Tag: Revelation 2:17

Wrestling with God!

Scripture Reading for January 12:  Genesis 32-36

And God said to him, “I am God Almighty, be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and community of nations will come from your body.  The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.”  Genesis 36:11-12 

Have you ever felt that God has told you to do something difficult?  Our first move away from home to pastor our first church in Washington was like that. Our daughter just ready for her senior year in a good Christian high school.  We had always lived close to family and our church family. This new church was in a different culture and was two thousand miles away. We had told God we would go anywhere, but not necessarily this far!  But we are so thankful for obeying God! Our lives were made rich in His plans!

Jacob faced just such a challenge in Genesis 31:13. God commanded him to go back home after twenty years in exile. Jacob had taken his brother Esau’s birthright and stolen his father’s blessing.  He had just upset his father-in-law by leaving with his family and herds acquired by his shrewdness.  Jacob sent his family across the Jabok, a tributary of the Jordan River. He heard reports that Esau was coming with 400 men  and he stayed behind to pray.

That night Scripture says “a man wrestled with him until daybreak”.  (Genesis 32:22-31) This “man” touched Jacobs hip socket and put it out of joint.  But Jacob would not let him go until this “man” blessed him.  The man asked Jacob his name–“Jacob” (cheat, supplanter).  The man changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” (wrestled with God and men and have overcome.)  Thus the nation of “Israel” was born out of this amazing wrestling match!   

Have you ‘wrestled with God’? Is there something that God is asking you to do that is troubling or dangerous or causes fear? Confess your old ‘name’. Persistently seek the Lord for His provision and blessing and humbly receive His new name for you!  

“He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”  Revelation 2:17

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Wrestling with God–God Wins Again!

Scripture Reading for January 13:  Genesis 32-36

Have you ever felt that God has told you to do something that you knew had the potential for trouble?  You know you heard the Lord but needed reassurance that it was going to work out in spite of the very real potential.  Our first move away from home to pastor a church in Washington was like that.  We were used to being around family and familiar surrounding.  The church we took had had some problems too.  We were not sure they would like us or love us when the going got tough.  We wrestled some concerning our move of 2000 miles with our daughter just ready for her senior year in a good Christian high school.  We had told God we would go anywhere, but not necessarily this far! 

Jacob faced just such a challenge in his move back from Paddan Aram to his homeland.  God commanded him to go back but he was concerned about the brother he had left behind nearly 20 years ago who was plotting to kill him.  (Genesis 31:3, 13) Jacob had taken this brother’s birthright and stolen his father’s blessing.  He had also just left his father-in-law upset by leaving and losing his family and herds to Jacob’s shrewdness.  Jacob sent his family across the Jabok, a tributary of the Jordan River.  He divided them in groups and sent gifts for Esau but was in great fear and trembling when he heard Esau was coming with 400 men to meet him.  He stayed behind to pray.

That night he was alone and Scripture says “a man wrestled with him until daybreak”.  (Genesis 32:22-31) This “man” touched Jacobs hip socket and put it out of joint.  Jacob would not let him go until this “man” blessed him.  The man asked Jacob his name–“Jacob” (cheat, supplanter).  The man changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” (wrestled with God and men and have overcome.)   The man wouldn’t give Israel his name, but did bless him and left.  Israel named the place “Peniel”.  This name states that he believed he had seen God face to face and was spared!  Thus the nation of “Israel” was born out of this amazing wrestling match!  God wins again! 

Wrestling with God isn’t a bad thing if we are desparate for His blessing!  God loves it when we lay hold of Him as our only hope!  It’s a sure way to true blessing, but we may walk with a limp!  It’s a humbling thing to be touched by the Lord!  We will never walk the same way again!  Thankfully, ways of cheating, lying and manipulating to get our way are left behind.  Our past is gone!  We have a “new Name” written down in Glory! 

And God said to him, “I am God Almighty, be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and community of nations will come from your body.  The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.”  Genesis 36:11-12 

“He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”  Revelation 2:17

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