Struggling in Your Relationship with God: A Absolute Necessity

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24  This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. 25  When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. 26  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.” 27  “What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob. 28  “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” 29  “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said. Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. 30  Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.Genesis 32:24-30 (NLT)

21  I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22  I love God’s law with all my heart. 23  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25  Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. Romans 7:21-25 (NLT)

158         You have become more keenly aware of the urgency, of the “preoccupation” of being a saint; and you have gone into battle daily with no hesitation, convinced that you have to root out bravely any symptom of being fond of comfort. Later, while talking to Our Lord in your prayer you understood that fighting is a synonym for Love, and you asked for a greater Love, with no fear of the struggle awaiting you, since you would be fighting for Him, with Him and in Him

It is one of the hardest things to accept as a Christian.

That I will continue to struggle with sin, especially the sin of idolatry, especially the concept of self-idolatry.  Not that I worship and praise myself, but that I depend on myself more than I depend on Jesus.  That I listen to my own reason more than I listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.   An idol or a god isn’t just whom you worship with your voices, and maybe with an act to appease anger.  It’s so much more than that, as we enter into a relationship with God, on His terms.

A relationship between God and man is not just about praise and worship a few hours a week.  It is an intimate, dependent relationship.  Where we turn to Him, rely on Him, in every situation in life. We rely on Him to rescue us from the sin that entraps us, from the despair of dealing with death and in dealing with Satan, and the temptations that would see us crushed.

As St. Josemaria says, the life of holiness, of being a “saint,” one separated from the world to have that relationship with God, is a nearly constant fight.  Sometimes that fight is a battle against the spiritual powers in the world as He guides us in redeeming and reconciling the world to the Father.  But as often, the fight is our human nature, battling for supremacy, rather than simply realizing that God is God.  Such battles leave us tired, weary, even depressed seeing our lives not dominated by God as we would like, but by the sin that leaves us broken.

The hope is the hope that Jacob, the one re-named Israel finds in his dark night of the soul.  Where he wrestles with God, trying to dominate, trying to show his mastery over God.  When he can’t, the struggle changes – I won’t let go until you bless me, God, I won’t relax the struggle until I know your peace.   It is one of those things that amazes me, that the name of God’s people was taken from the last of the Patriarchs.  Not Abraham, or Issac, or even Jacob, his given name.

But Israel, the one who wrestles with God.. the people who would wrestle with God.  They entire history is a similar fight, and in Christ, the blessing comes, through the fight on a cross, and through a grave until the morning comes and the grace is revealed.

So you like I, struggle in your faith.  This is good.  May you learn to, like Israel, struggle through the darkness of night, and refuse to give up, but hang on for dear life, and hang on until you knw the blessing of His peace.   For that is what it means to not only fight for God, to not only fight with Him, but to fight in Him.

AMEN

Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 865-869). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on November 2, 2015, in Devotions, The Furrow and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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