Altar Vision Devotional - Week 7 What is the connection between surrender and mission?


Decoration image for quotation

22The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” 27So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket, because he struck Jacob.

Genesis 32:22–32


Jacob was a man who had been promised greatness even before his birth. However, the events leading to Gen 32:22-32 depict a man who, even though he knew of God’s promises, had not yet surrendered to God.

Jacob had not surrendered to God when he deceived His father for the blessing of the firstborn.

Jacob had not surrendered to God when he worked under laban to win his daugthers in marriage.

Jacob had not surrendered to God when he worked for his uncle Laban’s flocks. Laban, it turns out, may be less deceitful than Jacob - yet God blesses Jacob and prospers him greatly.

Jacob had not yet surrendered to God when he ultimately flees from Laban. Yet, even during the days of his fleeing, first from his brother Esau and then from his uncle Laban (Gen 28-32), God reassures Jacob of both promise and presence, and keeps a watch over him, and yet, Jacob had not yet surrendered to God. Jacob is a man living in fear, self-reliance, and deceitfulness — and in doing so, he has been resisting God.

It is here in Gen 32:22-32, faced with the fearful prospect of meeting his brother again, afraid for his life and the lives of his family members, that Jacob ends up “alone.” In solitude he wrestles with God (even though he does not know that at the beginning), he finally surrenders. In that encounter, Jacob is finally broken, stripped of his false self. In that encounter, he learns to cling to the only one who can truly bless. Reflecting on this incident, the prophet Hosea says “Jacob wept and sought God’s favor” (Hosea 12:4). In that encounter Jacob is given a new name Israel which signifies a new identity, a new belonging, a new vocation — a new character is being forged through this furnace of transformation. In that encounter, he is blessed — finally ready to participate in God’s mission to bless the world. When Jacob does finally meet his brother Esau, they meet in peace. Until he was touched by God and learned what it means to be surrendered and consecrated to God, Jacob was not ready to enter the promised land. What was true for Jacob and for God’s people in the Bible is true for us — We cannot move forward on mission with God until we have first surrendered to Him.

God is inviting us into a place of encounter with Him, a place of brokenness where we are transformed, renamed, re-formed into His image and incorporated in His mission — blessed to be a blessing to the nations. The 18thC pastor-theologian, Jonathan Edwards writes, “God did not need Jacob’s wrestling with him in order to make him willing to bless him. God was willing before and came to him, with the design to bless him.”1 When we realize God’s desire and mission to bless His world, we can freely surrender to His gracious rule in our lives. “The way to obtain a blessing of God is not to let Him go except he bless us.”2


Take five minutes in silence and ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas of your life where you are resisting God.


Jesus, your word says that you have made me a new creation. I want to live as a new creation. I know that is a process, but please work more deeply in me so that I can be completely yours. Set me free from fear, distrust of you and selfishness so that I can be fully engaged with your mission.


  1. The Blessing of God: Previously Unpublished Sermons of Jonathan Edwards, ed. [back]
  2. Ibid. [back]

Share this page

About the author

Profile photo for Sandeep Jadhav

Sandeep Jadhav

Sandeep is originally from India and came to Canada in 2006 to study at Regent College. He graduated from the MDiv and ThM programs at Regent College, and is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry at Carey Theological College, Vancouver. Prior to this, Sandeep spent thirteen years as a Missionary with YWAM India where he led training schools, conducted staff development and was part of the National Legal Forum. As a Pastor teacher, he is called to disciple, to help others grow in their faith in Christ and equip them to participate in God’s Mission in this world.

He has a passion for worship and has served as a worship leader. Sandeep also has a desire to help people navigate their sense of identity in Christ, their belongingness to His Church, and being His followers within a multicultural context. He is married to Sunnyu Kim from South Korea, who was a missionary with YWAM in India, and they have two sons.


Series: Altar Vision

See all
Event Recap

Missions Fest Vancouver 2020 Wrap-up

A short recap of the 2020 Missions Fest Vancouver conferenceRead more Read more...


Altar Vision Devotional - Week 10

What is the connection between surrender and unity?Read more Read more...


Altar Vision Devotional - Week 9

Surrender, no matter what!Read more


Altar Vision Devotional - Week 8

How is surrender a spiritual discipline?Read more

More on Mission Central

Random entries from


Altar Vision Devotional - Week 1

What does the Christian idea of surrender mean? (Why surrender to God?)Read more Read more...


Acquainted With Grief

"Being Christ-like must then involve, at least in some part, our willingness to acquaint ourselves with grief."Read more Read more...


Relational Discipleship: Hard to Measure But Worth Every Moment

Discipling must begin with an incarnational relationship.Read more


The DNA of Multiplication

Groups multiplied in the villages to 3,353 believers... less than 7 years after we had begun.Read more Read more...

Random entries from


Consecration: A Seed for Revolution

Consecration is the groundwork needed to receive a fuller revelation of Jesus and surrender to JesusRead more Read more...


United in Prayer

Jesus would have said this often as it is at the very heart of the Israelite identity and prayer life.Read more Read more...



Sometimes we have selective hearing. Consider the tension between hearing and doing, and hearing and waiting—the issue of timing.Read more Read more...


Pray, Give, and Go

A look at how mission has changed (or hasn't) since the 1960s. What is needed for mission to thrive today?Read more Read more...