And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (Genesis 32:24-30 KJV)
There is a difference between wrestling with God and wrestling against God. Wrestling with God means that we are in agreement with Him that He is who He says He is and that He will do and fulfill all things according to His Word and eternal plan and purpose while actively seeking and involving Him in our personal lives. While we wrestle with God through prayer and persistent we must submit to His nature, His Word, and His Will in order to win with Him. Wrestling against God is being disobedience and living in unbelief. If we wrestle against God, we are opposing and defeating ourselves rather than wrestling with God in order to see the manifestation of our faith which is of God through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is impossible to wrestle against God and prevail, but it is possible to wrestle with God and prevail because of our faith in Him. God gives us the victory when we hold to the faith that is of Him, which is in Jesus Christ, our Hope. This is the way to wrestle with God and win when we put our faith and trust in Him.
Jacob, whose name has been changed to Israel, the prince of God, is our example of wrestling with God and prevailing. When Jacob had his first dream and encounter with God, in which the dream consist of a ladder that was set on earth and reached up to heaven and the angels of God ascending and descending on that ladder while the Lord stood above it and told Jacob that He will bless him and in him and in his seed (Jesus Christ is his seed or descendant by genealogy, though Jesus Christ is before Jacob) all families of the earth will be blessed. While Jacob was running from his brother Esau, the Lord spoke those words unto him in his sleep to confirm that He is with him and He will not forsake him and He will bless him.
As Jacob wrestled with this man in which represented God, the man cause Jacob’s hip to be dislocated. Even then, Jacob refused to let him go until he blessed him while he could have been experiencing hurt and pain because of the dislocation of his hip. As believers, we will go through some painful things in life, but if we hold to the faith that God has given us through Jesus Christ, we will prevail with the Lord on our side regardless of unfavorable circumstances that are of this life. After having a second dream and encounter with God instructing Jacob to go back home, Jacob experienced a third encounter with God interceding for him by way of giving his uncle, Laban, a dream telling him not to blame him or say anything good or bad concerning Jacob. After Jacob left Laban, he wrestled with the man in which it was his fourth encounter with God. The number four represents God revealing Himself through His creation that resulted in the change of Jacob’s name. God changed the character and nature of Jacob’s birth name, which means deceiver, to Israel, which means prince of God, so that he would represent God and be a witness to all nations of the world.
We as believers are able to do the same thing and have the same results as Israel by holding on to the faith that God has given us. Just as Israel held on and would not let go until he was blessed, we must hold on to the faith and the things that He has spoken to us plainly concerning that which is written in the scriptures that we should not let go of the faith that He has given us until He reveals Himself to us. Hold to and live by the faith that is of God rather than trying to create your own way that could lead to failure and unbelief. After we have prevailed, we will see the manifestations of our faith that comes from of God, which is according to His will. The promises that are written in the Word of God will all come to pass.