There are times when I hear a sermon and my soul sings out in agreement at the truth proclaimed. It’s a wonderful and joyful experience.
However, there are other times when the message stabs my heart like a knife and I’m convicted. The message feels so personal, like the pastor knew exactly what’s going on in my life and mind. It’s impossible for the pastor to know, but the Holy Spirit knows. The message feels personal, because it is.
The Holy Spirit speaks in those moments to my heart and convicts me of wrongdoing. When I feel convicted, I am faced with a choice: to repent and be forgiven, or to wrestle with the Spirit. It’s my pride which gets in the way of repentance and forgiveness. My pride which wrestles with the Spirit. My pride says I don’t want to be wrong.
So I, like Jacob, wrestle with the Spirit. In my wrestling though, I learn. I come at the problem from all angles to justify my position. I ask what about this or what about that. The Spirit gently refutes each one. My pride is harsh and demanding, the Holy Spirit is gentle and loving. All my reasons are swept away until I’m left with just me and the fact my pride is wrong. The Spirit holds me gently, accepts my repentance and forgives me.
See, I need the wrestling time to learn about myself. To learn where God is not in my life. As I wrestle I surrender my pride bit by bit. As much as I might want to repent and receive the Spirit’s forgiveness immediately, the Spirit knows wrestling strips away my pride so I can fully repent and accept forgiveness.
If you’re like me, you might wrestle with the Spirit sometimes, and that is okay. It brings us closer to God as we learn, grow and let go.
What do you wrestle with?
What is God teaching you?
Where are you growing?
What do you need to let go?