You Have a New Identity
"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 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's limp 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
- What are the differences in the way God sees you and the way you see yourself?
- How has your new identity in Christ made a visible change in your life?