Have you ever found yourself wrestling with God?
If you have been raised in Church, you probably remember the story of Jacob wrestling with an angel:
“Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.
“And He said, ‘Let Me go, for the day breaks.’
“But he said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me!’ ” (Genesis 32:24-26 NKJV)
There have been many believers over the years who have read this familiar story in Genesis and have used it as a model for prayer. They feel that in order to get any blessing from God they have to wrestle it from Him. However, we have to realize that this was only an isolated event. There are no other examples like this in the Word of God. Jacob had an amazing encounter with an angel, but it isn’t a model for prayer. God is not our enemy, and we do not have to wrestle with Him to make Him bless us.
The Apostle Paul wrote that we do have an enemy. When we find ourselves wrestling against people, we are actually wrestling with this spiritual adversary:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)
We only have one enemy and that is the devil. His kingdom consists of principalities, powers, rulers of this world’s darkness, and wicked spirits in the heavenly places. When we find ourselves wrestling against people, and various circumstances in our lives, it is not God who is making things difficult, it is the devil. He is our adversary, and he is our enemy, opposing us in everything we do.
The wonderful truth is that God is on our side. God is for us and not against us. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NKJV)
When difficulties and challenges come our way, we shouldn’t think that God is fighting against us. He is not our enemy. In the same way, when our prayers don’t seem to be answered, it isn’t God who is keeping the answer from us. It is the enemy who is trying to block our prayers from being answered.
God loves us and He freely gives us His blessings. The greatest blessing He gave us was His Son. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all; how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.” (Romans 8:32 NKJV)
The greatest demonstration of God’s love for us was in the giving of His Son. He does not have to do anything else to prove His love for us. He also wants to give us everything else we need. All we have to do is accept His love for us and learn to trust Him!
When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, we shouldn’t blame God for what we are going through. When things go wrong, we don’t have to wrestle with God to change it. We need to realize that God loves us, that He is on our side, and that He wants to bless us and help us overcome whatever we are going through.
It does not matter what the devil throws our way, he cannot keep us from God’s love. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV)
Many times when things go terribly wrong, God’s people cry out to Him and say, “Don’t you love me anymore?” When we are in those circumstances, we need to separate God’s love from our problems. God loves us just as much when things go well, as when things are going badly.
God doesn’t want circumstances to overwhelm us and overcome us. He wants us to overcome them!
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 NKJV)
The words “more than conquerors” can be literally translated: “super overcomers.” That is what God wants us to be! He loves us, and He doesn’t want us to be defeated by the enemy. He is on our side. He is there to back us up in everything we do. He is there to help us get out of the mess we are in, not put us in it. The enemy wants to push us down. God wants to lift us up. He loves us and wants to help us become overcomers!
You are holy, dear saint!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc.]