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Watch 2022 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - The Wrestling Match of Your Life

Matt Hagee - The Wrestling Match of Your Life

Matt Hagee - The Wrestling Match of Your Life
Matt Hagee - The Wrestling Match of Your Life

Thee isn't anything in this life that you can do on your own. Jesus said it to the disciples, "Apart from me, you can do nothing". So when your intention is to get the blessing and the promise from God, what you have to do is recognize that you have to allow God to bring you the promise that he has given you. You have to allow God the opportunity to make you into the person who can carry the responsibility of the promise. You have to be patient while God does a perfect work. You have to allow him to take all things and work them together for good to those that love him and are called according to his purposes. But whatever you do, don't take it into your own hands, because you won't get what you want.

Jacob wanted the blessing, and Isaac gave it to him. But the problem is this: as soon as Esau recognizes he's been deceived, he makes a vow. And he says to Jacob, and he says to Rebekah, and he says to Isaac and all others, "I am going to kill that man". And he meant it. So now Jacob has a problem. Isaac has died, and Jacob has to go home. How many of you know that there comes a time when you can no longer run from the struggle? Sooner or later, you're going to have to face the music. For years, Jacob has been living with his uncle Laban. He's been helping Laban take care of the flock. He's married to both of Laban's daughters. That's a totally different story. But it's true. He's got 12 sons. He's been blessed.

And the thing about Jacob, you know he's called "The deceiver". And I find it ironic because as I see it in scripture, the one person that Jacob truly did a great job of deceiving was Jacob. He thought he tricked Esau. He thought he deceived his father. When you read about the situation that he was at in Laban's house, he thought he tricked Laban. You see whenever he went to Laban's house, Laban told him: he said, here's how we're going to do this, "As you work for me, I'm going to increase you. But I'm not going to pay you in wages. I'm going to pay you in goats". And this was a good currency back then. And Laban tells him: he says, "All of the solid colored goats, I'm going to keep. And all of the spotted ones, you can have".

Now the problem was is that Laban didn't have any spotted goats. It would be like somebody coming to me and saying, "Preacher, I've got a herd full of solid black cows. When the white one is born, you can have it". It's a heck of a deal. But until then, why don't you feed my black cows? So Jacob, he goes out and he takes the twig of a fig tree, and he sticks it in the water. And he notices that whenever the sheep and the goats, they drink the water: whenever they have babies, all the babies are spotted. And so Jacob continues to increase and multiply. Have you ever met that one person that every time you think they're going to get what they deserve, suddenly they wind up coming out like a rose?

I went to school with people like that. And it would drive me crazy, because I'd say, "He's going to get detention for sure today". And instead of detention, he'd get a lollipop. But for everybody that Jacob ever lied to, the one that he lied to the most was himself. And as it is with most people: they forget where the blessings come from. They forget that it was God that brought them this far. And now Jacob has got a problem. He's got to go home and face Esau. And he's starting to think to himself: how are you going to get out of this one? I mean Jacob, you've got to come up with the best plan you've ever made man. It's got to be so brilliant and so genius that nobody has a clue.

And so he begins the process once again of being who he truly is, the schemer, the deceiver. He has an opportunity to change his character. But rather than change his character, he goes right back to being his old self. The pressure is on and Jacob is trying to figure out how he's going to deceive his brother one more time. How can I get by the man who has been waiting 30 years to kill me? Think about that, a 30-year grudge. You say, "Well how do you know Esau was upset"? Well, whenever Esau heard that Jacob was coming home for his father's funeral, he made 300 men get in full armor to go out and meet him. Now I don't know about you, but if you saw somebody standing in the front yard for thanksgiving greeting you with a shotgun we good, bro? I mean I'll bring the cranberry: just tell me.

So Jacob hears word that Esau is waiting. How many of you've ever gotten word in advance that your problem was waiting? And as soon as he hears it, Jacob goes right back to trying to be who he was. But here's the thing: the Bible says that Jacob was alone. God will always deal with you, one on one. Whenever God comes in to change your situation and your circumstance, God is not going to ask you, "How are things going between you and your spouse? How are things going between you and your boss? How are things going in all of these relationships and connections that you have"? When God comes in to change you, he wants to get you alone. Why? Because he's the one who knows you the best. God knows exactly who you are when no one else is watching. God knows who you are when you're not putting on that Sunday face. God knows who you are whenever no one else is there to see the performance. And that's the person that he wants to confront in this struggle. That's the character that he wants to change from who you are to who he called you to be.

So the Bible says, "Jacob is alone and he wrestled with a man". It was no ordinary man: it was the hands of God. It was the presence of the Lord. It was the divine destiny that he had been called to. You see many times in our situations and in our circumstances, we believe that we're wrestling with something in an outside situation that is trying to attack God's promise in us. But most of the time, the reality is, is we are wrestling with our will versus God's will. And God is engaged with us because he is the one who knows. He's sovereign. He sees the end from the beginning. And he recognizes that if he doesn't steer you and turn you and put you in the right place at the right time for the right reasons: that there is so many things that will change in your destiny.

So when he's struggling with you like this, don't wrestle back with him: just surrender, and say, take me where you want me to go. But Jacob is no quitter. Jacob fights on. You see Jacob and God had a conversation. In verse 11 of chapter 32, Jacob asks the Lord: he says, "Deliver me, I pray you, from the hand of my brother: for the hand of Esau, I fear him. Lest he come and attack me and the mother of my children". And then Jacob throws down on God. Has anybody ever done that? I've done it. You've done it too: you just didn't know it. In the next verse, he says, "For you said". Have you ever told God what God said? You ever found yourself in a moment of prayer, saying, "Oh Lord, you said"?

Let me assure you of something: God has not forgotten what he said. But Jacob throws it down. He says, "You said that I will surely treat you well. You said that you would make my descendants like the sands of the sea: that they could not be numbered". So what Jacob is doing is Jacob is telling God, look: you've given me this promise. And if this promise is going to come to pass, then we've got to do something about this problem. Because if this problem has its way, this promise is going to be wiped out.

Have you ever had that conversation with God? Have you ever had that moment when you looked up at God, and said, look at everything that's going on in my life. I thought you said... I thought you said that if I put you first, you'd bring me the blessing. I thought you said that if I did according to your word, you would honor me. I thought you said that this wasn't going to kill me. I thought you said... God hasn't forgotten what he said. The problem that Jacob has is simply this: when you're talking to God about his promise because of your problem, you've got it backwards. Jacob sees Esau, that's his problem. And he goes to God, and he says, hey, what about my promise? You've got to flip it around.

When you see the problem, don't go talk to the promise keeper, who has never broken a promise. "I am the Lord. I do not change". I will not fail you. I will never leave you, nor forsake you. These are just some of the things that God has said about himself. When you see the problem, don't go talk to the promise keeper. When you see the problem, tell the problem what your promise keeper had to say. Jacob is alone because there comes a time when you have to face your struggle, and you can't blame it on nobody else. Jacob is alone. He can't tell somebody, I did what I did because of my daddy. I did what I did because of my grand daddy. It's because of the environment that I was raised in. These days, we can up with so many excuses. But the truth is you do what you do because you are who you are. Oh, but you don't understand. No, you don't understand.

Jacob is in this wrestling match with God. And what God is telling him is, Jacob, you're not who they say you are. Jacob, you're not a liar. Jacob, you're not a deceiver. Jacob, I've got a destiny for you. Jacob, you've got these children because I blessed you. I'm giving them to be the leaders of the nation of Israel.

And as they continue to struggle, God is whispering in Jacob's ear, "You don't understand, Jacob. I've been with you all along because there's a covenant that goes with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And that covenant includes one by the name of Judah. And Judah has a son who's coming to earth some day. And his name is Jesus. And when I told Abraham that I was going to bless all of the nations and all of the people through him, I'm telling you, Jacob, that Jesus Christ is that blessing. And Jacob, if you don't change who you are, if you don't convert your character into Israel, a prince with God: if you don't become who I need you to be, Jacob, I'm going to have to find another rout and you're out. So Jacob, listen to me! I'm going to change you, Jacob! I'm going to make you, Jacob, into who you need to be"!

When you're alone and you're dealing with God, don't argue, because he'll hurt you! You say, not my Jesus. Oh, no, no, no. Read the book. When God saw that he did not prevail, how does God not prevail with you? This is the one who said, "Let there be light," and there was light. How does he not prevail with you when you're stubborn? This is why the Bible says, "Stubbornness is as idolatry". How many of you in your own stubbornness, have continued what you know God said stop? When God struggles with you and you argue with him, he will hurt you. Because the Bible says that he grabbed Jacob's hip and he twisted it out of socket. Now I don't know if you've ever had anything come out of socket, but it ain't a foot massage.

And you would think that that would be enough to make Jacob turn loose. But remember: Jacob is no quitter. And what God asked Jacob, he says, "Turn me loose: for the day will break". And you need to know that every wrestling match has a conclusion. Every struggle that God has with you is only for a season. He is not going to wrestle with you indefinitely. There will come a time when he's going to say, "Have it your way". And for some of you, you may be closer to that moment than you think. But God says, "Turn me lose". And Jacob says, "I'm not going to turn you lose until you bless me". That's what I've wanted from the beginning. That's what I fought for in the womb. I wanted the blessing! And I don't really care if Esau kills me. I want the blessing!

You see when you get to the point that you don't care about the outcome of the circumstance, you just want the touch of God in your life, you're going to find a season of breakthrough like you've never known before. I want the blessing. And God gives him the blessing that he's always craved. He says, "Jacob, you're not who they say you are. Your name is no longer Jacob. It's Israel". And with those words, Jacob receives a brand new character, a brand new outcome, a brand new destiny. The question is this:: was it new or was it the first time that Jacob realized it? God formed him in the womb. God knew him. God called him. God ordained him. When God looked down from heaven, he didn't say, "There's Jacob and Esau".

When God looked down from heaven, he said, "That's Israel. That's a prince with God right there". And it was when he came out into this world that the world defined his character. And he lived up to what they said. He never heard what God said. But the moment that he heard his maker tell him what he saw in him, he refused to be who they said he was, and he became who God created him to be. I'm telling you today, in this room, the same God that wrestled with Jacob is the same God who will struggle with you. And he will struggle with you until he gets you in the position where you can do what he created you for.

And the thing that you need to do is say, "Lord, whatever that is, I want to be that person. However you want to use me, that's exactly what I'll do. Whatever the situation, I'm going to trust that your promise is going to come to pass, because I can't do this without you! Just like Jacob said, I'm not going to let go until you bless me". I promise you that there are some of you in this room that if you'll have that same heart today, when you leave this service, you'll never be the same. Don't come to church and sit in this atmosphere and in his presence, and just expect to spend 90 minutes of inspiration, and then go back out and be the same person you were when you walked in.

You're in the presence of the king of glory. He can change everything with a touch! Jacob got exactly what he wanted. And Jacob got exactly what he needed. Because with his injured hip, Jacob had a reminder for the rest of his life: that he couldn't do anything without leaning on God. All of his life, he'd deceived himself. Jacob, you're so smart. Now with every step, he remembers that it was God. When he walked out of his father's house, he was proud, he was pompous, his shoulders were square, and his chin was held high. But now he's wrestled with God, and his hip is out of socket. And he is humble and he is low.

Have you ever been through something that hurt you so bad: it changed who you were? The person you were before the problem isn't nearly the kind of person you are after the problem. And people come up to you, and they say things like, oh, I wish you didn't have to go through that. But you look at them, and you go, no, no, no: it was good that I had been afflicted. You recognize what the Word of God says: that there are times that this blessing has to come on the other side of a burden. Because all of Jacob's life, he trusted in Jacob. But as soon as God pulled his hip out of socket, in order for him to do what he had to do, he need Todd trust in God. And here comes Jacob walking towards Esau. And Esau sees him coming from a great distance away. He says, that man looks like my brother, but he doesn't walk like my brother. My brother is stubborn. My brother is arrogant. My brother is pompous.

Who is this broken man that's walking in front of me? You look like Jacob but you walk like Israel. You walk like somebody who is low in your spirit and humble in your heart. You're willing to testify it was God's hand that brought me through. Jacob recognized suddenly that every blessing he had came from God. He used to take for granted how fast he could walk. And now he slowly Carries himself as a reminder it wasn't me. It wasn't me: it was God in me. It was God for me. It was God with me. It was God watching over me. It was God walking with me. It was God making a way for me. It was God moving mountains for me. It was God doing things for me that I can't even explain. I didn't even bet to see him. I didn't even get to know about him. But if you look at me and you see success, you've got to know it wasn't me. It was him in me. The wrestling match of your life ends when you decide not to be who they say, and you become what he says.

Can we stand in the presence of the Lord? With every head bowed and every eye closed, you can say as Jacob said, I'm not going to let go. I'm not going to leave this sanctuary until you bless me. And you know exactly where you want God's blessing. But what you've got to be willing to do is say, "God, you're going to hear my desire. But rather than send me what I want, I need you to give me what I need". If that's you, I want you to hold your hand right where you are. Hands all over this room. Everyone here raise both hands and repeat this prayer with me:

Lord Jesus Christ, today I thank you that the same God who wrestled with Jacob is wrestling with me. Heavenly Father, today I surrender my will to yours. Today I am giving you all of the glory, all of the honor, all of the thanks for every blessing that I have ever received, because it has all come from you: and therefore, you deserve the glory. Father, today I trust you that the problem I'm facing is not bigger than the promise you've made. And I know that you will keep your word and bring me victory. So today, in Jesus' name, I'm not letting go until you bless me.

Now you know exactly where you want that blessing to be. You know exactly the place in your life where you need to receive it. You know exactly what you want God to do in your situation and in your circumstance. So right where you are, I want you to take a moment and open your mouth. And if you need the blessing in your family, you say, "God, bless my marriage, and bless my children". And if you need the blessing in your business, you say, "God, bless my finances, and bless the work of my hands". And if you need it in your physical body, you ask the Lord to do exactly what you need him to accomplish in your life today. Don't let go of his promise until you have received the change that you're longing for.

And now I want you to spend the rest of this moment, giving God some thanks. I want you to open your mouth and tell him:

Thank you for your faithfulness. It wasn't me: it was you. It wasn't me. It wasn't my talent. It wasn't my gifts. It wasn't my calling: it was yours. The blessings that I have, you gave them to me. The family that I have, you provided it. The place that I have, you are the one who built every brick. God, you're the one, who deserves all the credit, all the glory, all the honor. It wasn't me: it was you in me. Father, today in your presence in this place, we have heard your word, and we have received your truth. Now let us leave here, not the same. But let us leave here humbled under your mighty hand, knowing that your word will come to pass. It will accomplish the purpose and the reason for which you sent it. In the mighty name of Jesus, we receive this. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.

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