One of the most popular terms to date right now is,“The struggle is real.” This statement is often said proceeding a natural battle with something meant to destroy you. Overcoming this “struggle” has been a public or private goal for many. The term is normally used when one is poverty stricken or for a lack of better words……broke. Usually, when a person rises from the bottom to the top. There’s something still lingering. A haunting voice chanting,”It’s still real.” When the struggle is dead the wrestling begins. After, all that’s been accomplished you still never touch peace, joy and true happiness from within you begin to wrestle.
The verb definition of wrestle means: struggle with a difficulty or problem. I found this to be psychedelic because struggle is within the definition of wrestle. Meaning you first have to overthrow the “struggle” to then wrestle. For decades I’ve heard my pastoral parents say, “You reap naturally then spiritually.” I always thought that was an oxymoron honestly. Why wouldn’t it be the opposite first? It would only make sense for the spirit to reap first then naturally right? 1 Corinthians 15:46 begs to differ,
“However, that which is spiritual was not first, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual.”
Since we’re made of three parts: mind, body and spirit. It would only be fitting that we would struggle first (naturally) then wrestle second (mind and spirit). I found myself definitely escaping the struggle but still wrestling. As I dove into my word and continued to do devotion after devotion. I found myself partaking in a study that was nothing short of heaven sent. The devotion was called ‘A Covenant Keeping God’. I surely had no idea what my soul was about to take place in. The seven day study focused on the transformation of Jacob to Israel. I’ve heard the story millions of times but never had I studied it nor received it like this. Jacob the deceiver had a (transactional) relationship with God. While, Israel the contender with God had a (covenant relationship) with Him. Remorsefully, I found a lot of Jacob’s characteristics among my own. My integrity was being faced and I had to read the writing on the walls.
Jacob was forever doing something in order to gain something in return. He even played this game with God. Jacob went from one saga to the next where his actions had to be matched. We (myself included) always have an ulterior motive with God. Rather it’s seen or unseen. We do things for God to be “blessed” with our desires in return. Honestly, until this revelation I had no idea that was wrong. I mean if I’m doing good unto someone shouldn’t I be rewarded for it? Especially, if that someone is the all mighty God.
For this very reason. Jacob struggled with a lot of things; from deceiving his brother Esau all the way to his uncle Laban. Like most people I find myself doing things for people in hopes they would match my effort or do more for me. Then quickly get mad when what I expected wasn’t accomplished. Sounds familiar huh? The transactional behavior or pattern reveals its ugly head in the natural and spirit. How many of us often get mad with God when things don’t go the way we wanted them to go? I’m not the only one guilty of this I’m just the first to admit it. As I continued daily with this devotion. My soul began to wrestle with the fact that things needed to change and they needed to change NOW. In tears I repented and began to search out ways to change my transactional behavior to a covenant lifestyle with God.
In the midst of transforming from Jacob to Israel there was a wrestle. A very special and famous wrestle between Jacob and an angel. This infamous encounter changed the coarse of a nation. Jacob fought with this angel all night. Matter of fact this fight was so detrimental that he said,
“I will not let you go unless you declare a blessing upon me.”
Because of this his relationship with God went from transactional to covenant. It was no longer about him but God. Afterwards, in Genesis 32:28 says, “Your name shall be called no more Jacob but Israel; for you have contended and have power with God and with men and have prevailed.” The fight was no longer with the flesh but now within the spirit. What he battled naturally he now had to throw down spiritually. Instead of putting his hand out to God now it was time to humble himself. As a believer of Christ your spiritual walk is suppose change. Just like you grow naturally you’re supposed to grow spiritually.
Months later I have found myself seeking and desiring a covenant relationship with God. I no longer want the minimal with Him but the maximum. I no longer wanted to love Him for what He did, was doing or going to do in my life. My desires had changed from my own to His. I wanted to love Him because He is just God. I wanted all of me to worship Him with every breathe that I took. I always knew I was created to worship Him but I now wanted it to be put into action. I no longer wanted to worship from afar. I wanted to enter in where He was. I found myself begging God to please let me in behind the veil because there were only secrets only he could tell. My prayer went from God I desire this and that to God how can I serve you? So once again……..are you wrestling or struggling? What are you going to do about it?