Category: Surrender

Conquer First, Bless Second

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” Genesis 32:28

The experiences of men who walked with God in olden times agree to teach that the Lord cannot fully bless a man until He has first conquered him. The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God’s victory over him. This is a badly neglected tenet of the Christian’s creed, not understood by many in this self-assured age, but it is nevertheless of living importance to us all. This spiritual principle is well illustrated in the Book of Genesis.

Jacob was the wily old heel-catcher whose very strength was to him a near-fatal weakness. For two-thirds of his total life, he had carried in his nature something hard and unconquered. Not his glorious vision in the wilderness nor his long bitter discipline in Haran had broken his harmful strength. He stood at the ford of Jabbok at the time of the going down of the sun, a shrewd, intelligent old master of applied psychology learned the hard way. The picture he presented was not a pretty one. He was a vessel marred in the making. His hope lay in his own defeat. This he did not know at the setting of day, but had learned before the rising of the sun. All night he resisted God until in kindness God touched the hollow of his thigh and won the victory over him. It was only after he had gone down to humiliating defeat that he began to feel the joy of release from his own evil strength, the delight of God’s conquest over him. Then he cried aloud for the blessing and refused to let go till it came. It had been a long fight, but for God (and for reasons known only to Him) Jacob had been worth the effort. Now he became another man, the stubborn and self-willed rebel was turned into a meek and dignified friend of God. He had “prevailed” indeed, but through weakness, not through strength.

by A.W. Tozer

One Battle

A.B. Simpsonby A.B. Simpson

Nevertheless, David took the castle of Zion —1 Chronicles 11:5

If you seem to have so much fighting to do, it may be because you did not have one sharp, decisive battle to begin with. It is far easier to have one great battle than to keep on skirmishing all your life. I know men who spend forty years fighting what they call their besetting sin, and on which they waste strength enough to evangelize the world.

Does it pay to throw away your lives? Why not have one battle, one victory and then praise God. There is labor to enter in. The height is steep; the way of the cross is not an easy way. It is hard to enter in, but having entered in, there is perfect rest. And when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about (Deuteronomy 12:10). May God help us and give us His perfect rest.

by A.B. Simpson