Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

Genesis 32:22-30
The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had.  And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.  Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”  And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”

Growing up I used to love to watch professional wrestling. The Nature Boy Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Andre the Giant were some of my favorites. I still remember Wrestlemania 3: March 29, 1987, Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant for the heavyweight championship of the world. The irresistible force versus the immovable object. It was epic! That was the night Hulk Hogan picked up and body slammed the nearly 7 feet tall over 500 pound Andre! To this day it is still considered by many to be the greatest Wrestlemania ever.

But it is no match for the original Wrestlemania! See, the original Wrestlemania is in the Bible, and it was truly a matchup for the ages! Anytime the Lord of all Creation is on the bill you know it’s gotta be incredible! Jacob versus the Lord in a winner takes all match.

Jacob has been a deceiver all of his life to this point. He conned his brother into selling the birthright and stole Esau’s blessing by lying to their father Isaac. He’s been on the run for years now fearing that Esau would kill him. Now his servants tell him they have spotted Esau and he is coming to meet Jacob. Jacob, in a panic, starts to scheme and strategize like he’s always done to try and squirm out of another situation and skate personal responsibility. But the Lord had enough. It was time for the reckoning! When Jacob was alone the Lord Himself comes and wrestles with Jacob in an all night match for supremacy. By the time it’s all over Jacob is crying “uncle” with a hip out of joint and a new name, but He’s also pleading with the Lord with tears in His eyes saying, “Lord, I will not let you go until you bless me.”

Beloved, know that the Lord demands our honest attention and devotion. Be sure that your sins will find you out and you cannot outrun or outwit Jesus. Does Jesus have supremacy over your life or are you still fighting His will? Listen, Jacob found out real quick that the Lord fights back, and He always wins! He is the undisputed and undefeated champion of all time!

So, today submit to the Lord. Tapout in Jesus name. Stop trying to do life your way on your own terms and surrender to His purpose and plan. It may hurt, but in the end you will cry out like Jacob in worship overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessing of God. When you’ve wrestled with the Lord in prayer and submission there’s a limp in your gate, and your old self is exchanged for a brand new you in Christ. That’s the grace of our Lord! So, stop fighting, stop resisting God, and submit to Him. Leave all the planning and the strategizing and the scheming to the Lord, and He will bless you beyond your imagination!

Lord, I’m sorry for fighting against Your will. I submit to You. Have Your way in me Lord. I recognize that I have no good apart from You and can do nothing of eternal value apart from Your Spirit. Show me Your ways today Lord, and I will follow You. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Psalm 84:10
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.