I believe and I wrestle

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer [and fasting].” Mark 9:21-29 NIV

Where do I even begin with all of this? 
Lately God has seemed silent and my prayers do not seem effectual, regardless of how fervent.  I feel I have been wrestling with God – I need more – more of him! I study and learn more and grow, but it has left me wanting. Wanting more!

Last night while crying out to Him, I found myself sad that the day was over. I had to sleep and couldn’t pray any more (because I would be asleep) and I just didn’t want to let go. 
I asked “Why haven’t my prayers been answered? Why don’t I know you better? Why am I not experiencing the fullness of all that is in the Bible?”  After waiting for a moment.
I answered myself with, “but you said…” and quoted his verses back at Him…  then trailed off into waiting.
And all the while my mind, in my sleepiness, was letting small doubtful thoughts in. I immediately fought them, out loud! Finally, I said, Lord, I believe help my unbelief.

I woke up this morning and prayed – then I joined my Pastor for morning prayer, which is live streamed on a social media platform.  And as he prayed and as I agreed with him in prayer these doubts came back into my head and I was getting distracted by the day I had ahead of me.  After the prayer, I prayed a little more: “Lord, I believe help my unbelief.”  I repeated it over and over.

I wrote down “Lord, I believe help my unbelief”, to be my Bible study for today (for this blog).

Then at lunch time my other Pastor does a Bible study at noon. I try to move my lunch break so I can watch it. Today, I was able to and he read the above passage.  God is trying to help my unbelief.  I cannot even read and pray without God’s help. 

With how last week went and this week has started, you’d think I prayed, “Lord break me.” – oh wait, I did. God’s breaking is not the same as when sin breaks you. God’s breaking is a deep spiritual thing – like wrestling with the Lord. It’s a fight, but not one to win. I am fighting with God to be loosed, and to be blessed, and hanging on until the blessing comes.

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Genesis 32:22-31 NIV

What catches me with this passage is: “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Another message about persistence and persevering.  Yes, I have unanswered prayers BUT this time the persistence and persevering isn’t about an unanswered pray. This is: I want more… I want that full blessing – the efficacious promise for fullness of life. I want “all-in”.  I give all of me and God gives me ALL OF THE PROMISES! Go big or go home! Give me the profound experience of God’s fullness!
I keep saying I need a breakthrough – although I am not sure what I need to break through. I read this passage and say, well – I am in a match with God himself. We wrestle. He says, “How bad do you want it?” and I respond with, “I won’t let go!”

‘I believe – help my unbelief’ is the moment in the match when I grew tired and was grasping for anything. Maybe I should have asked for more grace – but as I struggled I asked for faith! More glorious faith. This kind of wrestling isn’t a fair sport – God used His powers to dislocate Jacob’s hip – I pray for God to give me more faith as I wrestle with him. This isn’t profession wrestling, no rings, no referees, it’s truly just a grab on and roll around fight – it isn’t pretty.

Therefore it’s not a breakthrough as much as it is a wrestling match – I hold on and won’t let go!
I do not wrestle to beat God at the match or to make Him bend to my will, but the exact opposite, I am breaking and submitting to His will and plans – I wrestle because I will not let go unless He blesses me! Because I want more of Him.

Jacob lost the wresting match with the dislocated hip and he lost his name and identity and he submitted – but he won in other ways.  He was blessed. He was transformed – his identity is now “Israel” which mean ‘God rules’.  He won God’s power and plan for his life.  He had a real, face to face relationship with God and got to know God better.  

I hope I don’t come out of this with a limp. But I am already losing my identity and gaining one in heaven. I am already submitting and through grace I am being transformed!  Not my plan. Not my will. But Thy will, oh Lord, Adonai. I want to get to know you better and I want the fullness of the blessing! I believe, help my unbelief!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

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