An Important Key to Lasting Change

An Important Key to Lasting Change

An Important Key to Lasting Change

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Genesis 32:23 – 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.

After implementing his scheme to calm his brother’s fury, Jacob is left alone in the dark. As the night passed like a slow, never-ending train, a stranger approached and took him by the arm. It turned into a marathon WWF match because it lasted until daybreak – arm holds, leg locks, headlocks, gouging, elbows, and dust flying. Who was this mysterious opponent?

Hosea 12:3 – In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel; as a man he struggled with God.

Jacob was a wrestler from the day he was born. His go-to move was to grab the heel. He spent his whole life contending with family members, brother, father, and uncle Laban. Here he’s in another wrestling match, but this time with God.

Lasting personal transformation is difficult because we don’t want to surrender.

Have you ever wrestled with God? Yes, people make us crazy sometimes, but often our real struggle is with God. We don’t want to surrender.

Wrestling is similar to chess. When our opponent makes a move, we try and undo it by our next move. Similarly, God makes a move to get close to us. He doesn’t want to crush us in a stranglehold but wrap us in his everlasting arms of love. But we counter and turn the opposite way, and on and on through the years of our life.

Before transformation, there must be desperation.

Wendy and I were desperate the other night after looking at our kitchen. It’s our grand central station, where everybody raids the fridge and slaps high fives before connecting to their next train, taking them wherever they need to go. Overused and overlooked, our kitchen can start looking like the drawer in your house where you throw everything you don’t know what to do with. Everybody ditches their stuff on the counter – backpacks, cold waffles, dirty socks, wet towels, and dog bones.

So we called a family meeting and made a big announcement, “We’re going to have a chore chart, and your name will be on it.” Tempers exploded. Pointing fingers. Threats. Wounded feelings. But the chart got put on the fridge.

Have we done this before? Yes. Did we let it slip? Yes! But we’re not going to roll over. We are desperate for change.

Genesis 32:25-26 – 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.”

God allowed himself to come down on Jacob’s level, restraining his power so that he could get close. Jacob wasn’t going to let go. So God reached out and touched his hip, wrenching it from the socket. The damage from just one touch caused Jacob to realize this was no ordinary man but a supernatural encounter, a God moment, a divine opportunity. Even with his hip out of place, he still hung on and would not let go. When God said, “Let me go,” Jacob responded, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

When we come to the end of our rope, may our hearts cry, “I’m not going to stop praying. I’m not going to stop worshipping. I’m not going to stop reading my Bible. I’m not going to stop connecting with my church. I’m not going to stop believing for a miracle. I won’t let you go until you bless me!”

Psalm 34:17-20 – The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all…

Jacob said, “I’ve fixed things all my life, but I’ve got something I can’t fix. It’s caused me all kinds of pain and loss. I’m tired of the chaos it’s caused in my relationships. I’m not letting go until you bless me!”

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