“Your name will no longer be Jacob .... From now on you will be called Israel.” (Genesis 32:28a NLT)
You don’t have to stay the same! In conversion, we’re given a new identity. Look at Jacob in the book of Genesis. Once Jacob confesses his manipulative behavior, God gives him a new identity.
Notice that three things happen:
God gives Jacob a brand new identity (Genesis 32:28). Essentially, God says, “I know you’ve blown it. I know you’re conniving, but I see in you a prince. Beneath all your emotional hang-ups, all your insecurities, all the stuff you don’t want anybody else to know, I see a prince.” God is saying that today to many of us: “Beneath all of your sins and hang-ups, I see a princess/prince. You can be something great. You can be what I made you to be.”
God blesses Jacob/Israel (Genesis 32:29). Deep down, we desperately want God’s blessing. If we want God’s blessing, we have to take the steps God requires of us.
God gave Jacob/Israel a limp (Genesis 32:31). Remember, when they wrestled, God dislocated Jacob’s hip. Jacob walked away with a limp, and it served as a daily reminder to depend upon God.
God does his deepest work in your life when he deals with your identity — who you are and the way you see yourself. You will always tend to act according to the way you think about yourself. So God does his deepest changes in your life by changing the way you see yourself.
He says, “Let me show you how I see you.” When you see yourself the way God sees you, it’s going to change your life.
Talk About It
Have you been asking God to bless you? If so, how have you made yourself available to hear his instructions so that you can take the steps he requires of you?
How do you look different when you see yourself through God’s point of view?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.