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Session 6

Why it’s important that you wrestle down your past

Read: Genesis 32:22-32

Genesis 32 describes a turning point in Jacob’s life. Jacob had deceived his brother, Esau, into giving up his birthright and received their father’s blessing in Esau’s place. As a result, Esau had vowed to kill Jacob. 

Jacob had every reason to fear as he prepared to face his estranged brother. Jacob’s internal conflict and external struggle were more than nervous jitters. Genesis 32 shows a man wrestling with the Lord and making peace with his past. 

Jacob’s struggle with God reminds us that our past sin does not have to preclude our future potential. What Jacob did to Esau was wrong but that didn’t stop him from receiving the Lord’s blessing.

Like Jacob, we overcome our past by facing it, repenting of it, and submitting the future. There is no resolution in burying the past. Without the struggle and his own recognition of sin, Jacob never becomes Israel or receives God’s blessing.

Sometimes, group leaders have to be the first to get real. And like Jacob, the candor may be painful. 

The good news is God has grace upon grace for us. While we might see humility and confession as a sign of weakness, Jesus says the opposite is true: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Jesus’ power in us is strongest when we are weakest. 

Jacob believed that in order to receive a blessing, he had to take it from his brother. The true blessing was on the other side of confession with the Lord and the acceptance of God’s grace. Likewise, some of our greatest blessings will come on the other side of a hard lesson. The question is whether we’re willing to do the work to wrestle it down.  

Reflect:

  • Are you held captive by an event in your past?
  • Are there any problems/sins you are trying to resolve on your own apart from Christ?
  • Can you celebrate any areas where Jesus has overcome?

1

Who does God say you are?

Who does God say you are?

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2

Worry less about being able and focus more on being available

Worry less about being able and focus more on being available

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3

What to do when everyone has an opinion about group

What to do when everyone has an opinion about group

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4

You can be patient, even when you don’t feel like it

You can be patient, even when you don’t feel like it

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5

Stop trying to do it all

Stop trying to do it all

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6

Why it’s important that you wrestle down your past

Why it’s important that you wrestle down your past

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7

What happens when we stop fighting back

What happens when we stop fighting back

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8

Annoyed? The solution starts with you

Annoyed? The solution starts with you

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9

Do we really need to worry about confession?

Do we really need to worry about confession?

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10

How to experience the freedom you long for

How to experience the freedom you long for

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11

God wants to speak to you and through you

God wants to speak to you and through you

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12

The best way to fight worthless talk

The best way to fight worthless talk

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13

Are you hearing from God? (And how to know if it’s God)

Are you hearing from God? (And how to know if it’s God)

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14

Who are you leading people to?

Who are you leading people to?

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15

Are you ready to protect your people?

Are you ready to protect your people?

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16

Everyone’s eyes are on you

Everyone’s eyes are on you

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17

The best way to lead others is to serve others

The best way to lead others is to serve others

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18

“Can I?” isn’t the best question

“Can I?” isn’t the best question

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19

You have the power to love people wall

You have the power to love people wall

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20

How to sacrifice like Jesus does

How to sacrifice like Jesus does

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21

Where to find rest for a weary soul

Where to find rest for a weary soul

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22

When you feel like you just can’t go any further

When you feel like you just can’t go any further

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23

What does a good shepherd do?

What does a good shepherd do?

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24

To care for the group, go after the one

To care for the group, go after the one

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25

Do you have what it takes?

Do you have what it takes?

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26

Why leaders are called to be shepherds

Why leaders are called to be shepherds

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27

How to know you’re a leader

How to know you’re a leader

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28

What does a thriving community look like?

What does a thriving community look like?

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