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Listen while you read: "He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought"1 (Lyrics)

Genesis 32:24 – Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. (NRSV)

A few months ago, I attended my first-ever women's event at my church. The evening was empowering, and it felt good to connect with other Christian women. However, I hadn't always had a positive attitude about church in the past.

When I first visited my church in July, 2017, it made a good first impression on me. I had a memorable encounter with God through energizing contemporary worship, spiritual support, and heartfelt fellowship.

I looked forward to attending Sunday services and was keen to integrate myself into church life. Hence, I joined a weekly small group and became involved in the prayer team.

I don't know why, but at some point, I became increasingly aware of aspects of the church that I disagreed with. These discrepancies were not deal-breakers, yet, they really bothered me.

I endeavoured to be understanding — no church is perfect. However, regardless of how hard I tried, I couldn't let go the foibles of my place of worship. I became prideful, thinking that if it were me at the head of this church, I would do things better. My discontent rose to such an extent that I avoided going to church.

However, I spent a lot of time with God seeking His counsel. Instead of feeling righteously convinced, I felt unsettled in my spirit. I knew deep down that I was being judgmental and rebellious against Him.

In today's Scripture, God waited until Jacob was alone and isolated from his family and worldly acquisitions, in order to confront him with his negative mindset of self-reliance. In the same way, God confronted me one Sunday, as I sat alone at home, bereft of fellowship and spiritual nourishment, to confront me with my self-pride.

Furthermore, just as God wrestled with Jacob through the night to expunge him of his wily nature, so God wrestled with me to free me of my negative mindset towards church. God clearly won — with both Jacob and myself.

Since then, I go to church every week. I am grateful for the blessing of the fellowship that I find there and the innovative ways that the leaders endeavour to reach people both inside and outside of the church with the Word of God. My joy at being a part of this spiritual family has been re-kindled, and I feel at peace.

Although it was a difficult process, I am thankful that God chose to wrestle with me that Sunday, for He has made me a humbler person because of it. It is further proof of His love and dedication to us in being a good Father, and for that, I am grateful.

Is pride holding you back from receiving God's blessings? Maybe, like Jacob, you need God to cleanse and refine you of things that aren't serving you. Spend time alone with God today, and instead of wrestling with Him, ask Him to show you the areas in your life in which you need to practice more humility.

Prayer: Good and precious Father, thank You that You sometimes discipline us with love, in order to free us of those things that cannot serve us, and to teach us to lean on, trust in, and be confident in You, and You alone. Amen.

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About the author:

Madeline Kalu <>
Bochum, Germany

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Madeline, thanks for the testimony and challenge.

    Many thanks for your thoughtful message. it was very inspiring! Blessings!

    Wonderful experience; excellent advice and prayer to which I can fully say Amen.

    Ouch! Thank you, Madeline! Jesus, I Come. … Jesus, I Come!
    Bless you for writing this Madeline, Amen.

    Thank you, Madeline, for your lovely devotional. I found it very, very encouraging. May God richly bless you and your family.

    Oh, my, Madeline! So true. I’ve done the same thing, although I kept attending but with a critical spirit. Thanks for sharing your better solution.

    Hi Madeline, great post. I hope many see it and give church another try. Over the years so many have stopped going and don’t realize how much peace it can bring them in their lives. Blessings to you!

    So glad to hear about this genuinely real battle that brought you up and out of a negative mindset and closer to the God who loves you, Madeline. Thank you for sharing what happened today.

    Dear Madeline:
    Beautifully said my friend! I am learning so much more about you. You’re a very special young woman whom God loves so much. You are also a very gifted writer who communicates her thoughts and feelings wonderfully well. I am so happy we are friends!

    Thank you for the reminder that pride is one of the most pernicious sins and it creeps up on us before we know it. To remember that “Scripture alone, Faith alone, Grace alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone” are still 5 good anchors to help ‘keep us on track,’ so to speak.

    Thank you, Madeline.
    I enjoyed you sharing your experience.
    Truly, God wants us all, and in his terms, regardless of our weaknesses.
    We must listen to what he wants us to do.
    Without question.
    God bless and keep up your faith.

    Hello my Special Friend,
    This is very good and how true those kinds of feelings can take over before we know it and have their negative way with us. So thankful God wrestles with His children and yet is genuine and loving while doing it because He knows our future and all that He has planned for us.
    God bless you and have a great weekend. It is Canada Day weekend coming up.
    Love reading your devotionals.

    Thank you for your open sharing and how you deal with some of our pride and judgmental practices. You certainly have a special way of dealing with some of those needs that we have to consider. Thanks again!
    Thank you again for getting me rereading one of my favorite old books of Dr. Peale. I have finished it and found it to be such a help with all of the points at the end of some of the chapters that I need to review.
    Thank you.

    Dear Madeline,
    …teach us to lean on, trust in, and be confident in You, and You alone. Amen.
    You have made this my prayer today too.
    Keep writing,

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