By Kathi Pelton
Two months ago the Spirit of the Lord told me that 2021 would be a “wrestle or a dance” for his people. He extended an invitation to enter the dance with him but he also made it clear to me that many would not receive his invitation. The ones who do not take his hand and dance with him will walk according to their own steps (and wisdom) resulting in a painful wrestle. This word helped me to continue to fully yield and surrender to his invitation to follow his lead and keep my eyes fixed on his.
We are less than two weeks into 2021 and I keep hearing people say how they are wrestling with what it happening in our world, with what is true, what is from God and what they are seeing with their eyes. Quite honestly, I don’t think that there is anyone who hasn’t had a bit of a wrestle because the world is shouting at us to look upon the “things of the world” and we wrestle to keep our eyes on things above. What was once familiar in this world has suddenly become unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Yet, God has not changed and he is still our Comforter.
When I began to find myself wrestling to “keep my eyes on things above”, I asked the Lord a very serious question, “Have I left the dance that you are leading and entered the wrestle that you warned us about?”
He responded by revealing to me that there are two types of wrestle— one that rebels against his leadership and one that wrestles down the flesh to enter into full submission and surrender to his leading.
After Jacob wrestled with God his name was changed from Jacob to Israel. Israel means, “The one who has prevailed with God.” His wrestle changed and aligned his life to prevail with God. To prevail means: To prove more powerful than opposing forces; to be victorious.
God has prevailed over his enemies! He has prevailed against sin and death; he is inviting us into “prevailing with him!” While this is our desired posture- often we first have to wrestle down the narrative that this world has written upon our souls. The narrative of doubt, skepticism, unbelief, defeat and fear always fight against God’s prevailing victory like a boat tossed about by a raging sea.
Those carnal narratives can lead us to hold back from God, to manipulate, to rebel and to enter into a “flight” rather than a fight mode. The Lord revealed to me that the wrestle against that which would prevent me from “prevailing with God” is part of the dance that we are in. We are wrestling down the flesh that rebels against God for the sake of allowing surrender to make us one with him. As we are one with him, we become one in prevailing with him. No longer do we battle from a hope for victory but we battle from victory that has already been established.
The wrestle that we DO NOT want to enter into is the wrestle that causes us to walk according to the flesh rather than the Spirit. That posture doesn’t wrestle with God but against God. It tries to wrestle down truth, covenant, love, righteousness and oneness. It could be compared to when a married couple postures themselves against one another and begins to demand their way to the point of breaking the bond of oneness, defiling the covenant and eventually walking away from one another.
Marriage can be compared to a dance in which we have to learn steps that submit to one another, prefer one another, lay down demands and change our ways as needed. Sometimes we step on one another’s toes until we get down the steps so that we can move in unity and oneness. Marriage can feel like a wrestle at times while we learn to surrender to love but when you “fight for prevailing together” it transforms the individuals into one flesh; yet, many prefer flight from the fight for oneness…and just walk away. Just like in marriage, to wrestle (fight) for oneness through a surrendered heart and feet that follow his lead is a fight worthy of entering into. It is the fight against all that is within us that rebels against God and his ways. This will end in a name change! You too will be called, “One who prevailed with God!”
Be careful to not fix your eyes on this world or become overwhelmed by all the chaos in it. When that happens most people enter into one of two postures. One is to become enraged and bitter, causing them to focus their eyes on the world and charge forward in their own zeal and opinions (which is foolishness to God). The other is to completely disengage. For instance to stop praying, worshipping, reading the Word and to comfort themselves with a posture of denial and distancing themselves from both the things happening in the world and from God. Neither posture will allow you to “prevail with God!”
For those who want to walk in their own ways, live in their own opinions and lead their own steps (and who call themselves believers), they will find themselves tripping over God’s feet and wrestling with rebellion.
I normally find writing such an easy form of communication in my life and yet trying to describe these two different wrestles is proving difficult. I only pray that I have communicated it clearly. 2021 can be a dance, but sometimes we will have to wrestle against the temptation to create our own steps or move according to our natural tendencies. We have never been this way before! Especially for those of us in the United States- we have never even dreamed of walking through what we are suddenly facing.
Know this, the dancefloor for this dance that “prevails with God” is in the heavenly realms, not the earthly realm (although it will greatly impact the earthly realms). Our eyes must be fixed on things above and our thoughts must be upon those things that are “praiseworthy.” I want to remind you of one key that He gave me when He asked me to enter this dance, he said, “Keep your eyes fixed on mine and your feet will follow.”
YOU CAN WRESTLE WITH GOD BUT DO NOT WRESTLE AGAINST GOD! The wrestle with him will cause you to prevail with him. The wrestle against him will cause only pain and defeat. Fight for oneness with him!
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