So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
Peniel – it’s a place of blessing, yet a place of struggling. Peniel means, “face of God.”
We use that term lightly. We say, “I’m going to seek the face of God.” What we mean is that we’re going to pray. It should be obvious by now that the struggle comes not by prayer alone, but when we find ourselves before God’s face.
Suddenly our life comes into sharp contrast with the life of Christ. We see how far we’ve fallen short of God’s standard. We hear the Spirit of God calling us to change. We must count the cost. Is God’s destiny for my life worth the effort it will take to lay hold of it?
No one has yet been disappointed by his or her destiny in God. You won’t be the first. Commit to the change. Set your face to the vision God has given you.
The verse says that after that day, Jacob always walked with a limp. His life had an evidence of the change he underwent. The changes you go through in your walk with Christ should be just as plain.
Sometimes our decision to do God’s will is the greatest struggle of our lives. Usually it’s because of the good things that we have to lay down in order to follow God’s plan. More often than not, we have to overcome ourselves.
The writer of the book of Hebrews puts it this way…
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
In talking about entering God’s rest, he tells us that it will require some effort – a struggle. This is because our flesh fights against entering that place of reliance upon the Holy Spirit. In the natural, we want to take the credit for the blessings we enjoy.
In reality, we must do what it takes to put down the old man, and pick up God’s will and plan for our lives. That’s usually where the biggest struggle comes into play. But if we’ll overcome ourselves, then we find that we’re in the place of rest and blessing in the Holy Spirit.
Really seek God’s face today. Seek His life-changing power. Be prepared to give your all in exchange for His blessing.
Question: What’s your biggest struggle right now?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014