Steve Lyston | Wrestling or the blessing
All great men, in order to succeed and walk into greatness, must wrestle. They either wrestle with God or with man. There are so many things in life we struggle with, in the various areas of our lives –health, finance, relationships, faith in God, marriage – we are in a fight and we must win.
To “wrestle” means to “struggle; contend; to take part in a fight (either in sports or for real)”, and involves trying to pin the opponent to the ground. Paul used the term “wrestle” as a metaphor to describe what we go through on a daily basis. He said that we are in a close combat fight. Paul tells us that he was constrained /inhibited by his weakness (1 Corinthians 9: 26; Ephesians 6), so he had to wrestle to fulfill his purpose. Much like sports, life is not easy, we may be pinned down sometimes, but we must get up.
We wrestle for our inheritance – we must get up. Paul reminds us that the enemy always wants to rob us of our stuff – he wants to limit our movement; and that we must understand that our struggle requires strength in the Lord (Ephesians 6: 10). Persistence in prayer increases our faith to deal with the things thrown at us daily.
In order to wrestle, you must be a warrior. Wrestling brings wisdom, knowledge and understanding, it promotes us and gives us the strength to overcome the things of the world – sexual immorality, greed, addictions and other sins. There are people wrestling to make a change and turn away from addictions. Each time they go forward, they fall back to square one. We also wrestle with our assignment, self-confidence, low self-esteem, acceptance in society and even with weight – feeling inferior around others.
There are also people wrestling to provide for their family. You may live a positive life, but it seems so difficult for you to get the breakthrough you need; so much so that you have to fight for practically everything. Yet, others seem to have it much easier.
Wrestling Brings Expansion
Many in the Bible have wrestled to get the promise that was spoken over their lives– Rachel, Hannah, Jacob, Joseph, Paul (the Apostle) and Abraham.
Rachel was loved by her husband and tried constantly to conceive, but couldn’t; meanwhile her sister had 5/6 children during the time Rachel tried. She cried to God to open her womb, but nothing happened. Rachel even tried “fertility drugs” – the mandrakes – but they didn’t work. But when God remembered her, that is, He revisited the covenant He had with her, then He opened her womb. God did not allow any reproach to come upon her. What she was to bring forth was huge! It was a Joseph – which means “God will add”!
Your struggle is meant to bring expansion and addition. Joseph was the 11th child for His father – 11 means “end, restoration”. He was also the first for his mother – 1st means order and new beginning. Remember that anything that we will bring forth which is of importance, there is going to be a fight for it to come forth. Joseph brought solutions for economic growth and famine to save his people – a whole nation.
Wrestling Develops Character
Samuel was birthed after the pain and embarrassment his mother Hannah experienced. “Samuel” means “God hears”. So, your wrestling, your struggle has a message and a meaning. There are times in our struggle, when you must separate yourself as Jacob did in Genesis 32 – even from family – and examine your life. God was also using the struggle for character development. Many times, different people have different pitfalls – character flaws - in their lives, so God uses the circumstances to get you to the place you need to be. He uses the wrestling to process us, so that we can become the spiritually and naturally mature person we need to be, for the major position that is awaiting us.
It was through the wrestling that Jacob received His blessing, so we recognize that it is through the struggling with- through the wrestling – that God blesses us. Through the wrestling, through the struggling, we will have sleepless nights. The wrestling brings us through to our daylight – our morning; and joy comes in the morning.
- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including ‘End Time Finance’ and ‘The New Millionaire’.