I met with a friend of mine the other day…a good friend…and one that I trust like a brother (do you have any of those?). I trust him, because I know him…and he is a man after God’s heart….again, do you have any of those? How do I know he is after God’s heart? Because he is searching for God’s will…and pleading with God to give him strength. That my friend…is God’s man…and he will be blessed.
So any way, he is also going through a big transition in life…and is changing jobs, careers…and is in that no man’s land of having to answer that question…”what do you do?” I hate that question…because isn’t the real question…”who” are you? Let me explain (this is your hint to grab some coffee)…the story starts in Genesis, and it is about Jacob. In case you haven’t heard the story…the synopsis is that Jacob, the younger brother, stole his older brother’s birthright…you can read the story yourself in Genesis…and I do encourage that…but chapter 32 tells of Jacob is getting ready to see his brother again after many years…and he is big time scared…his messengers tell him that Esau is coming, and he has 400 people with him. Oh yeah…and this is not long after he is hanging out with some angels telling them to tell God about all of the “humble” things that Jacob has been doing…don’t we do that all of the time?
So anyway…Jacob splits up his group (for safety)…sends out a whole bunch of gifts so Esau forgets that past (yeah…like that works)…and “he” devises a plan on how to deal with the situation. He cries out to God…remember…you put me here…you told me to do this and that ….where are you…I am not worthy…and my big time paraphrase, “can you hook a brother up?”
So Jacob wasn’t sleeping too good that night. Been there…done that (what about you?)! When I am handling the situation….my sleep ain’t too sweet…and neither was his! So he wakes up….hustles the family over the river…and in verse 32:24 it says, Jacob was ALONE…nothing to hide behind, nothing to offer up…he was alone. Guess what…this “Man” appears out of nowhere…and starts wrestling with Jacob. Now that has got to freak you out…in the middle of the night…Jacob gets in a wrestling match…don’t you love God’s style? So Jacob wasn’t doing so bad and then BAM…the “Man” touched his hip and put his socket out of joint…and then He says…I am ooops…day break…I am out of here. But Jacob says you can’t leave until you bless me…
A little different version of the story is found in Hosea 12: 4- Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; He wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, and there He spoke to us—
Here Jacob isn’t quite as tough…he is saying that I am tired of wrestling…but I can’t quit…because I can’t do it on my own…and I can’t do it without YOU. And let’s face it…none of us can. Back to the story in Genesis…
Gen 32:27-28 “So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.”
28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
AND THAT my friend is what God is saying to you! When are you going to quit wrestling with Me? When will you realize that there is NOTHING that you have done that I didn’t allow you to do? When are you going to start follwing Him…instead of you expecting Him to come clean up your mess.
Frankly…it is apparent that I enjoy wrestling…because I do it all of the time. But you know what? It is tiring…and I am tired of it. I get up and I wrestle dawn to dusk…and sometimes beyond. Because when I am in control….okay I will stop there…because I am NOT in control. You see I can’t guarantee you that my heart will beat one more beat…if I can’t control that…who cares what I “think” I can control. But God can control that…and he has only given you “so many” beats of you heart…so….
What is your name? When are you going to quit fighting me…and let Me bless you? When are you going get rid of all of that junk…and follow Me? My yoke is light…and My path is much better than the one you are on. OH YEAH…after Jacob quit wrestling…God blessed him, and gave him a NEW name…just like He wants to do for us! The name was Israel….ever heard of it?
There may not be much time left in your dash. Let’s get at it! Standing for the King! Your brother in Christ, Dan