Faithlife
Faithlife

Wrestling With God

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Wrestling With God
My goal this morning is to cause you to reflect on and see the faithfulness of God so that you fight on in the battle of faith. In a battle for change in the human heart and soul. A battle for change in our mind and emotions and ultimately a battle for change in our very nature for a change in behaviour.
In we see a promise of God to Israel but I believe it is also a promise to God’s people today.
The Lord's Holy Name
16Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 17Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. 18Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: 19And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. 20And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. 21But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
A New Heart and Spirit
22Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 23And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. 30And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. 31Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
33Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. 34And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. 35And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. 36Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
37Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. 38As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
I think we all desire this kind of change and at times we are amazed at the miraculous work of God in our hearts but at other times it breaks us to see the dulness of our hearts. It breaks our hearts when we continue to fail. What do we do then?
We need to wrestle… We need to fight… We need to make war… But, not with ourselves not with our lower nature. If thats the way you fight this spiritual war… if that’s the way you fight sin, you are headed for an endless cycle of defeat and repentance. This morning I want you to make war but your first battle must be in prayer with your God. Wrestle with him! Take hold of His promises, take hold of Him and don’t let him go until he blesses you.
Here are a few promises God makes.
: 11For 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. 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity
: 7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Parallel account in :
: 9And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Take hold of these promises. Seek Him until you find him. And when you find Him wrestle with him until he blesses you.
To illustrate this wrestle I want to look at a story of change and reconciliation that is nothing less than a miracle proving the power of God.

-32King James Version (KJV)

22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
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.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.
Before I go further I want you to know that this is a New Testament concept as well. In we have a parable given by Jesus that parallels this story.
2 In a town there was once a judge who didn’t fear God or care about people. 3 In that same town there was a widow who kept going to the judge and saying, “Make sure that I get fair treatment in court.”
4 For a while the judge refused to do anything. Finally, he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 I will help this widow because she keeps on bothering me. If I don’t help her, she will wear me out.”
6 The Lord said:
Think about what that crooked judge said. 7 Won’t God protect his chosen ones who pray to him day and night? Won’t he be concerned for them? 8 He will surely hurry and help them. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find on this earth anyone with faith?
We have another actual account that also illustrates the point:
Mathew 15:

A Woman’s Faith

21 Jesus left and went to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Suddenly a Canaanite woman[c] from there came out shouting, “Lord and Son of David,[d] have pity on me! My daughter is full of demons.” 23 Jesus did not say a word. But the woman kept following along and shouting, so his disciples came up and asked him to send her away.
24 Jesus said, “I was sent only to the people of Israel! They are like a flock of lost sheep.”
25 The woman came closer. Then she knelt down and begged, “Please help me, Lord!”
26 Jesus replied, “It isn’t right to take food away from children and feed it to dogs.”[e]
27 “Lord, that’s true,” the woman said, “but even dogs get the crumbs that fall from their owner’s table.”
28 Jesus answered, “Dear woman, you really do have a lot of faith, and you will be given what you want.” At that moment her daughter was healed.
So now that we see this is a biblical concept for today lets look closer at what actually happened in this account.
Background:
In Jacob tricked his father into giving him the blessing by pretending to be Esau.
Jacob flees because Esau is so angry with him
Now years later he is about to meet his brother Esau (and his brother is coming to him) for the first time since and he has no idea what is coming and he is scared.
Here in this terror he meets God (or an angel of God) and wrestles with him all night.
He wrestles all night and finally in the morning when neither was winning God said:
Let me go, for the day breaketh.
And Jacob said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
And he said unto him, What is thy name? (Who are you?)
When we look at the name Jacob we see a sceaming who takes advantage of people time and time again and now he is ready to meet this brother Esau and he is scared.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
After this encounter with God Jacob is a new man. We see in 31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. His very walk of life was change and now he walks with a limp of God.
After this encounter we have a beautiful case of reconciliation.

King James Version (KJV)

33 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.
9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.
10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.
11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
13 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.
19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.
20 And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael.
So what does this look like today? Testimony
Wrestle with God by Faith. Take hold of Him in prayer and don’t let him go until he blesses you. Don’t let him go until the victory is won. Don’t let go until you are with him I paradise where you can’t loose your grip on God and where you will be forever blessed.

-32King James Version (KJV)

22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
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.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.
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