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GROWING IN CHRIST

"The Evening Wrestle"

Date published: 06/28/2019

Luke 21:37 “Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening He went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives.”

 

   The Lord impacted me with this verse in a very strong way.  The Gospels are filled with references of Jesus praying.  Jesus prayed in the morning, evening, and throughout the day.  The Psalms often reference morning prayers.  I believe God has made the morning quiet time “ground zero” in a Christian’s walk with Christ.  Jesus wonderfully modeled this in Mark 1:35: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”  The morning quiet time starts each day right by connecting you with your Creator, filling you with His grace, wonder, and love, cleansing you of your sin, reminding you to rejoice in God’s work from the previous day, and engaging God while equipping you for the day you are about to enter.  The power of the quiet time by allowing God to pour into your life is phenomenal in cultivating and empowering your walk with Christ. 

 

   What I never considered was the purpose and power of the evening time with God until “each evening” caught my eye, mind, and heart.  As I prayed it made sense.  The Bible continually talks about taking care of issues that day.  Ephesians 4:26 ("In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”) and Matthew 5:23-24 ("Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”) are two examples that come to mind.  We end each day with a variety of things going on: committed sin, anger, challenges, disputes, needed direction, discouragement, sadness, depression, etc.  The “American way” is to have a bad night’s sleep as the issues continue to rumble through your head.  Instead of excluding God or focusing on the issues, let’s consider Jesus’ way.  Let’s end each day allowing God to take control and direct our mind, will, heart, and emotions.  In Genesis 32:24, God gave a very visual demonstration of this in Jacob’s life: “So Jacob was left alone, and a man (angel or God) wrestled with him till daybreak.”  Jesus ended each day wrestling with many of the same issues we deal with: betrayal, injustice, rejection, and disappointment.  The difference was Jesus faithfully gave these issues to God not only throughout the day, but also in the evening.  This great habit allows you to fully transfer ownership of these problems and challenges to God while being filled with God’s peace, comfort, and direction.  Let your night’s sleep be the continued refreshment of God as He carries your burdens after each night’s “wrestle!”

 

Psalm 4:8 “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”

 

Psalm 4:4 “In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.”

 

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience:  “Deeper with God” and “Transformation – Part 1.”

 

Book:  The book, “Through the Eye of the Needle,” will continually bring you into a more passionate and intimate relationship with Christ, so Jesus is not just your Lord and Savior, but also your best friend who carries all your burdens as He walks and lives through you.