by Rick Warren — May 31, 2021
From You Make Me Crazy
“Your name will no longer be Jacob . . . From now on you will be called Israel.”
Genesis 32:28 (NLT)
You don’t have to stay the same! In fact, when you become a follower of Jesus, you can’t stay the same. God gives you a new identity.
The book of Genesis paints a clear picture of how God can change someone. Much of Jacob’s early life was characterized by deceit—but once he confessed his manipulative behavior, God gave him a new identity.
During a significant night that Jacob spent in God’s presence, three things happened:
God gave Jacob a brand-new identity. “Your name will no longer be Jacob . . . From now on you will be called Israel”(Genesis 32:28 NLT). Essentially, God said, “I know you’ve blown it. I know you’re conniving. But—beneath all your emotional hang-ups, all your insecurities, all the stuff you don’t want anybody else to know—I see in you a prince.” God may be saying that to you today: “Beneath all of your sins and hang-ups, I see royalty. You can be something great. You can be what I made you to be.”
God blessed Jacob. “Then he blessed Jacob there” (Genesis 32:29 NLT). Deep down, each person desperately wants God’s blessing. And if you want God’s blessing, take the steps God requires of you.
God gave Jacob a limp. “The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip”(Genesis 32:31 NLT). God and Jacob had spent much of the night in a wrestling match, and God had dislocated Jacob’s hip. Jacob’s limp served as a daily reminder to depend on God.
God does his deepest work in your life when he deals with your identity—the person you truly are as opposed to the way you see yourself. The way you think about yourself dictates how you act. So God makes his deepest changes in your life by changing the way you see yourself—by showing you how he sees you.
And when you see yourself the way God sees you, it’s going to change your life.