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“Why Wrestle With God?”

Romans 8:7

the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

Thoughts for Today:

Our passage today kind of blows up the thought we often hear discussed (and some of us even hold on to), that there is any spiritual spark imbedded within man which secretly draws us toward God. Shocking isn't it? Paul tells us: "The sinful mind is hostile to God." We're all enemies of God, plain and simple. We not only regularly stomp upon God's laws, we actively rebel against Him. And if we were taken up to heaven in our present condition we would be no different -- within minutes of arrival we would be arguing, complaining, questioning, petitioning, and making demands. Think not? Think again.

Jacob in his natural condition (sinful nature) wrestled with God. In fact he fought all night long. It wasn't until he rested that he finally won, but did he? Genesis 32:24-28: "So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, 'Let me go, for it is daybreak.' But Jacob replied, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me.' The man asked him, 'What is your name?' 'Jacob,' he answered. Then the man said, 'Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.'"

There was no quit in Jacob even though he had a wrenched hip -- he still stubbornly held on. Do you really think God couldn't have pinned him any time He wanted? Of course He could. But would it have changed Jacob's nature? I don't think so. I think the story reflects man's nature in general -- in our present condition we too will fight with God until the day we die.

Questions to Ponder:

A young man once told me he viewed his relationship with God as the same type of wrestling match Jacob had with God. I became very quiet. He asked me, "Why don't you say something?" I answered, "Because you won't like what I have to say. If you think you're wrestling with God, then you might not be saved. Christian life is about surrender to God, not a wrestling match. One of the basic tenets of our faith is God is always right -- so why fight His will?"

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About the author

Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.