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Defining Moments

August 31st, 2011

“Jacob was left alone, and [God] wrestled with him until daybreak.” Genesis 32:24 NIV

“God’s loving pursuit of you is indefatigable.”

My thoughts today are about “defining moments.”

There are seasons and situations in life that greatly shape what your life will become. They may appear ordinary at first, but very quickly that moment touches something eternal. The consequential times in your life are when you meet God in ways you have not previously known Him. There could and should be many such occasions when and where you experience God, but all too often people sleep-walk through them, oblivious to a destiny that hinges on that encounter with God.

There are relationships and experiences that impose defining moments for who you will be, and how you will live, and what you will prize and value. There are moments in history that have defined individuals, marriages, families, friendships, communities, churches, and even nations. We are approaching the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. George W. Bush’s presidency was defined by that horrific event, as was America. The worst that happened to our nation that day brought out the best of which we as a nation are capable.

Jacob spent much of his life running – running from home after deceiving his father; running from Esau, a brother he had angered; running from Laban, a conniving uncle who prospered at his expense; running from himself, probably unhappy with what he had become; and ultimately running from God, until he got tired of running. That eventually happens to everyone; you just get tired – tired of being someone less than you could be, and tired of the public masquerade.

That’s when you’re finally ready to meet God without conditions. That’s when Jacob met God, “So Jacob was left alone, and [God] wrestled with him until daybreak.” Genesis 32:24 NIV. If you have to be always surrounded with people, you most likely are not comfortable being alone with God. Usually there is a reason; there is something that you are not ready or willing to face. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. God works best in your life when it is just One on one.

Jacob’s heart turned toward home, a home he had left long before. Jacob sent messengers to Esau that he was coming; he sent his servants and herds and flocks ahead with gifts for Esau. He finally sent his family safely before him, and then all his possessions. Jacob was ready to stop running; Jacob was coming home to stay. This was a defining moment for Jacob – first, facing a problem from his past, and then, struggling with God until his breakthrough.

Jacob’s story has two defining moments: “God wrestled with him until daybreak.” God’s loving pursuit of you is indefatigable. God wrestled with him until Jacob wanted what God wanted for him, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” vs 26. God is serious about your need for change; you must be serious about needing His help. The schemer became a prince; the past was put behind him; the much desired birthright was finally realized.

My prayer for you today is that you hunger for God’s blessing upon your life at all times.

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