The Statesman Wrestles with God

Download a PDF of this essay

At the heart of our desire to be Statesmen, rather than simply politicians, is understanding our Creator’s desired role in our lives and decisions.

At stake is our ability to move from a view of the likelihood of God’s existence to complete confidence in Him and the sense that He is our closest, most-trusted friend. The issue is our gaining knowledge of Him, unseen though He is with physical eyes, employing our attempts limited by our five senses.

Fortunately, He is even more eager for us to know Him than we are to know Him. In the midst of this journey on the part of our fellow humans is His expression to our forefathers:

“Test Me in this way,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure (Malachi 3:10).

Our Lord spoke this in a specific context. Nevertheless, it reveals a principle underlying God’s effort for us to know Him and trust Him – His challenge for us to put Him to the test. He is not afraid of the challenge and confident that if we put Him to the test, we will gain in trust for Him.

What sets apart the God who reigns over the universe from every other god mankind may worship is His challenge for us to put Him to the test. In general, religion expects its adherents to blindly trust, but the one true God realizes our need as finite physical beings to wrestle with Him in an effort to gain confidence in Him. The challenge for us human beings, who tend to examine employing our five senses, is to avoid failing to ‘see’ our infinite God. As we consider this issue, it is important to remember that our Creator takes active steps to assist us in this process. The French physicist and mathematician of the 17th century, Blaise Pascal, reminds us:

There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.

He has planted a desire for Him within us that opens our spiritual ‘eyes’ to look for Him and be able to see Him.

One of our early forefathers, Job, wrestled with God as he faced challenges imposed not by God, but by our evil adversary. After wrestling with God for years over these challenges, he finally exclaimed to God:

I had only heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes (Job 42:5).

He was so convinced of God’s good hand upon his life that he had the same confidence as if he had seen with physical eyes.

Our God asks us to put Him to the test at each stage of our journey as we learn to trust Him and know Him intimately as our closest friend.

In my own journey, I have sensed Him asking me to put Him to the test in small steps of trust, recognizing my human weakness, then to wait in expectation for Him to answer and show Himself strong on my behalf. As the journey has continued, He asked me to trust Him for larger issues, including where my life depended upon it. As He has promised each of us, He has never failed me. I have failed Him, but He has never failed me.

It is especially relevant that God challenged one of our forefathers, Joshua, just as he was installed as head of nation:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

A few centuries later, as one king (David) was handing the throne to his son (Solomon), he admonished him with these words:

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. (1 Chronicles 28:20).

This is consistent with each generation teaching the next generation what we have learned about our Creator. As we move forward in this journey, let us act on God’s challenge to our forefathers, as well as the testimony of all who have put Him to the test, and upon its significance to us on our journey:

“Test Me in this way,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure (Malachi 3:10).

Where do we begin in testing God? We are admonished:

Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for (1 John 5:14-15).

A good place to begin in testing Him is understanding His promises to us as revealed in His instruction book, and then testing Him with regard to those promises.

As we proceed to test His love for us, let us view His challenge as His immense love for us and remember that He desires our friendship even more than we desire His. Hence, we are reminded that He desires us to address Him affectionately as, paraphrasing, “Dearest Father” (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:15).


Can I say that I view Almighty God as my closest friend? Can I address Him with the intimacy of “Dearest Father”?

Is there a next step of trust I could take as He desires to reveal Himself to me?

Do I recognize that His guidance in my life could help me to be a better shepherd to the people, thereby more of a Statesman?