Antagonism is the law of life! Nowhere is this struggle more of a reality than in our relationship with our triune Holy God. It is not called the fight of faith for nothing. The minute we are “born of the spirit,” the battle is joined. Flesh and spirit begin that fight to the death and the final outcome has far-reaching implications. So much that Paul says if by the Spirit, you kill your sinful actions, you will live (Romans 8:13).

We read in the Old Testament that, for Jacob, his great antagonist was not his brother Esau, but the sly Jacob within. That was why, in his great wrestling match with the angel, he was asked, “What is your name?” In essence, the heavenly messenger was saying, “What is your character?” Jacob had finally come face to face with himself and it was not a pretty sight. Although he was industrious and had other praiseworthy characteristics, he had tricked and lied to get what he wanted. God showed him that his quest for the blessing and dew of heaven had been tarnished by the slime of the flesh.

What is so wonderful about this story is that it is so true for all of us. And even though not everyone shares the same struggles as Jacob, we realize that we are just as corrupt. “What is your name?” Like Jacob, if we hold on and confess our sinfulness, he will not go until he blesses us and makes us one of the, Israel of God, great wrestlers and soldiers of the Lord's army, holy and majestic. Hallelujah!

Major Bill Kean is the corps officer in beautiful Triton, NL. His weekly coffee doodles complement his passion for preaching and teaching.

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