“Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with
God and with humans and have overcome.””
Genesis 32:28

Have you wrestled with God for Him to be the center of your life?

When people profess that they are Christians, how often do they refer to it as a personal relationship with Christ and how often is it just ‘being’ Christian or being born in a Christian family?

A person could have grown up in a Christian environment and could attend church every Sunday together with his or her loved ones without truly surrendering their lives and accepting Christ as their personal Savior.

In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestles with God. Prior to this section of verses, Jacob always referred to God as, “the God of my fathers.” Jacob spent the first part of his life doing things his own way. But when he is about to see his brother Esau, who wanted to kill him the last time they saw each other, he tries to do all he can to save his own life.

That night, Jacob wrestled with God personally. Genesis 32:28 states: “Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”” Israel: “God-wrestler”; one who wrestled with God After this personal encounter with God, Jacob was a new man and calls Jehovah, “my God”.

After graduating from high school, I joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of 19. Having grown up in a Christian home, I knew all the right things to do and say, but my heart was not intent on following the Lord. In a sense, Jesus was “the God of my fathers”; I wanted to do things my way. Being a Marine and away from home (and the people who knew me well) made it easy to do things that I knew were wrong. It did not take long for me to become a lying, cheating, self-seeking hypocrite who called professed to be a “Christian”. I would go to church on Sundays and live my own way during the week.

By the age of 22, I was faced with some of the most difficult challenges of my life. My life was going downhill and it seemed to me that I had nowhere to turn. I met with a pastor who had also been a Marine and could relate to what I was going through. He asked me one simple question: “Do you read your Bible everyday?” With a silly grin on my face I replied, “No, not all the time.” The pastor immediately responded as a good Marine would, “Your life will never be right until you get right with God!” He hit the nail on the head. I was so focused on what I wanted in life that I was blind to the things God wanted for my life.

That very day, I confessed and repented my sins to God, and have been following His lead in my life since then. Like Jacob, for the first half of my life, Jesus was to me “the God of my fathers”. It took a personal encounter with Him for me to realize my need for Him to be “my God” in a very real and intimate way. Until I made that decision, my life was only as good as I could make it. Surrendering everything to Jesus is the only way to have true fulfillment in this world.

Pray and commit your life to God using Psalm 63:

You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Writer’s Bio:  Mike is first and foremost a slave of the Lord Jesus—redeemed as a wretched sinner by grace—and called as a wordsmith, speaker, visionary, and creativist for His Church.

You may follow more of his Blog at http://thetub-thumper.blogspot.com