Genesis 32:28 – “He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” NASU
I have long contended that I want those who walk with a limp to be the ones with me in battle, spiritually. What I mean by that is, I want those who have been battle tested to have my back and stand shoulder to shoulder with me in battle.
The more I study the lives of those men, in the Bible, who did great exploits for God, the more I discover that they had been completely conquered by God. They had been through the fire and came out the other side purified as fine gold. They had faced the lions, the bears, the giants, the demons and learned to rest in God’s presence and to trust His promises. Some have said, and I do not disagree that, the degree of blessing enjoyed by a man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God’s victory over him.
The story of Jacob is a clear indication of this reality. He was a deceiver having supplanted his brother and stolen Esau’s blessing. He continued his unbrokenness in Haran with Laban and was on his way back to Canaan to face Esau, who has vowed to kill him, when this encounter occurred. In his struggle with God in the desert, he came to an awareness that he was not complete in himself and cried out for blessing from the Lord. His refusal to give up or give in led him to a state of being conquered by God that enabled him to become the mighty man he became. He would forever walk with a limp and that limp was a sign of his defeat that produced his greatest victory!
It is only in our total dependence upon God can we realize our full potential. It is only in our total surrender that we can recognize our own flawed natures and the inherent dangers that lurk there. The apostle Paul realized the strength of God through facing his personal weaknesses. His recognition of the completeness of the Cross was expressed in Galatians 6:14, where he said, in essence, “By the Cross, I am crucified unto the world.” The Cross where Jesus died became the cross where the apostle died to self. No wonder Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow Me.”
Lest I convey a wrong idea let me assert that God never intended for His children to be eternally impaled on a cross. No! Jesus was only on the Cross for six-hours and once the Cross had done its work, life entered the world through Him. When we take up our Cross and follow Jesus we find that the path of life leads us away from the tomb and into His presence.
I believe that real faith is manifest when we totally surrender to God. Too many in today’s Christian world passively accept the Cross without being crucified on it to the world. We must die to the Adam-life and the Adam-world on the Life-Giving Cross of Jesus through His Mercy, His Blood, and His Grace! We are never more alive than when we are dead to sin!
If we have not been conquered by God, we will rebel against Him. If we have not totally surrendered to Him, we will be surrendered to self and self is the enemy of the Cross. I believe the truth of the declaration of Scripture that we are more than conquerors through Jesus but that overcoming cannot be in the ability or strength of man, it must be in our being completely conquered by the Spirit of God. It must come through our total surrender. Out of that life-changing encounter with God, we forever walk with a limp and that limp reminds us of His person, purpose, provision, and power. It is in that defeat that we gain victory!
We should all pray for the Holy Spirit to invade our lives and conquer us enabling us to walk in the fullness of God’s Victory. We must be transformed in our minds so that we not only hear the promises and directives of Scripture, but we live them daily. Jesus never changes, His word never fails, and we are in Him, living through Him, and are to manifest Him to this world. Greater is He that is in us…
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!