...from the noise of distraction that pull me from my purpose. ...from the lies that scream in my head telling me I don't have what it takes.
...from feeling of complacency that entices me to give less than my best.
I'm running away from it all.
In Genesis, chapter 32, is the story of Jacob who is traveling to meet his estranged brother, who at one point wanted to kill him. He had betrayed him and stolen from him, so the thought of facing him again was a little nerve wracking. He’s traveling with massive amounts of people and possessions- he’s responsible for the lives of all of them. No pressure.
During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions. This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
“What is your name?” the man asked.
He replied, “Jacob.”
“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
Do you see what Jacob did? He sent away every distraction in his life until he remained in silence and solitude. And he decides…I must face God before I face others.
One of the primary functions of solitude is to settle into ourselves in Gods presence. When we become distracted for too long by too many things, we lose ourselves. If I were to sit down to coffee with you and ask you “who are you?”-What would you say? Strip away all your accolades and titles— who are you? When God knit you together and spoke you into existence, what did He have in mind?
There's a war between who YOU think you are and who God says you are.
I believe God had to wrestle out of Jacob every false belief, every wrong definition of himself, every lie he had deeply engrained until he could believe God when he told him who he really was. I can just hear the words that might have been spoken as they pushed and shoved:
God: You're enough.
Jacob: No, I'm not.
God: You're chosen.
Jacob: I can't be.
He entered into his struggle overwhelmed by this world, but one moment with God left him as an overcomer of this world. Some of us need to duke it out with God too, all the way down to the mat.
His identity emerged out of his isolation. He sent away his distractions and received his destiny. Every voice other than God's was on mute for one night...and that changed everything.
We must do the same. We must craft times of quiet to allow God to show us those things we might otherwise miss. The act of love that Jesus gave us on the cross deserves a response. We must walk in truth because He paid a high price for us to be able to. What truth does God need to wrestle out of you today?