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Summary: The last battle of recovery is the battle with God. When we have hurt everyone around us, ourselves, and our own decisions have caused a lot of pain we can’t resolve, it’s time to face the One who loves us relentlessly.

WRESTLING WITH GOD

Genesis 32:9-13, 22-30

Introduction

The last battle of recovery is the battle with God. When we have hurt everyone around us, ourselves, and our own decisions have caused a lot of pain we can’t resolve, it’s time to face the One who loves us relentlessly. When we have repaired our relationship with God, we have the strength we need to overcome. Nobody does that perfectly but we need His help to make it long term in our lives.

Treatment expert Brandon Brewer: God is truly the most important and limitless resource that any addict has available to them as they continue their quest to live a safe and happy life, free from the destructive and dangerous force of drug or alcohol abuse and addiction.

Finding out that God will help us escape the decisions of the past through forgiveness and grace is powerful! This is what Jacob finds out in our text today.

Last week we read about the miraculous birth of Isaac. When he was 36 years old, Isaac’s mother Sarah died.

While he was in a field praying along came a caravan. When he met Rebekah he took her as her wife and Bible says he was comforted from his mother’s death. Isaac was the only of the patriarchs who only had one wife.

For 20 years Isaac and Rebekah were childless but God eventually blessed them with twins, Jacob and Esau. At the time of their birth Esau was born first but Jacob seized his brother’s heel - a foreshadow of the day that Jacob would take Esau’s birthright. A complex story developed: Esau’s disregard for his birthright, Jacob and Rebekah deceiving the elderly ailing Isaac, and Jacob fleeing, fearing for his life. He met his match in deceptive father in law, but turned the tables. By the time we get to Genesis 32, 20 years later, Jacob has made a mess of his life. He was wealthy, but he had a way of shredding his relationships to pieces. Having to live in fear that Esau would hunt him down and kill him, in fear that his father in law would kill him after he dealt deceptively with him. He had been deceived and deceived others- he earned his name. Jacob means deceiver.

It’s not hard to make a mess of things in our lives. Bad financial decisions, unhappy family decisions, reactions to some of the problems in life we face - and we end up being labeled as a result of those choices.

One night while he was on the run Jacob wrestled with God. What a sight that must have been.How have we wrestled with God in our lives? Wrestled to understand who God is? Wrestled with the demands of living for God? Wrestled to find peace with God? Wrestling with God always begins when …

1. WE WRESTLE WITHIN (Genesis 32:9-12)

We Wrestle to Believe. (9). Going back to his family did not seem promising. “He was probably wrestling with his inner demons his whole life and came up losing every time. He was angry and confused and maybe even blamed God frequently. He was deeply unsatisfied and yearned for a father than would give approval. He finds himself wrestling someone that has all the answers and he refuses to let go. Jacob won’t let go until he receives something that his earthly father never gave: a blessing." What promises of God do you struggle to believe?

We Wrestle With Our Messes (10-11). A prayer of humility from someone who has been so full of himself. He is unworthy of God’s kindness, he is in “two camps” - he has not fully established himself as God’s man. Psalm 13:2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?… We all have to come to the point of recognizing our unworthiness of all that God has done for us. Jacob acknowledges need of God’s rescue. All of us have made choices that resulted in messes that were hard on ourselves and others. Will God rescue us from these troubles?

We Wrestle With a Sliver of Faith (12). Jacob reminds God of his promise and he falls asleep. Do we need to remind God of His promises…for our sake? We are not just believing in ourselves but in a powerful God who is able even when we do not feel able.

2. WE WRESTLE WITH GOD

He Gives New Opportunities (24-26). It would have been easier if Jacob hadn’t made such a mess of things - but God never runs away from a challenge. He was willing to meet Jacob where he was. He will meet you where you are as well … no matter where it is or what your life looks like. God isn’t repulsed, he is drawn to you.

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