In Jeremiah 23:13 God told the people of Israel, “You will seek me and find Me. When you seek Me with all your heart.” And in Genesis 32:26 we read: “then He said: let Me go, for the day has broken, but Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me – and in Exodus 33:13-14 God said to Moses, “My presence will go with you – and I will give you rest.”
God delights in His children’s’ prayers, especially those of importunity… I beg You; I beseech You; I implore You; please Lord, I entreat You.. God loves the grace of pertinacity, where His child’s determined, persistent, tenacious, resolute perseverance.. continues to plead the delights of His heart.
There’s a fine line between gracious entreaties, and a determination to have one's own way.. just as there can be a fine line between pride and true humility.. and a subtle distinction between self-elevation and the lifting up of the Lord Jesus. Both self-determination and sins of arrogance point to me and not to Christ.
And each blood-bought saint would do well to engage in deep introspection. Each wise believer needs to search out the ruinous sins that lurk deep within one's own heart. But the repeated entreaties connected with the prayer of importunity are far removed from an insisting on one's own way. They are the deep implorings for God’s promised benefits. This is not the believer demanding some “thing“, but an intense desire to receive from Him – His committed blessing.
God wants men and women of prayer and faith, to seek more of Him. Men and women who would cry out with John the Baptist as he recognises the Lamb of God.. I must decrease and He must increase. John 3:30. Who after the long night of sorrow insists with Jacob at the break of day. I will not let you go, unless you bless me, Gen.32:26
God wants men and women who ache for more of Him. God wants men and women who pant for Him.. as a deer pants for the watering hole. God wants men and women whose hearts turn away from My-Self to the Him-Self. God wants men and women who long for a more intimate love relationship with Himself – who love Him with a deeper, purer love.
God will often test our desire and entreaties by causing us to wait and wait and wait….. and wait. God will sometimes wrestle with us through the night of doubt and sorrow – to prove that such gifts are given to the one who seeks Him with all their heart. As He said to Jeremiah.. you WILL find me if you search for me with ALL your heart….” Jer.29:13. God will sift our very motives as He searches the thoughts of our hearts.. until our earnest request is sanctified to meet with His pure plans and purposes. So that at the appointed time His delayed gift will come – and it will come at our best time: for our times are in His hands Psa.31:15 and it is God Who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Phil.2:13
“I will not let you go unless you bless me,” he said, but God wrestled with Jacob much more than Jacob wrestled with Him. And God prevailed while Jacob fell.. his thigh dislocated; his pride shattered; his ego broken. But Jacob clung on until the break of day – until the blessing came. And Jacob, the strong, resolute, proud, arrogant, scheming Jacob.. limped from his encounter with God – a weak and broken and humbled man. And ONLY then, after having been crushed beneath the Hand of the Almighty.. only then was he told:- your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Gen.32:28
So Jacob moved from being a proud heel-snatcher to being a gracious prince with God – from being earthly Jacob to heavenly Israel; from a natural to a supernatural. Remember, true prayers of importunity, which wrestle with God for His blessing, will indeed transform the man or woman who seeks Him with all their heart. But such a transformation in the life of any terrestrial Jacob.. must first be broken and crushed beneath His searching gaze, in order to produce God’s best – a celestial Israel.
After days, months and even years of such wrestling, He will bring you to that crisis point. If He does call you to your utmost for His highest, you must first be broken in every area of your self-life. And when all else has failed – only then will He answer your prayers of importunity. Cease from your own strength, beloved child of God. Terminate your own developed wisdom. Crucify any prideful extravagances and surrender to Him in thought and word and deed.. and motive – until Christ be formed in you. God knows how to lead you to your own Calvary crisis. God knows how to guide you through it as well.
But there are some that fall at the last hurdle. Discouragement sets in and the wrestling prayer of entreaty, fails to persist.. just at the point that God is watching to see how earnestly you desire Him.. how much you long for Him.. how dearly you desire His blessing – how earnestly you seek His very Presence. Just at that point – so many give up their darling quest. Continue to hold on to the skirts of the Almighty. Persevere and besiege His throne of grace.
Cast yourself helplessly at His feet. Die to your own strength, your own wisdom. Die to your own achievements, your own charisma. Die to your own self-interest, your own magnetism – and in humility and grace, rest in His strength and in Him alone. And remember, He takes away the first, that He may establish the second. Replace the mountain of wood, hay, and stubble of your own-sufficiency, with the cherished gold, silver and precious stones of His All- Sufficiency. It was Paul who put it into words when he cried: my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! Gal.4:19
At Thy feet I fall
Yield to Thee my ALL
To SUFFER, LIVE or DIE
For my Lord, crucified
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