Wrestle For His Freedom

Do you know how to wrestle?  Have you watched a competitive wrestling match?  Maybe your brother or son wrestled in high school or college and you were there to cheer them on.  Maybe you’ve seen a match while flipping through all the different events during the Olympics.  Wrestling takes patience, strength, and technique to be able to grapple with your opponent, pin them, and win the match.  I can wrestle with my children and quickly “win” the match, but wrestling with myself and my thoughts proves to be a much more powerful and difficult opponent. 

Happy New Year!  How are those resolutions going?  Has the closet been organized yet?  Have you had lunch with that person you wanted to reconcile with?  Have you started the weight loss journey?  Has your daily quiet time been consistent like you’ve meant it to be at the start of this year?  Have you become more patient with your husband? Your boss?  Your children?  Your pets?  My sweet friend, I am looking in the mirror while asking those questions to myself.  As I ask these questions and realize what my answers are, I can quickly feel the disapproval rise up from the bottom of my toes.  I can start naming off all the things I am doing wrong; need to work on; have to be better at; need to accomplish in an impossibly short amount of time….and the wrestling match begins with myself, again. 

The Apostle Paul talks about this in his letter to the Romans.  He mentions in Romans 7 how he is a man who wrestles with himself.  He did things he knew he shouldn’t have done.  He didn’t do the things he knew he should have done.  Sound familiar?  This is my life, every day.   I wrestle.  I tell myself I am a daughter of the King.  Then I tell myself I need to get it all together not yell at my daughter for squeezing out my new bottle of lotion into her hair; not eat the chocolate; not watch that movie; not say that thing………and the heap of disapproval from me losing the wrestling match rises up from the bottom of my toes.  Again. 

I have had the unique experience of working in the criminal justice system and participating in the conviction and sentencing of offenders.  When there is a sentencing being made to send someone to prison, there is evidence of guilt.  The guilt, shame, and conviction of the person come from the disapproval of society saying that the choice they made was wrong.  In the same way, we can go through our entire Christian walk with Jesus analyzing every choice, decision, and action in an agonizing way.  We spend so much time wrestling with ourselves and walking on egg shells around Jesus that we have no time or energy to do what He is calling us to do. 

I love that the Apostle Paul tells us about his continual wrestling match with himself.  I love that he can relate to each of us.  “So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”  (Romans 7:25 AMP)  Can you relate to this struggle?  To this wrestling match? 

It encourages me so much that Paul doesn’t end his letter here.  It is here where I have to remind myself that Paul wrote a letter to the Romans.  He didn’t pause as we do with chapters.  His thought continues into chapter 8 (AMP) when he tells us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Paul is telling us that there is a wrestling match within yourself.  Even though you know God’s way is doing one thing and everything within yourself is telling you to do exactly what you’re not wanting to do; if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you have His Spirit within you, which sets you free.  You don’t have to walk on eggshells anymore.  You don’t have to look into the mirror and see disapproval anymore.  You don’t have to sentence yourself to a life lived with guilt, shame, anxiety, depression, judgment, frustration, and anger any longer.  You are free from all of this.  Your sentence to prison has been fulfilled. 

Jesus never meant for us to live a life of condemnation or to feel as though He disapproves of us.  You are loved.  You are precious.  Because of Jesus’ sacrifice and victory over sin and death, you are clothed in His righteousness.  That’s what is seen when He looks upon you.  Clean.  Righteous.  Forgiven.  Loved.  If the God of the Universe, creator of stars and chocolate and DNA views me that way, then I need to stop putting my false ideas of thinking I am looked down upon and disapproved of as an idol in my life.  My opinion of myself doesn’t trump God’s.  And the same goes for you.  It is my prayer that I can come in line with God’s truth of how He sees me, rather than the opinion of how I see myself. 

Sweet friend, as you start 2017 what are you grappling with? What are you wrestling with God about?  Do you, like me, need to have some time of prayer to allow God to change your thoughts about yourself?  Do you need to be set free from the prison that you may feel you are in? What else do you need to be set free from?  It is my prayer for each of us that we will go deeper with Jesus so He can teach us and give us the strength and the patience to win the wrestling match of knowing we are clean, righteous, forgiven, and loved.  Let God’s truth begin to set you free. 

Megan Sinisi is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She describes herself as a 30-something year old lady who is still figuring out who the heck she is and sometimes worries she is just crazy. Megan is a most of the time stay at home mom of 3 precious little “tyrants” whom she loves more than her own breathe and wife to an amazing husband. She absolutely adores a good cup of coffee, chocolate and peanut butter combinations, coloring, being crafty, figuring out homeschooling her children, being silly and laughing with her husband, and chatting with friends about embarrassing moments and deep things at the same time. She has a love and fervor for writing and is walking in faith that God is calling her to use the passion and the gift He has given her. She hopes that her journey encourages, challenges, inspires, comforts, and most importantly, shines the light of Jesus and the reality of His love, grace, and mercy. More writings can be found on Megan's blog at: https://myrenderingheart.wordpress.com/