Saturday, January 16, 2021

Wrestling with God

By Sister Tarpley
NDG Religion Editor

“The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.”
Genesis 32:31

Jacob was a man who was a controller. He connived and manipulated his way to get what he wanted. It was a generational stronghold passed down through his mother, who encouraged her son to play a trick on his father, Isaac, by pretending to be Esau.

This trick led Isaac to give the family blessing to Jacob, which meant Jacob would eventually inherit the land God had promised to Abraham’s seed.

Jacob also learned control from his uncle Laban who caused Jacob to work for 14 years to take Rachel as his lifelong mate. One must ask which was uglier in God’s sight, the self-centered nature and worldliness of Esau, or the control and manipulation of Jacob?

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Control is a problem for men and women. Many women use sex to control their husbands. Many men use power and force to control their wives. Control is at the core of that which is opposite the cross-self-rule.

What delivers us from this fleshly nature of control? A crisis. Jacob’s crisis came when he was faced with the prospect of meeting a brother who said he would kill him the next time he saw him.

Esau had built his own clan and was about to meet Jacob and his clan in the middle of the desert. Jacob was fearful, so he retreated. There he met a messenger from God who wrestled with him.

Jacob clung to God and refused to let go of this angel. It is the place where Jacob was given a painful but necessary spiritual heart transplant.

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From that point on, Jacob would walk with a limp, because God had to dislocate his hip in order to overcome Jacob’s strong will.

For work place believers, God often has to “dislocate our hip” through failure and disappointment. Sometimes it is the only way He can get our attention.

Our nature to control and manipulate is so strong that it takes a catastrophic event to wake us up. Yet, God did not reject Jacob for these character traits.

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In fact, God blessed him greatly because He saw something in Jacob that pleased Him. He saw a humble and contrite heart beneath the cold and manipulative exterior of Jacob’s life, and it was that trait that God needed to develop.

He did this by bringing about the crisis in Jacob’s life that led to total consecration. This event was marked by Jacob getting a new name, Israel.

For the first time, Jacob had a nature change, not just a habit change. What will God have to do in our lives to gain our complete consecration to His will and purposes?

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“Beware of the Christian leader who does not walk with a limp.” Talk to God and offer yourself to Him as an open vessel. Ask Him to work in your life and accomplish His will through you.

Every little thing and every great thing that is accomplished praise God for it and give Him all the glory. Thank Him for blessing your life with His power and presence; in Jesus’ precious name.

Help Carrollton celebrate Dr. MLK, Jr.’s Day starting with the Kickoff on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 4 pm, at 1837 West Frankford Road #122, Carrollton, TX 75007 sponsored by The Daiquiris Shoppe and Inspiring Lives, Inc. with Texas Tre Williams and ending at the Carrollton Downtown Square celebration on Saturday, January 16, at 1 pm with a live band, awards ceremony and food trucks.

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