I was thinking about the power of words and how they stick to you like glue! Colossians 4:6 NIV
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. My kids love to hear how we chose each of their names and what they meant to us! Issac and Rebekah named their twins, the oldest name is Esau and the youngest Jacob, the youngest was holding his brothers heel/foot! The name sounds good to us but the meaning of the name Jacob isn’t good! It means deceiver. This probably impacted his whole life in a big way especially when his father favored his older brother too! Genesis 25:28 NIV,”Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” If you hear something enough, you might believe it and live it out in your life! I remember the words spoken to me today and even remember what I felt at the time! Proverbs 18:21 NIV, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” We need to speak life into our children’s lives and teach them who they are in Christ, so their hearts will be guarded by the truth! Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 10:11a “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life”Proverbs 12:18b “The tongue of the wise brings healing.”
In Genesis 32:24-31 NIV, After Jacob sent his family ahead, he was alone and everything caught up to him! He was alone with no distractions and soon in a wrestling match with God. It was time for Jacob to put His faith in God by taking the first steps to reconcile with his brother! In Genesis 32:24-31 NIV “So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?””Jacob,”he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?”Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.”Jacob was alone, where he had to face his past! Fear and anxiety was creeping in all at once. A man wrestled him until day break. How many nights have we laid awake alone struggling with our thoughts trying to figure things out on our own? How many times have you prayed knowing what you need to do but don’t! Jacob tried to look for the quick path or another way easier than facing his past!
After Jacob wrestled with God, his name was changed from Jacob to Israel! Hosea 12:3 NIV, “In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel; as a man he struggled with God.” The old way is gone! He is no longer a liar manipulator or deceiver! Instead of tricking his way through his life with family and friends, he would seek God’s ways and have faith trusting God has everything under control! He surrendered his control over to God! This is powerful to me because God is teaching us what he is doing with us as we live our faith! We need to live out not just knowing what God can do because we have seen it in other peoples lives, but believing in what you know to be true about God, is also for you too! Trusting your life in God’s hands, by humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God and surrendering and letting go of control! God is working in all of our hearts individually and lovingly works through the junk in our lives that wasn’t from him! We need to be challenged, pressured, uncomfortable to poke at our flesh, so we can we changed and be led by the Spirit. We need this because it’s how the junk is filters out of us, so we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind that comes from God through the Bible! I can see a difference in the way Jacob prayed to God. Jacob said “If” as though he didn’t know this was true for him too! Do we say If? Do we pray as though he is far away? Jacob was raised learning all what God has done when he was a kid. But did he truly trust God? But he had to chose for himself to trust God with his life and believe God loves him too. God is right here with you through all circumstances in your life. It might feel distant but really God is always there! In Genesis 31:42 NIV, “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” In Genesis 32:9 NIV, “Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, LORD, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,” In Genesis 48:15 NIV, “Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, How powerful this is where Jacob says, the God who has been and still is to this day, my shepherd!! We might not feel like it but God is and always will be there working things out according to His will, good for your life! It won’t always feel good but it is. Romans 8:28 NIV, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
As we seek God through reading the Bible, we are being transformed by renewing our mind! (Roman 12:2) God is doing a new and wonderful change in us and is spiritually renewing us day by day! We need to humbly allow Him to changes us and truly live outside our comfort zone as we desperately depend on Him. He is making all things new as he lovely transforms our minds and hearts to be more like His son Jesus! Our names don’t change after accepting Jesus as our Lord and savior, but we do become a new creation! He is our father and we are his children! We will receive a new name in the future! Revelation 2:17 NIV, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
God is doing something beautiful and new in me, because the old is gone! My identity is now, in Christ! The Holy Spirit is living inside my heart because I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior! Now, I’m a new creation, led by the Hoy Spirit! The old me is not there anymore! 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NIV, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” However, we (sisters and brothers in Christ) must be on guard and fill our hearts and minds with God’s living words! We need to be in right relationships that will encourage and support you, who are willing to tell the truth in love! When we find ourselves under pressure because either time is running out or our expectations aren’t being meant, we could fall back into our old self! Jacob is now Israel which mean God fights! In our struggles, We need to remember God fights for us! We just need to let go of our old ways of doing things and trust God’s ways! He is doing new and beautiful things inside us and others! God knows the hearts of everyone! Once Jacob name was changed to Israel, He was no longer led by fear! He was a transformed by God! He chose to go ahead and reconcile with his brother. Fear causes us to do things and see things in a distorted perspective! We are not to fear for our life and what people can do! Jacob feared Esau and what he could do! Instead of trust God has everything in his hands! This is why we need to cling to Jesus and trust God has it worked out already! How many times does God show us he has everything worked out time after time, and wrestle with God instead of letting go of control and chose to have faith in our Heavenly Father! This is why we see God reminding Jacob that his name is Israel! Genesis 35:9-10 NIV, “After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. “So he named him Israel.” We need to remember who we are in Christ as we face the world! We need to cling to God’s living word to withstand the tricks the enemy tries to trip us with!