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Faith Imagined: Wrestling with God

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

March 21, 2010

Wrestling with God

I wrestle with God a lot. Like Jacob, God leads me to a place of transition, and the core of who I am is exposed. God points out a deep rooted sin, and He waits on me to make a choice: Will I allow Him to uproot the ugliness or will I run and hide from His hand? If I let God do spiritual surgery on my heart, I will have spiritual health to carry the weight of His blessings. If I run and hide from this divine appointment, I will be filled with my own ugliness and unable to bear His fullness in my life.

Out of obedience, Jacob moved forward with God until he was stuck in a place of transition. He couldn't run back to Laban (his father-in-law), yet he feared going forward to Esau (his brother). Jacob's deceitful past was catching up to him, and he ran out of hiding places. With no where to turn, he had to confront the facts -- he was a deceiver (Genesis 32).

God had been blessing Jacob even though he had this character flaw. God provided Jacob with children, servants, riches, authority, etc. However, God wanted to bless Jacob at a new level, but Jacob needed some excess baggage cut off. Jacob couldn't move forward into God's abundance because he was tied down by his sin.

Finally, Jacob confronted God face to face and had an all-out wrestling match. The interesting thing about wrestling with God is that God never moves or changes. God is perfect and unchanging. If we decide to take Him on, we will be the ones who move and change.

When we wrestle with God, we become meek. Meekness means that we allow God complete control over our lives, so that we can have the fullness of His glory, power and strength displayed through our lives. If you want the power of God, wrestle with Him whenever He calls you into the ring. Allow God complete control, and He will use you to shine His glory.

I used to try to avoid wrestling with God. I thought that if I could just pray hard enough and keep my ears focused on the Holy Spirit, that I would be good enough to bypass this painful encounter with Him. I thought I could change myself without feeling the pruning of His hand. But I've learned to embrace it! I want to be blessed by God; and if I have to wrestle with Him and allow my sinful nature to be cut, then so be it! I want His blessings more than I want a painless, carefree life.

How do you know that God is inviting you to a wrestling match? Just remember M.E.E.K.

Moving: You feel a movement of God and obediently follow His lead.
Exposing: You feel stuck because you can't go back to who you were and are unable to move into God's fullness for you.
Extracting: You feel God cutting away hidden sin and endure for the promised blessings.
Kneeling: You feel changed in Christ and are more aware of His majesty and glory.

I don't know about you, but I want to wrestle with God. Do not feel guilty when you go through this process. It is not a sign of your lack of faith. It is a sign that you hunger for Him more than you hunger for comfortable and easy. So get into the ring! I promise that you will lose, but you will gain His blessings!

"Then the man said, 'Let me go, for it is daybreak.' But Jacob replied, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me'" (Genesis 32.26 NIV).

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Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks Alisa! I really needed to hear this. God has been challenging me for the past several weeks about some fellowship opportunities for after graduation and I have been to scared and out of my comfort zone with that kind of change to really face Him about it... Thanks again!

11:05 PM  
Blogger B His Girl said...

Wrestling is good. Thanks for reminding me of that. b

8:40 AM  
Blogger Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I definitely wrestle with Him. My youth pastor always said, "He's a big God. He can take it". So we go at it.

The M.E.E.K is right on. That's exactly what He does. And it's so good... even if it does hurt at the time.

8:46 AM  
Blogger alicia said...

Have been recently learning how to wrestle with God, and you are right, it changes us. I appreciate your post so much today!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I have a new vision of wrestling with God! I pray I indeed wrestle as I seek and hunger for more.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

wow! Such great words of wisdom! MEEK - love it! I'm going to memorize that! :)

2:22 PM  
Blogger petrii said...

WOW Currently doing some wrestling, and Hallelujah He is winning and I am losing!! I do NOT want to stay the way I am. I want to be changed into ever increasing Glory in Him. His Name be praised!!!

Thanks for this post,

6:19 PM  
Blogger Beautiful pear tree lane said...

Hello Alisa,
What a thought provoking post,At times I am afraid to step into that ring, but once I do, I find that when the pruning is complete, that more fruit is produced in my life. The M.E.E.K. is right on target. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for visiting my blog and for taking the time to leave a comment.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Lynda Young said...

Great post. I particularly like the part where you say "Do not feel guilty..." because I think that's what I suffer from a lot. The guilt weighs me down more than it should and I begin to doubt my faith and feel like I'm disappointing God. And so, this post is very encouraging.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Nana Jul said...

You are so on the mark! MEEK discribes it to the "T"! O, and do you ever know when you're in the can almost hear the bell!
That was a great post!

7:18 PM  
Blogger Mariel said...

this is great! I love the acrostic!! What a good reminder!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Great word, Alisa!

8:13 PM  
Blogger The Unknowngnome said...

A wonderful post Alisa, thank you.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Family, Money and Stuff said...

Wow. God works all things - including your post - for the good of those who love him.

I'm going through this right now! I've been choosing to hide though ... knowing I'm at a crossroad, knowing I can't go back but not forward either until this ugliness is dealt with. As I hide it gets uglier and heavier and darker.

Just so I don't end on that discouraged note, I should add that I'm encouraged today as I'm reminded that God is not out to get me, and I don't have to carry my own baggage. He's here to help, to carry those burdens for me, and to simply love me. It's one of those profound truths I've heard a million times, I know it, but understanding of it comes and goes. Today I pray understanding is on its way in ...

Thanks Alisa for sharing. (and so concisely too) :)


11:45 PM  
Blogger Jose Ramon Santana Vazquez said...


desde mis


CON saludos de la luna al
reflejarse en el mar de la




8:05 AM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...

I love your definition of 'exposing.' I think I'm at that very place right now! I never realized that this was a process of wrestling with God, that this was a work He does in His children to get them to move to the next level. Wow, God is so awesome!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Cherie said... big wrestling match!

11:31 AM  
Blogger Genny said...

So glad you commented on my blog so I could find yours. What an inspirational place you have here. Following. :)


2:30 PM  
Blogger Bernadine said...

Love this post especially your acronym for MEEK.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Safe Home Happy Mom said...

I am your latest follower. I found you through Hearts and Families blog link. You can also follow me at

I'd love to learn more from your blog, and read up on archives.

Have a great week(end)!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I love this "mini" study on is such a reminder...sometimes we need to wrestle with can only result it more of Him in us....Thanks

7:12 PM  
Blogger Randi Troxell said...

thnx for visiting me at beauty be good.. i hopped over to see your place.. and in the last little bit of skimming through.. i've thoroughly enjoyed myself.. that was awesome about jacob up there... hope you don't mind another follower and daily visiter!

10:03 PM  
OpenID bluecottonmemory said...

Wrestling? It's not been pretty! Jacob had no problem wrestling with God. Isn't that amazing? He just went at it with all he had and God didn't use all his strength to win - because it would have been as easy as winning an arm wrestling match a 6 year old. God wrestles us at our maximum level!

Is is also interesting to note that Jacob, like the prodigal, did not respect authority and rules. It wasn't until he repented to his brother that he had peace in his life. Until then, he was cheated and deceived just like he did to his brother and father!

Repentence is the key! And never giving up the wrestling match with God!

What a wonderful perspective you give to wrestling with God!

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Darlene Nunez said...

Ouch! So true! God and I have been wresting the past 9 months! And recently I was diagnosed with cancer. I am learning through all of this that it is God's pruning
sheers that have been in my life and He has been more than FAITHFUL with blessing me in spite of these life trials. ThanK YOU for your words of encouragement!

12:20 PM  
Blogger LisaShaw said...

Oh that wrestling..I'm familiar and I thank GOD that He blesses me through it and transforms me constantly into what is pleasing to Him.

Surrendering to the wrestle...


1:00 PM  
Blogger Faith Imagined said...


I tried to comment on your blog about your beautiful art but it wouldn't let me. I also didn't see an email anywhere. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I'll be praying for you!

1:19 PM  
Blogger Lacey said...

I feel I'm at a place like this. Thank you for bringing MEEK to my attention.

4:47 PM  

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