You Will Prevail— As God Prevails Over You.
Jacob’s wrestling match, recorded in the book of Genesis, could be described as Jacob’s wrestle with his flesh. He wrestled God unto the point of surrender, so that he would begin to “prevail with God!” Then, at the end of the wrestle, God changed his name from Jacob to Israel, meaning, “The one who prevails with God.”
Here is the story in Genesis 32:22-28:
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 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.”
This wrestling occurred in a place called “Jabbok.” Many in the body of Christ, both corporately and individually, are at a spiritual “Jabbok.” You can no longer go forth and overcome in the ways that you have in past seasons. This is a time to wrestle down your flesh with the Lord until full surrender comes. There is a mixture of God’s power and human strength that has been used to fight past battles, but no longer will that the case with you. God will touch your hip socket so that He will prevail, you may prevail with a limp but victory will be yours.
It is time for your name to be changed from Jacob (Jakob) to Israel. Jacob means supplanter and supplanter means “someone or something taking the place of another, as through force, scheming, strategy.” As I said earlier, Israel means the one who prevails with God— is victorious with God.
There are times that the Lord will weaken your flesh (even wound you) to bring forth a full surrender for the sake of bringing you into a life of prevailing victory. Surrender to God is never loss— but always gain. Your flesh has wrested against what it has not understood. Every desire within you to force or scheme your way to victory will be surrendered so that you can truly prevail with the truth found in Zechariah 4:6,
So he answered me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of Armies.
Jacob’s name was not only changed but the place where he wrested with God was also given a new name. Jabbok, meaning “to empty itself” or “a place of passing over” was given the new name, Peniel— which means, “The face of God” or “he who strives with God.”
I believe that this is a prophetic picture of where many of you are at. Your wrestle will result in both names being changed to “Israel at Peniel.” You will prevail and see the face of God.
I love the way the late David Wilkerson describes Jabbok,
“Jabbok is the place where Jacob wrestled with the Lord. It is where he made his total surrender to God. It is where he got his new character, and new name – Israel. It was the place where he cast down his last idol, and won his greatest victory.
‘And he rose up that night… and passed over the ford Jabbok…’ (Gen. 32:22).
The name, Jabbok, means ‘a place of passing over’. It also stands for struggle; to empty and pour out. What a glorious truth is revealed in this place called Jabbok. This is the place where God’s people discover the secret of power over every besetting sin that keeps us from seeing God and prevailing with Him. It represents a life and death crisis – one that leads to absolute surrender.” (David Wilkerson)
Absolute surrender! You may have to wrestle with God in order to receive absolute surrender because the sins of your flesh can be strong and keep you from the blessing and victory that He desires to give to you. But, in His mercy, God may cause you to receive a wound that makes you unable to continue to wrestle against Him. Jacob’s wound was to his hip joint, which is a ball-and-socket joint that allows motion and gives stability needed to bear his body weight. This is why he walked with a limp thereafter. You may walk with a limp after your wrestle with the parts of you that have resisted God, but afterward, you will prevail with God because God prevailed over you.
Do not shy from this place or this wrestle because it is the greatest victory you will ever experience in becoming “one with God.” It is where you will learn to be carried in the arms of the Almighty God. It is where you will say, “Not my will but Your will.” No more self-force but you will trust that “by His Spirit” prevailing victory will come. You will be marked by God and His name and true identity for you will be established.
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