“Are we familiar with God’s character in our wrestling seasons? . . . God does not define us by our doubts or fears. God not only sees our sin and shame through the cross of Jesus Christ, but takes on our striving as well. His striving is through service and surrender, and we can take on this same posture.”- Esther Fleece Allen
As Esther Fleece Allen continues Chapter 5 of Your New Name, she reminds us that our wrestling with God, laments, and questions aren’t bad things in God’s sight. Certainly, our investigations of God fail to hinder or intimidate Him. In contrast, our wrestling with God often demonstrates our relationship with Him. And sometimes our wrestling leads us to our new name.
Therefore, Esther exhorts, we need to approach God with the kind of confidence Jacob showed. Despite his many character flaws, the Lord blessed Jacob and gave him a new name. Like Jacob, we must expect God to meet us and change us. Esther explains:
“While we often want God to change a circumstance or another person, what happens many times is that our wrestling changes us. It’s in the wrestling that God speaks to us, convicts us, or sets us free. In these wrestling seasons, endurance is the name of the game. Jacob endured the wrestling and found his new name at the end.”
Above all, God invites us to get honest. All of us wrestle with our identity. As a result, God asks us questions that move us to reflect on the labels we live out of. Through His simple and pointed questions, God allows us to speak for ourselves. And if we listen, God continues to ask us questions that invite us to get honest with Him and with ourselves. Because God knows precisely what questions prod us to think of Him.
Finally, just like Jacob received his new name at his point of honesty, our honest pleas to God comes with great reward.
Today’s question: “What Scriptures remind us of God’s character in our wrestling seasons? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “An everlasting covenant of love and forgiveness”