At times there is a “Wrestling” with God, perhaps more specifically God’s will in our prayer. Jesus told us to “wait” before God for the “When” of His promise. (Acts 1:4-8). Yesterday I mentioned that Jesus invited James, John, and Peter to “Watch and Pray” with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. We said that was an invitation to spiritual alertness, and yet these disciples fell asleep. As they were sleeping Jesus was engaged with a wrestling match so to speak with the Father of the upcoming suffering and agony of bearing our sins to the cross. So intense was Jesus’ struggle with the will of the Father that the Bible tells us the capillaries burst mixing blood with His sweat.
In Genesis we see a man named Jacob wrestling with the Lord. It is interesting in that encounter that we know in our hearts God could have easily crushed him. But in His grace, God gently wrestled with Jacob. Jacob clung to God for the blessing of God transforming his life. In the end, God crippled Jacob, but changed Him to Israel. God wants to change us in His image, and so He invites us into this intensity of prayer.
We struggle with the concept of “Waiting” before God because we tend to think of waiting as doing nothing. We see it as being idle. And we want to be action focused. But waiting in the heart of God is intense. It is a prayerful wrestling. In the end we realize that Mighty God could crush us, but His grace leads Him to desire to bless us. His blessing comes in our humble submission to His will. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but Your will be done, O God.”
Our Wait before God will issue in going the “works” of Christ, as we will consider tomorrow. But for the moment, let’s remember that Jesus invited the disciples in Matthew 26 to “watch” with Him for one hour. Can we not give that little to our Lord who has entrusted us with 24 hours each day to do His will?