How Can We Watch the Numbers and Wrestle With God All at the Same Time?

Why would anyone want to wrestle with God?

In Genesis 32:22-32, there is an account of Jacob who wrestled with God (v.28). The full story can be found here What is the meaning of Jacob wrestling with God?

I would like to offer another view of wrestling with God and finding out which team I am really on. Are you ready?

Sunday evening I began posting about a challenge to read the New Testament in 84 days. The post contained an email link to sign up and the response was very positive. By Thursday, all but two people had unsubscribed from the list. I felt very defeated and emailed the remaining two about unsubscribing and I would delete the list.

Thursday night I received a strong rebuke from someone I admire greatly. I deserved it.

He said to me, “You are a very impatient woman. I am also a very impatient person- thank God He is patient with the both of us. But God is  disciplining you- you are so focused on yourself, your concerns. God is going to continue to hold back the fullness of His goodness until we get it. If you are weary from just walking with the foot soldiers in place in the land where you have peace, how in the world are you going to run with the horses in the valley of the Jordan (Jeremiah 12:5)?

“If you have raced with men on foot
    and they have worn you out,
    how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble in safe country,
    how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5

“The valley of Jordan is a very dry place- how can you do it? How can I? We can’t. The spiritual light bulb has got to go on and we’ve got to STOP what we’re doing. It’s more than impatience – you are wrestling with God. You think He is happy with that? We’re actually walking in doubt, unbelief, and fear. If we’re honest, that is what we are doing. God is not impressed with that- with you or me. And we have to stop it.”

You see, I’ve been focused on numbers. Numbers to my website, numbers to the blog, numbers to the podcast- the dropping of numbers actually- and panic set in and I thought I was failing again. I told myself I wanted to reach people about God. I wanted to add my voice and step-out of my comfort zone and make an impact, but I was watching the numbers.

“You’re going to lose your anointing if you don’t learn fast and your life will be mediocre. I’m not cursing your life, but God says, ‘I’m going to give it to another’ – we have to show evidence of spiritual growth. If you are trustworthy and a good steward of speaking to a small number, then the big number will come. God can’t use you effectively if you are wrestling with Him. You are going from doubt to belief to belief to doubt and so on- like a cork in the ocean you have no idea where you are going. You will never really realize your full potential until you start taking steps towards patience, towards trust, and towards believing in God’s Word.”

My focus has to be on God. My trust has to be in God. My patience has to be supplied by God through His strength and my repentance for believing this calling or anointing has anything to do with me. It doesn’t. It has to do with God.

How Do We Trust God When We’ve Been Hurt So Many Time Before?

That is my dilemma. Everyone I’ve ever trusted has broken that trust in one way or another. But God.

We cannot project onto God what man has done to us.

As humans, we make choices- some are good, some are bad. God cannot be good and bad at the same time. In fact, God cannot be bad at all. He is good and even though we might argue about all the famines, plagues, and such in the Bible, God does not do anything outside His will or His purpose. What happens to us when we sin is called consequences, or it is called discipline.

Then why do bad things happen to good people? I don’t know. Harold S. Kushner wrote a book When Bad Things Happen To Good People that talks about this very thing; yet I still don’t understand it. I have a friend who was born with Cerebral Palsy. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and is now confined to a wheelchair. She has had multiple operations, more than can be counted on two hands, and has come close to dying. How is that fair? What did she do to God to deserve it all?

But I digress.

Patience, trust, and belief are all areas where I have issues. These are the areas where God has to work on me the most.

These are things that I must place at the foot of the cross.

We all do the same thing when trials come. At first, we turn to Jesus and pray with faith and conviction. We turn to Scripture and proclaim our trust, but then at some point, we lose our focus and go right back to the problem. We clearly know that we should leave it in God’s hands. But that is a hard concept to always put into practice. We need Him to show us the way. We can’t lose faith. We should continue to pray for strength and stand on His Word—God will never leave us.

Thank the Lord for His unending love.

Surrender your heart to Him and leave your burdens at the foot of the Cross.

Bayside Devotional

When do we stop wrestling with God and surrender to His will instead of ours?

When do we stop watching the numbers and put our eyes back on the cross?

When do we stop saying “when, God?” and start believing “when the time is right, I the Lord will make it happen”?

It is time to run with the horses and not grow weary.

It is time to surrender.

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