Gen. 32:24-28 - So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 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. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."
But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
The man asked him, "What is your name?"
"Jacob," he answered.
Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." NIV
There are so many characteristics that can be identified with Jacob the wrestler. I will share with you a few in today's Pump Up. You may want to read this passage of scripture over numerous times and identify more characteristics and then teach them to others.
There won't be any of your teammates coming to your rescue, nor would you want them to interfere. This is between you and your opponent. Jacob wrestled through the night until daybreak, alone.
Who is this man that Jacob is wrestling? I have my thoughts about Him and will allow you to have yours, but I can tell you this much He was powerful enough to dislocate Jacob's hip with a touch.
In the 1972 Olympics, Dan Gable, was head butted. His trainer wrapped his head to temporarily stop the bleeding. He continues to wrestle, wins the match and then received seven stitches to close the gash.
In the 1999 Freestyle Wrestling Championships, Cary Kolat, dislocated his shoulder during one of his early matches. He continued to wrestle and won the match.
There are hundreds of wrestling stories like these. When you get hurt you keep on going.
Jacob was wrestling with God. Notice what the verse says, Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God…"
He was struggling or wrestling with God.
The apostle Paul informs Christians that we likewise are wrestlers and he even names our enemies that we will be wrestling against in this life.
These are vital lessons we can learn from wrestlers:
Some times we may have to go it alone.
Some times we may have to keep going even when hurt.
Some times we may have to wrestle with God or His enemies.
One passage of scripture we never want to forget is 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 - "…but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." NASU
Think On These:
When God measures a man, He puts the tape around his heart not his head.
Who is more foolish: a child who is afraid of the dark or a man who is afraid of the light?
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
1 Kings 19:11-12 - So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. NASU
God had Elijah go and stand on the mountain. The Lord passed by Elijah. Elijah saw a strong wind, earthquake, and a fire, but the Lord was not in any of them.
Where does the Lord have you standing right now?
Is the Lord trying to get your attention as He was with Elijah?
In our world today we know that strong winds, earthquakes and fire all bring about destruction. God wasn't in the destruction. God was in the peaceful and refreshing gentle blowing. God wanted Elijah to really know Him.
Could God have been in the strong wind, earthquake, or fire? Yes, He could have been in them. He was behind the wind at the time of the Israelite's Exodus from Egypt and He was in the fire that burned up Elijah's sacrifice. God wants all of us to see Him.
He wants us to be His helpers. Elijah was helping the Israelites to be free from the false prophets and the lies they were expressing about God.
You will be able to stand where God wants you to stand when you know more about Him. The best way to really get to know God is by learning about Him through reading the Bible.
God may have you standing right now in the fiery trial and tribulations like He did Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. They were being tried because they would not worship anyone or thing. They would only worship the Almighty God, Maker and Creator of Heaven and Earth.
You may be standing in some fiery trial in order to help your faith become stronger. If God has you standing in a trial then you need to know that He is watching over you and it is your faith in Him that will get you through it.
Wouldn't it be nice if we had a Heavenly GPS installed at our baptism and every time we got off course we could hear this voice tell us to make a U-Turn as soon as it is legally possible?
Has God been telling you to make a U-Turn or stay the course you are doing great?
God gave Elijah some work to do. He had to go and anoint three men. What is it that God wants you to do? Do you know some people that need to be anointed by the Lord today?
The best way to forget about your own struggles is to get busy serving other people and that is exactly what God had Elijah do.
Think On This:
The person who is all wrapped up in himself is overdressed.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
To Read Other Pump Ups You Can Go To My Website.
Matt 14:24-25 - But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. NASU
Mark 6:47-48 - When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea;…
John 6:17-19 - It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened.
In fact, this is the first lesson that I have ever taught on this miracle.
Let's look at this miracle. Matthew says, "the boat was already a long distance from the land,…" and Mark says, "the boat was in the middle of the sea,…" and John says, "…when they had rowed about three or four miles…"
Now let me share this with you. It is NIGHT TIME!
Matt and Mark say, "…in the fourth watch of the night…" What does that mean? The night was broken into four groups of time.
The 1st watch was from 6 pm - 9 pm,
2nd watch was from 9 pm - midnight,
3rd watch was from midnight - 3 am and the
4th watch is from 3 am - 6 am.
John says, "It had already become dark…"
Do you have the picture now? It is dark and it is between 3 am - 6 am and the boat with the disciples is 3 or 4 miles away and Jesus according to Mark sees them straining at the oars. Seriously! I live on a lake and it isn't even a mile from one side to other and I can tell you right now I would never be able to tell what was going on with a boat that was 500 yards from shore.
I don't know about you but I would call that a miracle. I would call that night vision par excellence.
Whatever the obstacles that are beating down on you Jesus can see them today as clear as He saw them in the middle of the night with His disciples.
The disciples cried out in fear when they saw Jesus walking on the water towards them and He said, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." You need to hear Jesus telling you take courage and not be afraid of your situation.
Look at what happened to Peter when he called out to Jesus:
Matt 14:28-29 - Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Get out of your boat and walk towards Jesus is the best advice I can give you.
Think On These:
The world would be improved with less television and more vision.
It is when we forget ourselves that we do things that are most likely to be remembered.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Share this Pump Up with others by Sharing on Your Facebook Page, Twitter or Forwarding to a friend.
Luke 8:53-55 - And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!" And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately;…" NASU
This was Jairus' 12 year old daughter being attended to by Jesus. She had died or in other words her spirit had departed from her body. The definition of death is "separation" and her spirit had separated from her body.
When we die our spirits will depart or separate from our bodies.
This family was blessed to be able to have Jesus come to their home and resurrect her. He is the One who has the power over life and death. He displays His power by commanding her to arise or in other words He commanded her spirit to return to her body.
When we die and our spirits separate from our bodies, life as we know it will be finished.
Here is how the Apostle Paul wrote about death: 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 - So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. NKJV
If you are a person who believes in Jesus Christ and has accepted His free gift of Eternal Life when you die your spirit will depart from your body and your spirit will be present with the Lord forever, according to the Word of God.
John 11:25-26 - Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" NASU
One of the greatest things that can happen to us is to die in the Lord. The Apostle John stated it this way in Revel. 14:13 - And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" NASU
If you die in the Lord God's Word says you are blessed.
Although, we have to die physically or our spirit separates from our physical body our spirit will live on eternally with Jesus Christ.
Let me say it another way: when your spirit departs to be with Jesus you are promised eternal life. If your spirit departs and isn't going to be with Jesus you are promised eternal death or in other words eternal separation from God.
I hope that you have confessed Jesus to be the Lord of your life.
Here is what the Apostle Paul had to say about it:
Romans 10:9-11 - "…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." NASU
You may have suffered a lot of disappointments in this life, but there is absolutely no reason to be disappointed in the next life. The promise is if you believe in Jesus you will not be disappointed.
Think On This:
Heaven is a state of thankfulness for having received what we didn't deserve, and for not receiving what we did deserve.
Gary A Serago.