Tuesday, February 27, 2018

It's a Crisis That Helps Lead Me To Change

In review of Genesis 32:24-25 it says, “This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket” (NLT).

Bottom Line:
Persistence is required in critical situations

What this means to me:
Persistence on my part within a crisis situation can lead to healing.

In Genesis 32 we see Jacob wrestling with God. In summary, a man came and wrestled with Jacob until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob's hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!" But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." "What is your name?" the man asked. He replied, "Jacob." The man told him that his name will no longer be Jacob, from now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won." "Please tell me your name," Jacob said. "Why do you want to know my name?" the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.

When I face a difficult conflict, I can run about frantically or I can pause to pray about it. Which approach will be more effective?

In this instance Jacob continued this wrestling match all night just to be blessed. He was persistent. I’m learning that God encourages persistence in all areas of my life, including the spiritual. Today I need to consider where in my spiritual life do I need more persistence? Strong character will develop as I struggle through tough conditions.

When I find myself in crisis, I can be certain that God is up to something! I’m about to be changed. I don’t have to stay the same. God is getting ready to make a change in my life.

The Bible teaches that my biggest struggle in life is with God because I want to be in control. I want to be God.

This was Jacob’s problem — he tried to control his life to such an extent that he even wanted to change the order of his birth. Jacob was a twin, and the Bible says when he came out of his mother’s womb, he was clinging to his older brother’s ankle, grappling to be the first one out. He spent a lifetime in conflict with his brother, Esau, but his biggest battle was with God.

One night he even tried to go one-on-one with God. Some people want to debate whether Jacob actually wrestled with God, but the Bible tells us in Hosea: “Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God” (Hosea 12:3 NLT).

As I consider my biggest problem right now; it boils down to these two issues:

Will I obey God in this situation and do what he says is the right thing to do, whether I like it or not?” Or, “Will I trust God in this situation, letting him handle it?”

No matter what my problem is, my biggest problem is not really my problem. The real problem is not obeying and trusting God. And that makes the problem bigger.

When it comes to no-win situations, who do I think is behind it? God is! God often allows a crisis in my life in order to get my attention. All of a sudden I’m laid flat on my back and forced to look up.

God loves me just the way I am, but he loves me far too much to let me stay stuck in my habits, hang-ups, and hurts. He wants to change me. He wants to help me grow, to be better, to be different, and to be all that I was meant to be. And so he allows a crisis.

Why? Because I rarely change until the pain I feel exceeds my fear of change. I don’t change when I see the light; I change when I feel the heat.

God can use this situation to move me to where I need to be. A crisis gets my attention and forces me to look toward God. As I consider this today, what comes to mind is my current struggle at work to make a positive difference and provide overall high level of service, attention and quality as well as completing some key tasks. As I reflect I have been doing things on my own merit. Rarely am I praying and asking God for his guidance and assistance.

This morning God “I pray that you will fill my life with your caring spirit. Help me to communicate effectively with my team and help them to view our roles and responsibilities differently. Help me to communicate the need for us to adjust work shifts to better adjust for needs of the organization early in the morning and later in the afternoon / evening. Help me to love those who work for me and those who we serve. I also ask father that you help me guide the team to complete the key work tasks in front of us; OEA server builds, and system clean-up activities this week. Father I want to commit to being obedient to your word and promptings. I will place my trust in you to work through me to accomplish the work challenge that is ahead of me. In your Son’s name, Amen!”