Streams in the Desert - Aug 20

by L. B. E. Cowman and Jim Reimann

Featured photo

Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. (Genesis 32: 24)

In this passage, God is wrestling with Jacob more than Jacob is wrestling with God. The “man” referred to here is the Son of Man—the Angel of the Covenant. It was God in human form, pressing down on Jacob to press his old life from him. And by daybreak God had prevailed, for Jacob’s “hip was wrenched” (v. 25). As Jacob “fell” from his old life, he fell into the arms of God, clinging to Him but also wrestling until his blessing came. His blessing was that of a new life, so he rose from the earthly to the heavenly, the human to the divine, and the natural to the supernatural. From that morning forward, he was a weak and broken man from a human perspective, but God was there. And the Lord’s heavenly voice proclaimed, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome” (v. 28).

Beloved, this should be a typical scene in the life of everyone who has been transformed. If God has called us to His highest and best, each of us will have a time of crisis, when all our resources will fail and when we face either ruin or something better than we have ever dreamed. But before we can receive the blessing, we must rely on God’s infinite help. We must be willing to let go, surrendering completely to Him, and cease from our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness. We must be “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2: 20) and yet alive in Him. God knows how to lead us to the point of crisis, and He knows how to lead us through it.

Is God leading you in this way? Is this the meaning of your mysterious trial, your difficult circumstances, your impossible situation, or that trying place you cannot seem to move past without Him? But do you have enough of Him to win the victory?

Then turn to Jacob’s God! Throw yourself helplessly at His feet. Die in His loving arms to your own strength and wisdom, and rise like Jacob into His strength and sufficiency. There is no way out of your difficult and narrow situation except at the top. You must win deliverance by rising higher, coming into a new experience with God. And may it bring you into all that is meant by the revelation of “the Mighty One of Jacob” (Isa. 60: 16)! There is no way out but God.

At Your feet I fall,
Yield You up my ALL,
For my Lord crucified.


Cowman, L. B. E.; Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 319). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Categories: spiritual