Focal Passage: Genesis 32:24-32
Do you remember the moment when God saved you? For many it is very low-key, perhaps the result of a private conversation during Vacation Bible School as a child or a chat with a counselor at summer camp as an adolescent. For others, it’s big and emotional and public, often times because of the nature of the life they have lived up to that point.
Whatever the circumstance, that moment is equally powerful and equally transformative, and God can bring it about anywhere and whenever He wants so long as the Spirit moves through the proclamation of the gospel. It is a moment you will never forget.
Now, imagine wrestling with God!
Even though God had called Jacob much earlier, the patriarch’s encounter with the living God in Genesis 32 is a decisive moment in his life. It is one that he will not soon forget either, as God endows him with a physical reminder of the event.
At Peniel, Jacob realizes that not only is God faithful in making and keeping His promises but He is gracious as well.
Jacob has prevailed not because of any inherent righteousness in himself but because God has graciously preserved him, that through him God might accomplish His sovereign purposes.
Given the context, this knowledge of God’s gracious preservation will be invaluable to Jacob as he faces Esau, the brother he cheated.
God saves and transforms each us to be used in some specific way to further His Kingdom through advancing the gospel. Whether or not that moment was explosive to you, it should be unforgettable, because God’s calling you to salvation was an act of pure grace. His transforming you into the likeness of His Son for His glory is amazing and yet undeserved.
This knowledge is invaluable to us as we face the challenges of mission in a fallen world, but “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
His gracious preservation will hold until His will in our lives is complete.