Wrestling with the Living God

Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™  I AM Ministries

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Normal I AM

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wresting with the Living God

Jacob was reluctant as a young man to embrace faith in the Living God. He was self-centered, self-directed, and self-reliant. He was independent and wanted to become a self-sufficient, self-made success. His drive to succeed clouded his spiritual life and wished not to be broken, going so far as to cheat his twin brother and deceive his Godly father. Before we condemn his actions, we should remember a bit of Jacob resides in all of us.

Can you identify Jacob’s main problem? Do you know what caused Jacob’s root sin? It was self-sufficiency, or in other words, pride. That is why I say there is a little bit of Jacob in all of us. You see, self-sufficiency is at the very heart and root of all sin. This is exactly why lost people refuse to be saved. They assume they can get to Heaven on their own, without the help of the saving, atoning blood of Jesus Christ. They are relying on their self-sufficiency.

This syndrome is also what keeps Christians from being entirely obedient to God. We figure we can run our lives better than God can. We act as though we were self-sufficient. Sometimes God has to go to extreme measures to break us of our self-sufficiency. God had to go to extreme measures with Jacob to break him once and for all. Twenty years in Laban’s house had not completed the task. Finally, God Himself stepped into Jacob’s life. One fateful night, Jacob wrestled with the Living God and was broken for the remainder of his life (Genesis 32:24-25).

The story’s details remind us of when and where God chooses to wrestle with us. Notice the place where it occurred. The incident took place in a time of darkness and loneliness in Jacob’s life. The sun had set, he had moved his family across the river into Canaan, and Jacob was all alone. This was no accident, for God does some of His most significant work in our lives in places of darkness, loneliness, and isolation. He uses these circumstances to gain our attention.

Notice also the person with whom Jacob wrestled. Hosea says this was “the angel of the Lord (Hosea 12:4). Jacob said he had wrestled with God Himself. Many people believe the person with whom Jacob wrestled by the Jabbok River was none other than the second person of the Godhead, God the Son, the LORD Jesus Christ, the great transformer of souls.

God was wrestling with Jacob, and He wrestled with Him until Jacob became what He wanted him to be. Ask yourself whether you ever sense God wrestling with you? Do you ever feel the presence and power of God at work in your life but feel yourself fighting back as Jacob did? Have you ever wrestled with God and told Him, “Not now LORD, I’m just not ready!” It often seems God’s intrusion in our lives is more an imposition than a blessing. However, the best thing that can possibly happen with any child of God is to have a wrestling match with the LORD, because there are no losers in such a match, only winners.

It is normal for God to wrestle with you. It is also normal for Him to win. Most of us fight back repeatedly, even Jacob. Note that this was the second great spiritual crisis in his life. He had met the Lord and was saved 20 years earlier at Bethel (Genesis 28:10-22), but there were great differences in the two meetings. At Bethel he saw a ladder; at Jabbok he saw the Lord. At Bethel he became a believing man; at Jabbok he became a broken man. At Bethel he became a son of God; at Jabbok he became a saint of God. He went away from Bethel with a spring in his step; he went away from Jabbok with a lasting limp. At Bethel he died to sin; and finally, at Jabbok, he died to self.

Paul tells us it is normal to die daily to our pride and self-sufficiency (1 Corinthians 15:31), for these corrupt our good character. God gained Paul’s attention by taking him up to the third Heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2, Acts 9:3-9). Paul had been wrestling with Jesus apostles. God gained Jacob’s attention by wrestling him in the dark. Both men lost their wrestling matches but were rewarded as great winners.

Ask yourself today – In what areas of your life are you wrestling with the Living God? Are you ready to surrender to Him or are you still fighting Him? If you are still fighting, remember that in any wrestling match with the Living God, He will prevail, but you will both come out winners. With Him, you can’t lose.

In His love and service,

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ


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