Have you ever introduced yourself to someone, gave them your full name, greeted them and then immediately they respond, “Now, who are you?” They are not asking you to repeat your name again. They are in essence asking, “Who are your parents?”, “Where are you from?”,”Who are your Kinfolks” (that’s country for relatives). They want to know who you belong to. Then after all of the questions and answers, they seemingly now know who you are, right? Who we belong to says a lot to people. My 5 boys will never be sure of their individual names because they have been forever labeled…”The Lewis Boys”. With that comes some responsibility. People know who their parents are and what we expect of them. They hold them to a certain expectation because they know who they belong to. Shouldn’t that be how our life is in Christ? When people know that we belong to Jesus, shouldn’t there be a level of expectation from our life? The challenge is that many of us do not know who we are. I’m sure you know your name, but do you know who you belong to. And how does who you belong to change the way you do life? Read Genesis 32:22-31 (ESV)…
22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.
In this scripture we read of the story of Jacob and his life transforming experience with God. What can we learn from this scripture?
We must be persistent in our pursuit of Christ-
The moment we give our life to Christ should be a “name changing moment”-
Your encounter with Christ should make you walk different-
In Genesis 25, we begin to see the story of Jacob in scripture. Jacob was a “player”. He knew how to play the game. He cheated Esau out of his birthright, he played Isaac to get the family blessing, and he played Laban to get the best sheep. Not quite the glowing reputation. In Genesis 32, Jacob is preparing to meet Esau for the first time since he stole the family blessing from him. Jacob is having to face the decisions from his past that he was trying to run from. Listen, you can never run far enough or long enough to change your past, Only God can restore that. Jacob was scared for himself and his family.
“Unaddressed issues in our lives only leave us fearful and paralyzed.“
O, but isn’t the grace of God amazing. As we continue to read Genesis 32 and 33. We see how Jacob had a life changing moment with god and how God restored his relationship with Esau. Before his life changing experience with God, Jacob’s name defined him. His name in Hebrew meant “supplanter”, deceiver. How appropriate, right? Isn’t it wonderful though, how a moment in the presence of God can change EVERYTHING? In Genesis 32, verse 28, Jacob’s name is changed to Israel, which means, “God will prevail”. What a profound name and promise. When I got married, I had to change my name on all of my legal documents. I was no longer Wendy Stallings, but now I was Wendy S. Lewis. I can remember getting my new Social Security card and loved seeing my new married name. My social security number, given to me at birth had not changed. When I said “I do”, my DNA did not change. What had changed was who I was now in relationship and union with. You have got to get this! From the moment you were conceived, you were created in His image for a purpose. But many of us have attached ourselves to things that have impeded our union with Christ. We cannot be married to our former life and be in relationship with God. We must have a “wresting match” that ends in God being the victor. We must declare that our old life no longer has a hold on us and we are a bride of Christ. What things in your life are hindering your "Name Change?" As you read the scriptures for this week, let God remind you Just WHO YOU ARE. You are a child of the most high king, created in his image and designed for a purpose. Let this give you a renewed excitement about what God has planned for you!
Monday - John 1 : 12-13
Tuesday - 2 Corinthians 5 : 17-21
Wednesday - Romans 8 : 12-17
Thursday - 1 Peter 2 : 7-10
Friday - Romans 5 : 1-11