The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 8/18

Posted on | August 18, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 8/18

scripture reading: Genesis 32:22–32

The Victorious Limp

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. (Genesis 32:24)

When most of us think of “spiritual warfare” we visualize combat with Satan and his demons. Though this represents much of the spiritual conflict we encounter in life, we make a serious theological mistake if we forget that the greatest spiritual battle we will ever be engaged in is our struggle with God himself and his sovereign rule over our lives. Who’s in charge? God or me? My will be done? Or His? The ultimate issues of life are won or lost in the battle of the will.

In the Bible, no one illustrates this better than Jacob. The quintessential controller, Jacob fought with anyone and everyone who thwarted his plans. But when he met God he met someone he could not control. In an all-night wrestling match, Jacob finally won the fight by losing it! Victory came through surrender. Face-to-face conflict introduced him to intimacy with God.

Charles Wesley wrote a hymn about this wrestling match in which he invites followers of Christ to personalize Jacob’s conflict with God and make it their own. Perhaps you are discovering that your real struggle in life is not so much with the world, the flesh, or the devil, but with God! Then let me encourage you to find a quiet spot and let these selected verses from Wesley’s lengthy hymn (fourteen verses in all) help you better understand the meaning of your struggle. This is the most important battle you will ever lose!

Come, O thou Traveler unknown, whom still I hold, but cannot see!
My company before is gone, and I am left alone with Thee; With Thee all night I mean to stay, and wrestle till the break of day.

I need not tell Thee who I am, my misery and sin declare;
Thyself hast called me by my name, look on Thy hands, and read it there; But who, I ask Thee, who art Thou? Tell me Thy name, and tell me now.

In vain Thou strugglest to get free, I never will unloose my hold! Art Thou the Man that died for me? The secret of Thy love unfold; Wrestling, I will not let Thee go, Till I Thy name, Thy nature know.

Yield to me now, for I am weak, but confident in self-despair; Speak to my heart, in blessings speak, be conquered by my instant prayer; Speak, or Thou never hence shalt move, and tell me if Thy Name is Love.

’Tis Love! ’tis Love! Thou diedst for me! I hear Thy whisper in my heart; The morning breaks, the shadows flee, pure, universal love Thou art; To me, to all, Thy mercies move; Thy nature and Thy Name is Love.

Contented, now upon my thigh I halt, till life’s short journey end; All helplessness, all weakness, I on Thee alone for strength depend.
Nor have I pow’r from Thee to move, Thy nature and Thy name is Love.

Jesus said to Peter the first time, “Deny self”; he said to Peter the second time, “Thou wilt deny me.” It is either of the two. There is no choice for us; we must either deny self or deny Christ.
—Andrew Murray

point to ponder • Have you reached the place where, like Charles Wesley, you are “confident in self-despair”?

prayer focus • That person in a fierce conflict with God as to whether or not he/she will surrender his/her will.


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