What does wrestling with God mean? Rom 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Does God offer us an explanation in Gen 32, when Jacob wrestled with God at Jabbok? Do the demons we have allowed in our lives, by our acts in defiance of God, lead us to conform to this world? Could we be transformed by reasoning with God and thus better able to face our demons, as Jacob dealt with his deceitful act against his brother Esau? How much pain do those demons cause when we allow them to live within us?
Is humility a big part dealing with our demons? Gen 32:25, “And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.” When we humbly come to God, does His goodness seep into our souls giving us the power to release those demons? Our pride separates us from God’s goodness; and when we humble ourselves enough to see this, our struggles begin to disappear. It does not happen overnight, it is a process that takes a lifetime. When we begin to clean a room we are not able to see all the dust that has found secret places to hide. As we remove some of the clutter in our lives, we expose that hidden dust, allowing us the opportunity to transform that room and our lives.
This is why God calls us to reason with Him, Is 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” It is the reasoning that shines the light of truth and goodness onto all that we say and do, even into the dark corners we have been desperately trying to hide.
Jacob ran from his brother, hoping to find a life that could cover up his dishonesty. But, no matter how much we pretend, life has a way of exposing our sins. Without God and the process He has given us to deal with this problem, our lives become distorted and debilitating. God’s answer is humility. When we humble ourselves, as Jacob finally did, we begin the healing process. The process includes our admitting what we have done. It includes true remorse for the pain we have caused others. To witness this process in action, try watching the documentary film “SERVING LIFE”, in which criminals sentenced to life in one of the highest security prisons in the country, use this process to find healing by serving their dying fellow inmates.
Is God patiently waiting for us to come to Him? Is He ready to forgive us and help us heal? Is this why He told us in Rev 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me”? He wants us to know that nothing we have done can stop us from finding Him once we open the door. Someone once gave us a mental picture for this verse, God kneeling in front of us, begging us to open the door. It is a haunting image of our supreme creator showing us what true humility is all about; an act that could only be motivated by love.
The messy lives we live, in this dysfunctional world, come into perspective when we open that door. We begin to see why people do the things we believe are unimaginable. Without God, this life seems impossible. This is why He told us, Matt 7:13-15, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
But, God has made a way for us, it is a narrow way, but it begins when we open His book and start reasoning with Him. 1 Thes 5:21, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” He asks us prove all things, including what He has told us in the Bible. He doesn’t want us to blindly follow Him. He wants us to wrestle with Him and His word; He wants us to challenge the things we see in this world, by reasoning with Him. It is only when we have dealt with all of our doubts that we can fully lay down our pride; our fears; our struggles; only then will we be able to follow Him to the Peace that only He can provide. Jn 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” It is this process that allows us to cease our struggling and live the life God saw for us before He even created us, Jer 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
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