What kind of people is God looking for today? People who seem to have all the answers. People who are certain of themselves. People who are assertive and carry a “swagger” about them as they let everyone else know, “they are it”. Yet God’s ways are not man’s ways are they? God is not looking for people with their heads held so high that if it rained they would drown.
Nope. God’s looking for people who are willing to walk with a limp. He’s looking for people who are willing to be broken and marked for life by Him.
Please don’t misunderstand, God is looking for a people of boldness. God is looking for a people who are willing to forge ahead and do exploits for Him. God will even choose strong-willed people, hard-headed and assertive in every way…but He will not leave them that way.
Genesis 32:28 (AMP)
28 And He said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob [supplanter], but Israel [contender with God]; for you have contended and have power with God and with men and have prevailed. [Hos. 12:3-4.]
Most christians are familiar with the story of Jacob and how he tricked his brother Esau and father Isaac into giving him the firstborn birthright. How he then fled for his life to his uncle Laban and worked some twenty years for him. We smile as we see the trickster get fooled himself as he marries Leah instead of Rachael because his uncle turned the tables on him. He has to work another seven years for Rachael. Then he has the twelve sons which are to be the fathers of the future twelve tribes.
He then longs to return to the homeland and does so, but not before an encounter with God.We could say Jacob had his “God moment”. The story is hard for us to fathom in Genesis 32, but in some way God came and physically wrestled with Jacob. Guess who lost? Yep, Jacob and he was never the same again.
For one thing, he would walk with a pronounced limp for the rest of his life. He was “broken”. There were no surgeons back then to fix what God had done. The hip would never be the same. He would never walk completely upright again. A staff would be required for him to lean on the rest of his natural life. Everyone would see Jacob was broken and his testimony to them would simply be, “I wrestled with God and lost.”
For another thing, the wound was far more than physical, it represented a spiritual breaking of this powerfully strong-willed man.He would never again be so “self-assured”. He would never again start to do something outside the will of God without having a twinge of pain shot from his hip to his heart. He would be reminded again and again, “Not my will but thy will be done.”
However, none of these are the most important truths in these texts. The most important thing is the name change. He went from his natural name, “Jacob”, to now having God’s name placed upon him, “Israel”. His parents had named him Jacob which means “heel catcher” or “supplanter”. God now named him, “Israel” which means “one who strives with God”. This has been horribly misinterpreted by many well-meaning people however, because this does not simply mean he wrestled with God…it means that through his wrestling he was broken for God’s purposes SO THAT HE COULD STRIVE ALONG SIDE GOD to carry out God’s purposes upon the earth.
It was like Simon being changed to Peter and like Saul being renamed Paul at the word of the Lord. All these strong-willed men would be “broken” of their self-will and have it changed into a stubborn will for the purposes of God!
Do you walk with a limp? Praise the Lord, now limp on for the Lord in the power of His might and strength. Let the place of breaking in your life be a testimony for all to see, hear and experience! Don’t let your place of breaking be a place of bitterness, but rather rejoicing for it was there God most qualified you for the work ahead!