As most of us know and have experienced: “Broken before Blessed” seems to be a scriptural principle and process that God uses in our lives that we cannot escape. I realize that many cannot stand or fathom the thought that God may use breaking in our lives as a means of blessing. “Brokeness” is a breaking process that all of us will have to go through in the course of our lives. I have learned that the eventual benefit is not to resist the breaking, but to embrace the breaking. Through the prophetic voice, we will once again come in contact with the “breaker anointing.” However, this time, we will embrace it for what it truly is: The breaking of our pride, self-righteousness, and self-reliance must come before the breaker anointing is released and imparted to us.
The prophetic “breakthrough” that we are looking for in our individual and corporate areas of our lives will come through a complete surrender of our will. The “broken before blessed” principle is found and experienced in Genesis 32 from an event in the life of Jacob. It seems that Jacob’s only real concern was for himself for much of his life. When Jacob was a teenager, he cheated his brother Esau out of the family birthright and privileged inheritance. Esau had become so furious that he determined to kill Jacob as soon as their father, Isaac, died. Since Jacob had no chance against Esau in a fight, he left home and traveled several hundred miles to separate himself from Esau. The good news is that God was not done with “runaway” Jacob. In Genesis 32, Jacob finally begins his journey home. On the way, he received word that Esau was planning to meet him with 400 men. Of course, Jacob was afraid for his life and prayed for it! He split his traveling party in two parts and sent some ahead to Esau with “reconciliation gifts.”
Jacob thought that he could “buy” his brother’s forgiveness. Jacob not only tried to buy forgiveness, but he put his family in front of himself as a kind of barrier between himself and his brother. I think between the lines we can read the “cunning” plan of Jacob to save his own skin at the expense of his own family in case Esau refused his gifts. It was while Jacob was alone at his campsite that a man came and began to wrestle with him. It is interesting to think what might have been said or done to provoke this battle. We know from other verses of scripture that this was no ordinary man or angel. Jacob was wrestling with the pre-incarnate Son of God in the form of a man.
Jacob was literally wrestling with God and God was wrestling with Jacob! Most who know the scriptures realize that Jacob had learned many lessons from his mistakes; but like many of us, he still had a ways to go before he was thoroughly broken of his selfish nature and conniving disposition to always get or have his way. And so God met Jacob right where he was at and wrestled him person to person. Could it be that God is wrestling with us in certain areas of our lives for a defined commission that is soon to be appointed? (I am convinced!) Are there areas in our lives that need to be BROKEN DOWN? If you and I are looking and in need of a supernatural, life-changing blessing from God, it is essential that we honestly answer these questions. What is God wrestling with me over? Am I embracing or resisting? We notice that the wrestling match was not over in a few minutes, although it very easily could have been with God as the opponent! God could easily overpower us, but God loves us enough to give us a will to choose. Of all the things or titles that God could have chosen to call Himself, He simply said that, “I am love.” It is impossible to give or receive love without free will. However, God, in His divine plan and purposes, will patiently wrestle with us in order to break us down of “SELF.” Beloved, my greatest enemy is not some evil or external force, it is “ME.”
I can only thank God that He wrestles with all of us with longsuffering and patience. It was near dawn that the Lord put a move on Jacob that would change his life forever — even the way that he would walk. This move caused what seems to be a slight dislocation to the ball joint of his hip or thigh. This was a touch from the “hand of God” in a critical area of Jacob’s life. He would no longer be able to “run” from his mistakes. The touch of God may sometimes be painful, but it is a necessary part of the breaking process.
The paradox is that the breaking process is the road that leads to abundant blessing. Not only was Jacob not able to run, but he was no longer able to wrestle. At this point, he could only cling or hang on to God. Jacob finally realized his helplessness, weakness and dependence on the one whom he was wrestling. Jacob now would have to face his fears – for he could no longer run from Esau. The only thing that Jacob could do was to hold on and ask for a blessing from the Lord. This was a turning point in Jacob’s life. Each one of us must likewise come to this same point in order to really experience all of the blessings, destiny, and anointing that the Lord would have for us. So many times it seems that the areas of our greatest natural strengths are the areas that the Lord will touch and “dislocate.”
The reasoning is so we will be dependent upon Him rather than our own strength. We read that “My strength is made PERFECT in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) It is also worthy to note that the Lord asked Jacob his name. Was it that the Lord needed to know? Of course not, Jacob had to know and own up to who he truly was — a “deceiver or supplanter.” Jacob fulfilled the meaning of his name perfectly; he spent his entire life deceiving and conning others.
By giving his name to God, Jacob openly confessed and came to the realization of who he truly was to the core of his being. Confession and the realization of who we TRULY are is the beginning of experiencing the fullness of the blessings of God. Trust me, I know first hand! The stigma of the old name was removed from Jacob and he was given a new name — Israel. Jacob was no longer a “deceiver”, but one who “persevered with God” We notice in Gen. 32:28 that Jacob prevailed with God. This does not mean that Jacob won the wrestling match, but rather he realized his defeat and held on to the only source of hope that he had. This breaking process worked a miracle in the life of Jacob as it does for us.
Jacob realized that God Himself had touched him. Jacob tried his best to get the “stranger” to reveal Himself by asking for His name. His name was not given nor did He disclose Himself to Jacob as he did to his grandfather, Abraham. Could it be that Jacob still had something to learn? I sincerely believe that the Lord revealed Himself to Jacob as time went on. Jacob developed an intimate reliance upon God that would carry him from one blessing to another as he grew old. In any case, Jacob was a changed man and would give birth to the nation of Israel!
Jacob would now fulfill his purpose as a godly husband, father and man of God. The Lord would go on to say in the book of Hebrews that “He loved Jacob.” Regardless of our past mistakes, God loves us and desires to touch the areas of our lives that need a dislocation. He only desires that we hold onto Him and allow His strength to hold us up. He desires that we face the “relatives” in our lives that we have run from, have not forgiven and have not owed up. You must be the minister of reconciliation that the Lord has called you to be. He desires that we face our past mistakes and pay our unpaid debts to those we owe in both word and deed.
Remember that the breaking process must come before blessing. This picture of the life of Jacob should serve as an encouragement that the sun will rise and shine upon those who have wrestled with the Lord in the nighttime hours of our lives. Jacob would walk with a limp for rest of his life. Yes, he was broken — but he was blessed beyond measure. He could now face his past and his problems and God would reward with favor and forgiveness. Jacob’s relationships were restored and he would now experience the promise of “abundant life.”