A call has gone out for a time of consecration–a time of prayer and fasting. In the midst of this set a part time there may be many who are wrestling it out with the promises of God. You can feel the turmoil within the inner man fighting all its fears–a wrestling match between the flesh and the spirit. Just as Jacob wrestled all night with an angel for a blessing and to be changed; so many are wrestling for the same breakthrough within.
In the Bible in the book of Genesis 32, Jacob was going back to the land of his father and family. As we know, Jacob left his family because he deceived his father for his brother Esau’s birthright. Esau was the first born in the family and would inherit all of his fathers possessions; however, he gave away his birthright for a bowl of soup made by Jacob. Jacob then fled for his life for fear Esau would kill him. For 20 years Jacob was gone. Jacob worked for his crooked father-in-law who tricked and deceived him numerous times until God told him it was time to come home.
Being obedient to God, Jacob began his journey home. When Esau heard that Jacob was on his way to him, he gathered 400 of his men to go out and meet Jacob. Jacob was terrified for his life and family at this news, and cried out intensely to God and reminded Him of the promise He had made him–“For YOU said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered by the multitude.'” That very night Jacob encountered an angel, a Man, and “wrestled with him until the breaking of day.” The Man realized that Jacob was not going to let Him go–even after crippling Jacob at the hip he still fought. Jacob refused to let go until he had received a blessing–he was fighting for his life, and fighting for the promise.
Finally the Man asked him his name and released a blessing saying, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” The name Israel means, “Who prevails with God,” or “Triumphant with God.” Jacob called the place that he had fought the Man, Peniel, which means, “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” This wrestling and breakthrough took place the night before Jacob came back to the land of his father. As the story goes on with Jacob, we see that Esau warmly welcomes Jacob home and was so pleased to see the face of his brother–a true story of reconciliation, redemption, and a promise fulfilled.
In this season of wrestling out the promises God has spoken to you, the calling, and the obedience required–it is a setting a part of oneself for the eternal reality check, the facing of our deepest longings and fears, and bringing us to the face to face encounter with God. It is a posturing of our heart to be like Jacob, who would not let the angel go until he had the blessing; until he had the breakthrough; and until he had the shift within his spirit to trust wholeheartedly.
This name change was so significant for Jacob–it was a redefining of his destiny; a realignment with purpose; and a breakthrough of complete trust in the promises of God being fulfilled through him. In this place of wrestling it out with God, it will be a significant change for you as well. So, do not let go and do not give in to your fears, worries, or anxieties, but hold fast to His promises and trust Him completely. The longing for the internal shift will happen as you press in to Him. It is almost day break and your breakthrough is just ahead–For you WILL see Him face to face, you WILL be triumphant, and you WILL be one who prevails with God!
Meaning of Israel – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_%28name%29