Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God. (Exodus 29:45-46)
The incarnation proves God’s desire to be with you.
Let that sink in. God wants to be with you!
He does not want you to be in slavery to anything because it keeps him from dwelling with you. The Lord brought you (wants to bring you) out of Egypt
(read: slavery, addiction) in order to dwell with you.
Do you ever read scriptures, like the one above, and think, “This seems nice, but that is for Israel”?
Where do you think Israel got the name Israel?
It’s from the story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel of the Lord (God). In Genesis 32:22-31 Jacob wrestles all night with an angel. Toward the end of the wrestling match, the angel changes Jacobs name to Israel, “because you have struggled with God…” (vs. 28).
Do you ever struggle with God? Do you ever wrestle in the night with thoughts of “why, God?” or “how, God?” Do you ever read the scriptures or hear a sermon and begin to wrestle in your mind with the words that are written or spoken? Or, how about this; do you ever watch the news and begin to wrestle with the way things are and wonder, where is God in all this? I know I do.
When we do this, we are Israel.
Think about it. Have you ever wrestled with someone? I mean, physically engaged with another human being in a wrestling match? I remember wrestling with my kids when they were younger. I was never out to hurt them, I only wanted to engage with them; and they with me. Wrestling is an intimate act; it is a way to dwell together.
The worse thing we can do is stop engaging; stop wrestling. God is in the wrestling. He is there engaging with us. Like Jacob, we must not let go until God blesses us.
What is the blessing? To know Him. It is his nature to reveal himself to those he created. We get to know him when we wrestle with him; engage with him. Don’t stop engaging with the doubt; the fear; the questions. Don’t let go too easily.
Don’t just settle.
I have settled for a season. I just stopped wrestling and settled. Here’s what happened: I became cynical. Cynicism is a symptom that we stopped engaging with God.
Jesus chose the disciples, according to Mark 3:14, that “they might be with him…”
Do you believe that?
He wants to be with you, not only to wrestle, but to walk with you; to share his life with you, that you might in turn share his life with others.