Session 25

Wrestling with the right things

From Genesis: A 7-Week Devotional


Genesis 32

The night before Jacob is to reunite with his brother, Esau, Jacob sends his family and servants ahead of him and spends the night wrestling with God.

It had been years since Jacob deceived his father into giving him Esau’s birthright, but Jacob still wasn’t ready to face Esau again. As Jacob and God wrestled, Jacob’s identity changed. God changed Jacob’s name as a sign of what He had done in Jacob’s life. God had prevailed, and Jacob was called “Israel,” which means “He strives with God.”

God is changing you so others can see Jesus in you.

Like Jacob, we also wrestle with God. Our wrestling happens internally as we figure out what it means to be a new person, even though our circumstances feel the same (2 Corinthians 5:17).

We wrestle with God when He tells us to leave familiar things behind and embrace new things instead. Maybe you and God wrestled over a sin He called you from or a new ministry He called you to. Every Christian will wrestle with God as we move further from our past and closer to who Jesus calls us to be.

Paul, a church planter who wrote many books in the New Testament, described this inner battle, saying, “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me” (Romans 7:21-24).

God loves you and has a purpose for you.

When we find ourselves wrestling with God, remember three things. First, God loves you and has a purpose for you. His striving with you is proof of that. Second, know that if you submit to God, He will use this time to help you become more like Jesus. And finally, your struggle to change will become a testimony. Like Jacob, God is changing you so others can see Jesus in you.


  • What’s one way you’re different now than when you first met Jesus?
  • What is one area where you are still wrestling with God? What do you think God wants to change in you?

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