Our head pastor has been preaching through Genesis off and on this past year and half and this Sunday he preached from Genesis 32, where Jacob wrestles with God. It was a great sermon and I plan to re-listen to it sometime this week. I would highly recommend it - totally worth the 30 or 40 minutes out of your day (and if you are like me and enjoy listening to things while you wash your dishes and fold your laundry, it is sure to make the mundane much more thought-provoking!).
He talked about how we can see throughout the story of Jacob how he tries repeatedly to do things his own way. Again and again Jacob takes matters into his own hands, instead of trusting God. In his sermon Pastor Nelson talks about how God strips away our own self-reliance and makes us depend increasingly on Him, emptying us of ourselves and filling us with Himself. In Genesis 32 we see how Jacob is broken and thus forced to literally cling to God.
This (prideful) sin of self-reliance is so characteristic in humankind. It is something that repeats again and again. I see it in my own life. I can see how in moving out here to Korea (and time and again while living here!) the Lord strips away my own self-reliance. I look back to the life I lived before we left the States and can now see areas that I trusted in myself and not in the Lord. It's a lot easier to do when your bank account is full and you can access everything you need!
God intends to see us come to fully depend on him. Some times he allows circumstances in our lives (and sometimes He brings people into our lives) to strip us of ourselves and push us to fully depend and rely on Him Alone. When we are weak and dependent on God, that is when we are truly strong.
This message really spoke to me - it spoke to me in light of moving to Korea and current life circumstances. It spoke to me in light of this topic of adoption that the Lord won't allow me to ignore. It spoke to me in light of people in my life who I am praying for on a daily and hourly basis. If you have the time this week, check it out! I pray the Lord is tender with me, as He brings me ever closer to utter dependence on Himself. I pray He is tender with you too, Dear Reader, as He works in your life to bring you nearer.