Are You Wrestling With God?

Submit to God and be at peace with him;
in this way prosperity will come to you.
Job 22:21

This past weekend my sons competed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), a martial art focused on ground hand-to-hand combat. Points can be earned by executing specific techniques of take-down and control, but the ultimate goal is to win by submission through joint locks and chokeholds. Elementary-aged children aggressively compete under the supervision of a referee and coaches. It is intense and exciting to say the least!

In BJJ, a submission is fought for. There is strategy, skill, and strength involved. Force is used against an opponent who is desperately trying to avoid loosing. All it takes is one move and the match will be over.

With God, submission is the opposite. He will not wrestle us into compliance. It does not take strength, skill, or strategy to surrender to the will of God. And rather than a singular burst, God desires a willing heart, dedicated to following Him daily.

This is what Eliphaz was referring to in Job 22. In the midst of great loss, Job was looking for understanding as to why God allowed him to continue suffering. His friends erroneously thought Job was the cause, that somehow he was not right with God. If Job would just willingly submit to God, the wrongs would be righted and he would experience the Lord’s blessing again.

Ironically, Job was a strong example of a man postured under the will of God. Chapter one tells us Job was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. Satan set out to shatter his faith by destroying his family, servants, and livestock. Job was stripped of everything all at once and yet he did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:22)

How many of us can honestly say the same? Personally, I’m quick to question God’s plan when life gets rough. My trust in Him weakens. I am less willing to submit my heart to Him when difficult circumstances arise – I find myself wresting against God rather than surrendering to Him.

Job 22:21 reminds me to “Submit to God and be at peace with Him.” The Hebrew word for submit used here is cakan, which means “to be of use or service”. Submitting to God means we yield our will to the Father, allowing Him to use us as He sees fit. Be at peace with Him is described by the term shalam which means “to be complete”. Therefore, we are complete in the Lord when we surrender our hearts and minds to His leading.

May we never forget the way Jesus demonstrated a willingly compliant spirit by praying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Is there something God is calling you into but you are resisting? Perhaps you’re wrestling with God to see prayers answered the way you want them answered. Be encouraged that He is trustworthy. He can handle whatever life is throwing at you. It may feel scary to leave the familiar, to walk away from routine, or to step out in faith; God will be with you every step of the way, coaching you to victory in Him.

**Personal side note: currently, my goal is to post to my blog weekly on Mondays, preferably in the mornings. After a busy weekend of family birthdays, it just wasn’t going to happen.

When I asked the Lord what He wanted me to write about this week, He gave me the word submit. But rather than “submitting” immediately, I thought it would be more efficient to complete a work of writing I had already begun rather than starting from scratch.

So I sat in Starbucks this morning, desperately trying to complete something worth reading. Nothing. My mind was completely blank. Finally, after 30 minutes of writer’s block, I gave in. I began writing this post and the Lord poured the words through my fingers onto the screen. He was teaching me the very lesson I hoped to encourage others with – submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog! xoxo

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