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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 6 : Be Reconciled | Day 39

Wrestle for God's Blessing!

A key factor in achieving reconciliation is realizing that all our enemies are under God's control. It is on this basis that Scripture states, “When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7).

Before Jacob met Esau, he wrestled with the Lord and obtained “power with God and with men” (Genesis 32:28).

To wrestle with God means that we become desperate about reconciliation and realize that unless God works in the situation, things will only get worse. It also means that we search our own hearts and lives for the things that prompted God to stir up our adversaries. For example, God blessed Solomon with a wise and understanding heart. However, when Solomon violated God's commands and allowed his heart to be turned away by strange women, God stirred up significant adversaries against Solomon, which eventually divided the kingdom of Israel (see I Kings 11).

One day, a husband was shocked when his wife announced that she was going to divorce him. He thought they had a good marriage and could see no reason why she should take such an action. She was shocked to learn that he thought they had a good marriage, which only confirmed to her how insensitive and selfish he was.

In the months that followed, he tried to win back her affection by giving her gifts. This only made her more determined to put him out of her life. It was not until he spent an extended time in fasting and prayer that God revealed his self-centeredness and inappropriate control over his wife and family. When his wife saw a sincere change in his life, she was open to reconsider the marriage.

When Jacob wrestled with the Lord, something very important took place. The angel touched his thigh and the sinew shrank. This must have been painful, and thereafter he walked with a limp. However, that very posture could have contributed to Esau's change of heart. As Jacob approached Esau he limped, and he bowed to the ground seven times before he reached him. (See Genesis 33:3.)

When we wrestle with God, He puts His finger on precise areas that will humble us so that we can be reconciled.

Clearing the conscience of offenses and attempting to be reconciled seems like a never-ending process in the Christian life. On a fairly regular basis I am told about somebody who is offended because of something I said, did, or failed to do. In most cases, a personal visit or phone call will bring reconciliation; however, there are other situations that seem to be humanly impossible. These require spiritual wrestling so that God's power can be shown in my weakness. Are you facing a wrestling match, and can you say as Jacob did, "I will not let you go until you bless me"?

“... First be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard