“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” – Genesis 32:24 (KJV)
Father God in Jesus Name I pray that this is liberating and fully life changing that causes spiritual change. I pray that this develops and changes our lives forever, from this moment forward in Jesus Name. Amen.
It’s easy to take life’s blows and begin to build up walls, however sometimes we actually develop the ability to have the strongest desire to control everything. Control is defined as to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate. When we are hurt in life by circumstances either by ourselves or others we can develop a shell of protection called control. We don’t want to feel vulnerable and definitely not at the will of another person. We stand beside ourselves, our old selves and say, “that will never happen again.” “I will never ever be hurt again.” Sometimes it even gets so deeply entrenched in us that “that” is something that won’t happen to you again.
Jacob was wrestling with control of his life. Jacob was always trying to gain the upper hand. Jacob wanted full control and less surrender. But wait, it’s hard to surrender to God, especially when you have been cheated out of things. Regardless of Jacob and his flaws, he was cheated out of having the wife he deserved by Laban in Genesis 29 especially verse 25. It reads, “The next morning, Jacob realized that it was Leah! "What have you done to me?" he demanded of Laban. "Didn't I serve you for seven years in order to marry Rachel? Why did you deceive me?" (Genesis 29:25 ISV) While it’s easy to say that Jacob reaped what he sowed, have we not also been the victim of deception?
The desire for control is a part of the first sin. Pride. Satan said to Eve “you shall be as Gods” (Genesis 3:5). God is in control, when we exert control we are “as gods” saying “this is good, and this is evil.” The truth of the matter is often what we think is good is evil, sometimes we can deceive ourselves because we are doing the same thing that took place in the Garden of Eden, gaining control. God is in control. That’s a fact. It’s all throughout scripture. We see the life of Joseph being led by God. Of all people he could have made a protective wall of control when his brothers were brought to him because of a lack of food. He could have said “you won’t do this to me again” or in Jacobs terms “you won’t get the best of me this time and deceive me.” However, Joseph had to learn to relinquish control and ultimately come to this conclusion after his brothers bowed down in confession of their sin to him. “for am I in the place of God?” (Genesis 50:19).
Joseph realized that in order to do the will of God, find rest, finally, forgive, finally, realize peace, finally, and understand God was at work, finally that he had to relinquish control. Even when he saw his brothers we can see the wrestling of the greatest person to mirror Christ as he sent his brothers back and forth. It was him in control now, not his brothers. However, God eventually broke the pride of Joseph through the letting go of control. Finally, Joseph was able to live and not just survive.
Life brings us to “survive” moments. “Survivor” is a great term for those who endured, but life is a term that says, “I survived and now I’ve moved on from that.” Is it easy? Never, but it’s necessary and what is necessary will always be a focal point with God. Is God speaking to you and asking you to just “let go?”
Final Thoughts: A rose can be a beautiful flower, it blossoms and even has a scent to it. However, if you were to see it as it buds and just grab it and hold on to it, it would never blossom. It would not reach its full potential and become what God created it to be and do. When a rose blossoms it’s an image of beauty, but smothering causes withering. Don’t smother your future.
Father God, I pray and turn from the pride of control. I ask Holy Spirit that You enable me to relinquish control of my life and the life of people that have hurt me. I pray that You enable me and empower me to surrender life’s circumstances to you. I ask You this in Jesus Name. Amen.