Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.
Wrestling With God
“Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me’” (Genesis 32:26 NLT).
I love the visual image of Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32:22-32. This is a powerful story, and it raises many questions. Obviously, God could have overpowered Jacob and ended things instantly. Why did God let the struggle go on?
Here’s the lesson: When God allows, note-He does not create the crisis, a crisis into your life, He doesn’t solve it immediately. He uses the crisis as an opportunity to see if you’re really serious about seeking Him. If God answered every prayer immediately, you’d begin to think God was a big vending machine: Put in a prayer, pull out whatever you need.
If God just instantly bailed you out of a crisis rooted in your poor choices, then tomorrow you would likely do the same thing again. You wouldn’t learn discipline, or money management, or wisdom, or persistence. God is not just going to bail you out of the debt you got yourself into; He will help you get out of debt, but He wants to build your character in the process. We have many struggles in life, but perhaps our biggest struggle is with God because we want control of things. In short, we want to play God.
Jacob tried to control his life to such an extent that he even wanted to change the order of his birth. Jacob was a twin, and the Bible teaches that when he came out of his mother’s womb, he was clinging to his older brother’s ankle, grappling to be the first one out. He spent a lifetime in conflict with his brother, Esau, but his biggest battle was with God. One night he even tried to go one-on-one with God. Some people want to debate whether Jacob actually wrestled with God, but the Bible tells us in Hosea: “Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God” (Hosea 12:3).
One thing that is certain from the beginning of time to the end of time – humans have problems. Our problems provide with opportunities for great spiritual growth. However, for that growth to happen it requires a response on our part. We must choose if will we obey God in this situation and follow Him regardless of our desires. Also, we must choose if we truly trust God and will turn the problem over to Him to resolve in His time and His manner.
No matter what our problem is—financial, physical, relational, social, or vocational—we tend not to focus on the real problem. The real problem is not obeying and trusting God, and that makes the problem bigger.
Prayer: Dear God, please draw us close to you as we struggle with our problems. Give us the confidence that you walk with us in the darkest of valleys. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
We welcome your comments below.
Liked this post?
Read more below or search for more topics...
Book Review: God Knows Your Story (And He’s Not Mad!) by Carter Featherston “For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6 TPT).If you have never done anything wrong and do not have any regrets or shame, then this book is not for you. However, I strongly suspect that all of us have regrets and feel some sense of shame for poor choices. This is a Biblically based book that points the reader to the only true source of victory of sin and shame, Jesus. This book is valuable because it addresses a topic that all...
Service is Ministry “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10 NIV) We live in a self-serving secular world in which people act to serve their own self interests. I had a dear friend that has gone on to Glory but on earth he worked as an economist. He claimed that the entire system of economic theory is so purely deductive that everything in it can be deduced from one essential axiom. The rationality axiom states that “a rational person maximizes his/her utility.” Some economists will...
True Freedom “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18 NIV). One of the greatest blessings we have as Americans is our freedom. The first ten amendments of the Bill of Rights guarantee us certain rights that are fundamental to our freedom. Despite all of our freedoms, many people still live in bondage and have denied themselves true freedom. Many us live in fear of something – death, debt, an abusive spouse, etc. Some live with guilt over something...