God's salvation to you?

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