WRESTLING WITH GOD
Last week I wrestled with God. I lost. I guess that is not surprising.
After all, if you could beat God at wrestling, He wouldn't be much of a God now would He?
We were wrestling about His calling on my life. I had attended a great event on Sunday evening, that featured among other artists, the group
Rend Collective Experiment. It was a moving time of worship, conviction and praise. I left primed and pumped. But by Monday and Tuesday, something had happened.
I wanted to just quit. I wanted to quit the church, quit life, just quit. That was when the wrestling started. Over a couple of days the Lord and I wrestled over my one statement to Him: I'm done.
I told Him that it was over. I was done doing this Pastor gig thing. It wasn't because of issues in the church, although there are issues - every church has issues, so that was nothing new. It wasn't because I did not believe in Him. It was not because I did not love Him.
As I wrestled with Him, He spoke to me...no, not in an audible voice (although I think that would be very way cool - and a bit frightening all at once) - no, He spoke to me in my heart. Now, if that has never happened to you before, I don't know how to explain it, except it was as clear as if He had spoken to me in an audible voice. What did He say?
He said, "Your'e done when I say you're done." He went on over the course of a couple of days to tell me in a variety of ways, that my problem was me. Not anything specific, just me. He reminded me that he called me to pastor Loma Rica Baptist Church (and if you know the whole story behind that, you would know He is understating the fact). He reminded me that this pastor gig is not about me, it is about Him. He reminded me that the problem was that I was playing at being a pastor and I was guilty of doing things under my own power. He told me to test Him. To go all in for the All in All. To go all out for Him. To pour myself out for Him, and see what He would do.
When I finally cried "uncle" - He then blessed me. I fully understood then what Rich Mullins had once said about wrestling with God. He said something like, "It does no good to fight against God, because He'll give you a bloody nose, and then He'll give you a ride home on His bike." Like Jacob of old, I have wrestled with God and the Lord touched me, and I will never walk the same again. Like Rich Mullins when he wrestled with God, I got a bloody nose, but then the Lord gave me a ride home on His bike...and what a ride it was! It was a death-defying ride on the handlebars with my hands raised high and my voice crying out as aloud as I could, "I LOVE YOU JESUS! I AM YOURS! POUR ME OUT FOR YOUR GLORY!'
But it didn't end there...I then went to our local Christian book store and was told about a brand new book...wouldn't you know it,
it was called "All In" by Mark Batterson.
The premise of the book...to go all in for the All in All. Of course, I bought it, and devoured it. I would highly recommend it to you. No, it is not theologically deep, but it is life changing long.
God changed my life this last week. I ditched the sermon I had been preparing as God gave me a new sermon, and not just that, but a new series of sermons. I entered the pulpit more excited about preaching than I had in a long, long time. I worshiped with more abandon than I had in a long, long time.
If your relationship with the Lord is not what you thought it would be, or not what it used to be, or not what you would like it to be, I have only one thing to say. Wrestle with God about it. You won't win...but in the end, I guess you will.
Praying that my Shepherd, Jesus, will be the Shepherd for everyone.