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Thursday, May 31, 2018

God Makes Me New And Is Always Developing Me

In review of Genesis 32:28 it says, "Your name will no longer be Jacob", the man told him. "From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won." (NLT).

Today’s verse come from Genesis 32:22-28 and reflects Jacob wrestling with God. I’m told that Jacob sent his family and possessions across the Jabbok River. After this Jacob was all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob's hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!" But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."  The man changed Jacob's name to Israel, because he had fought with God and with men and have won.  

The passage indicates that Jacob continued this wrestling match all night just to be blessed. He was persistent. God encourages persistence in all areas of my life, including the spiritual. I should consider where in my spiritual life do I need more persistence? Strong character develops as I struggle through tough conditions.

God gave many of the Bible people new names. Their new names were symbols of how God had changed their lives. Here I see how Jacob's character had changed. Jacob, the ambitious deceiver, became Israel, the one who had struggled with God and with people and had overcome. He was learning to live in an ongoing relationship with the God who would fight for him.

What this teaches me is that I don’t have to stay the same! In conversion, I was given a new identity. Look at Jacob in the book of Genesis. Once Jacob confesses his manipulative behavior, God gives him a new identity.

I can see 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: “Beneath all of my 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, I desperately want God’s blessing. If I want God’s blessing, I need to take the steps God requires of me.

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 my life when he deals with my identity, who I am and the way I see myself. What I find is that I will always tend to act according to the way I think about myself. So God does his deepest changes in my life by changing the way I see myself.

He says, “Let me show you how I see you.” When I can learn to see myself the way God sees me, it’s going to change my life.

Bottom Line:
Character and faith is built as you struggle with things. Persistence is key.

What this means to me:
Often to build my character and faith, I may struggle with situations, people and even God. Persistence is the Key.

In summary, I'm learning that God will encourage persistence in all areas of my life. Strong character develops as I struggle through tough conditions and situations. God has given me a new identity. Even though I blow it, God sees beneath this and sees me for who He made me and wants me to be. I need to take the steps God requires of me. Little pains and annoyances in my life can serve as a daily reminder for me to depend on him.  

This morning Father I thank you for your presence in my life and for the way you want me to grow through situation and circumstances. I pray for your assistance and continued work in my life through my struggles and circumstances, help me to understand who you have made me to be and what you are developing in me. I ask that you help me prioritize and organize the work load in front of me. Also help me deal lovingly and rightly with people around me today. In your Son Jesus name I pray, Amen!