Does the Lord expect us to contend with Him as part of our walk? I am seeing this is an area that we need to understand and I suspect it is because He is wanting us to go deeper in relationship with Him. How hungry are we for the calling, the destiny He has given us?
He has given us free will which is a gift and something to value. When I got the Baptism of the Spirit and started to hear the Lords words and instructions one of the biggest things I was concerned with was that I didn’t want to be a robot. I cared so much to be in His will that I obeyed the Lord and I would do what He asked me but I was concerned that I was then totally being controlled and couldn’t make my own decisions (I am not saying that is a good heart position by the way). But this is not who our God is. He loves us so much that He has given us this gift of free will and as a result we can contend for matters that are on our heart. He showed me that I was not a robot and that it was always my decision to choose to follow Him and His instructions.
He has been showing me this area of contending.
As I was praying a few weeks ago I got this clear picture of a footprint in the sand. I then got this interpretation of the Lord asking me if I was going to leave a footprint behind from my walk here on earth. Of course we all want to do this. He then gave me the question of how hard will you contend for this? Will you push into me for this?
We are shown some great examples in the bible of contending with the Lord.
And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 “Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?
We know this story. Abraham was contending with the Lord in this case. The Lord among other things used this case to show Abraham His mind on this matter and also I believe it was part of strengthening Abraham in His walk to not just accept what the situation was but that Abraham could contend for things in his walk.
2 Kings 20:1-3
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’ ” 2 Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, 3 “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Another example of contending with the Lord but in this case it was for personal gain as opposed to Kingdom gain. God gave Hezekiah His request and there were Kingdom consequences from this. God will sometime give us our desires but they aren’t necessarily aligned with the walk He wants us on. We need to be careful what we contend for.
We have the example of Jacob contending with the Lord and his hip being touched. He walked with a limp from that point onwards. What was in Jacob’s mind when he was doing this contending?
God respects freewill and sometimes our freewill choices take us off the path that He has for us. He lets us do that and we need to remember He has alternatives setup. He had 7000 as an alternative when Elijah thought he was the only one or maybe the important one. If Elijah had said no at this point in his walk God had someone else ready to step up into complete His plan. This is where He expects us do things but if our freewill takes us down a different path then He has someone else ready to step in.
We had a great example of this in business this week. The Lord had told us about someone He wanted us to pick to do a major component of the business plan for us. We have known about this individual for several months. Now something happened this week that suggested this individual might decide on a different choice (freewill) but the Lord said not to be concerned as He had an alternative person ready if this was to happen. His plans are perfect.
Now I raise this story as I or you could have made freewill choices that have taken us from the plan or destiny He had for us. I know there have been elements in my life of this but He has led me to a place where I am contending with Him to put be back in the game on these areas. I believe He wants to see a heart sold out to Him and willing to contend for a destiny and an outcome in line with His kingdom plan. This is a righteous contending. He will make the choice in the end but it won’t be for a lack of contending from me.
A righteous contending with the Lord
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
Here is the oldest book in the bible and we see Job contending with the Lord. We all probably know the first half of this verse as it is quoted often but the second half of the verse holds so much. Job contended with the Lord and through that contention I believe his wisdom, his knowledge increased and he could walk a lot stronger in the Lord as a result. Wouldn’t you love a conversation with Job?
Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted.
Let us contend, let us put up our case. We can stand and put our case to the Lord.
But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for dishonour?
He does have power over the clay but He loves us and I am sure He enjoys the righteous debate with Him when it occurs. Was He upset with Moses when He argued for the children of God not to be wiped out? Was he upset with Abraham for arguing for Lot? Was he upset with Job contending with Him?
I don’t believe He was as here were His children in such a close relationship with Him that they had their hearts in the right place and they were willing to stand and contend. God got to see again their hearts, their nature and I am sure He was pleased.
When did you last contend with the Lord for something? Do we just accept when things go off plan even when we know we caused it? I don’t accept that anymore, I will contend for the words, the declarations, for the destiny He has spoken over my life and over my house.