Monday, October 4, 2010

Words of Encouragement

Wrestling for your Breakthrough

That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 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." Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, [g] and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon. ~ Genesis 32:22-32

Jacob is seeking God's mercy as he prepares to face his brother Esau. He is afraid that Esau will hurt him because of what had transpired between them before he left home. Jacob finds himself along and he begins to wrestle with a man. Jacob wrestled with this man from the night time until the breaking of day. At that time the man saw that Jacob was not giving up and he touched him on his hip. Jacob said he would not let the man go until he blessed him. The response of the man was, what is your name? Jacob told him his name and he changed it to Israel.

Have you been in a place where what you faced was overwhelming? You did not see how you would come out alive. Bills and finances, emotional difficulties, unsaved loved ones and so many other things pressing on you until you felt divided, just like Jacob when he divided his family and sent them in different directions. Are your situations pulling you in different directions?

Maybe you are at the night time and you are all alone. There's no one with you and you find yourself wrestling for your answer. You are wrestling all through the night, and now day break is finally dawning. What does that mean? Sometimes we are in some dark places and we are wrestling through our prayers seeking God to answer us, bless us, bring us a breakthrough for what is overwhelming and soon to be upon us.

We must be willing to learn from Jacob's example. We have to be willing to wrestle through the night not giving up, not letting go. We have to wrestle so until God has to put his hand upon us to move us. And when He sees we are not backing down from seeking a blessing from him he will speak to us as he did with Jacob.

He will ask us what is your name? Strange question, not so. God knows your name, he simply is asking to get your thinking ready for what he is about to release in your life. He ask us, who are you? Who do I say that you are? By what name do I call you? And when we answer him, he is ready to tell us I have answered you and given you a new standing, a new name, your breakthrough. Jacob's name means "He supplants".  Jacob had gotten somethings because of trickery and being quick (first one out of the womb). Yet, God was now telling him you will no longer be mighty because of your own hands but because of mine. His new name is Israel "He strives with God" or "Prince with God".  It is also said to mean, Let God rule.  Jacob was now elevated by God to be worry of the honor of a prince, "a royal priest hood", and one led by God.

When we are going through some of our difficulties and things seem to be overwhelming us, let me encourage you as I encourage myself that God has a plan in place. He is allowing these situations because he wants to bring us to that place that our faith in him will not let us stop seeking him, crying out to him, even to the place where we will wrestle for our breakthrough. We will come away from our wrestling time with God broken. Yes, broken. God has to break some things in us so that we will always remember how we were humbled during our time with him as he prepared us for our breakthroughs.

Is your name changed? Have you moved from being one know by doing it in your own power to one that allows God to rule? Today, let us seek God's hand to break somethings in us so that we can receive the breakthroughs in our lives.

Prayer: Lord today, we seek a breakthrough for our situations and circumstances that seem to be overwhelming us. We will not back down, we will not give up. While it might be night time and we feel all alone, we will stand here until the light shines upon our situations and we see your answers. We are wrestling for our breakthrough today. Let it come, in Jesus name, Amen.