Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wrestling With God


“Forget it I’m going to do it myself”, “It’s my way or the highway”, “I’ll figure it out on my own”, how many of us have heard or said a variation of these phrases from time to time? Rather it is in our own personal lives or something pertaining work? How many of us have become so frustrated with waiting on someone else to act or for something to happen we feel compelled to do it ourselves only to end up making situations worse, or just getting a quick temporary fix to a much larger problem? How many of us have even said “I need a life change” but just sit there in the same old struggle day in and day out?

If your nodding you head or raising your hand (which I don’t understand why you’d be raising you hand seeing that we’re not in a classroom) just know you are not alone. I know personally I’ve done this many and many times over. Not just in my own personal life or with work but with my spiritual life. We all come to a point in time where we felt enough is enough and we feel we got to do it on our own. We all end up at a point were we find ourselves wrestling with God.

The story of Jacob is an intriguing piece from the Bible where man literally gets into a sparing match with God himself. Jacob was a schemer, a sly can’t who had to always find his own way to get what he wanted. I’m mean from the womb while fighting his twin brother he tried to grab him back so he could be the first born, and then later down the line played on his brother (Esau) hunger (after working all day, feeling famished) telling him he’d give him food for a trade of his birthright. Yet it doesn’t stop there, he even goes so far as to trick his old blind father into giving him the blessing meant for his brother. The list goes on and on with this guy, ambition is one thing but Jacob lived by the saying “By any mean necessary” to the fullest.

Jacob dug himself a hole of all holes. He thought that by doing these things getting it his way he was going to be good to go right? Wrong! When is brother found out what he had done he became so pissed that he vowed revenge, that he would personally kill Jacob. It got so bad; their mom had to tell Jacob to get out of here until Esau calmed down. Time passes and things are still not looking good. In fact he even sees a vision (Jacob Ladder) in which he feels like his people will never be free of his brother’s wrath. Even though God assures him that even his brother’s people will fall at the End of Days.

Jacob tries to patch things up with his brother and sends someone out to see him, only to find out his brother’s coming for his neck with 400 men. So distraught and traumatized by the drastic conclusion that seems at hand Jacob sends his family away. Completely alone a broken man he begins the battle of his life with God until the break of down. Demanding a blessing from Him, and in that moment he was given a new name, Israel. He was given the blessing God had probably stored for him all his life. He created in Jacob a new being, giving him his redemption. And when his and his Esau paths finally crossed all was forgiven and things started looking up.

There are some interesting things we can take from the story of Jacob. We’ve all had our moments where we tried to take matters into our own hands. Where we feel we deserve something, or feel something should be going a particular way and we have to do something about it. All the while not realizing that God has a plan of action but they not only are we preventing him for doing his job but that we’re digging ourselves deeper into a hole. This leads for something drastic to happen in our lives, in order to wake us up and move us out of His way.

I know you may think, how can we stand in God’s way? I mean He is an almighty being right? Yes He is, but you have to understand it’s that beautiful but harmful thing we all have called “freewill”. The Lord gave us the power to make our own choices and go down our own paths. He won’t get involved in your life if you’re not choosing to allow Him to do so. Jacob is a clear example of getting in God’s way. God probably had blessings meant for him but do to his “I got to get it my way” mindset (even from the womb) he leaped into action blocking God. He basically told God (as we all subconsciously do) “I don’t need you, I can do it myself”.

And yes, it worked out for him for a little bit each time. That is until it blew up in his face when his brother had had enough of his treachery. Now he has reached the point where something drastic was going to have to occur in his life for him to see he really needed God. I’ve had these things happen to me where I’ve gotten by thinking “ok I got this” until the tables started to turn. And I was left dazed and confused needing God’s grace in the midnight hour.

We all wrestle with God in our lives. We all get to that point were our stubbornness clouds our judgment and we end up fighting God Himself. We’re up all night praying and praying begging, even demanding God to bless us and change our course. We come to the crossroads where we realize that we can’t do it ourselves that we need Him to intervene, where we need His will to be done and not our own. We’ve come to that breaking point where we finally allow God to take the wheel and give us the blessings He’s been trying to give you.

That’s something we have to come to terms with. God is a loving, passionate God. He doesn’t want to see you hurt; He doesn’t want to see you struggling, our crushed. Yet at the same time He doesn’t want to step on your toes and take away a gift as precious as freewill. Sometimes it’s best to let you breakdown so that He can build you up again. He has a blessing in store for you, yet every time we try to do it ourselves we’re putting Him in a chokehold telling him to fall back. Essentially we are binding His hands and forcing Him to hold off.

We’ve got to stop wrestling God. We’ve got to come to the point we’re we our working with and not against Him. It’s one thing to pray for a new job and go out and look for it. That’s what we call a good look, because it shows your working with God. Showing Him you believe He will help you in your quest. Yet it’s a whole different thing when you’re praying for that new job, but not even trying to get out of your current situation. Your holding yourself down, complaining day in and day out about how you want, need change but can’t go and do it out of fear of this that or the third outcome. This is when we start wrestling with God binding His hands. You basically tell Him that you don’t believe He has the power to change things for the better.

It all comes back to that having faith thing again. It comes down to believing that God is in control if you would just allow him to be. Stop fighting God. We got to start recognizing when we are 1) in a loosing battle and 2) blocking our own blessings. Don’t just wait for that drastic thing to happen and shake up your world for you to finally surrender it all to God.

“Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The everlasting God, The Lord,

The Creator of the ends of the Earth

Does not become tired or weary” (Isaiah 40:28)

“Come to me, all who are weary

And heavy burden

And I will give them rest” (Matthew 11:28)

God is waiting, and wants you to give Him all your drama, all your trials, all your pain. Don’t feel alone; don’t feel it’s up to you and only you to find a solution to your problems. Don’t feel you have to go it alone and do it yourself. God is here and wants to bless you, wanting to fight for you. We’ve just got to stop getting in his way, and let Him be God.

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