Then a man came and wrestled with him until just before daybreak. When the man saw that he was not winning the struggle, he hit Jacob on the hip, and it was thrown out of joint. The man said, “Let me go; daylight is coming.” “I won’t, unless you bless me,” Jacob answered. “What is your name?” the man asked. “Jacob,” he answered. The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel.”
Genesis 32:25-28 GNT
I was listening to Briana Babineaux’s single Jacob’s Song on repeat today because it spoke to my heart. Over the last several years I have changed a great deal. In the process, God has pruned me and removed things and relationships that were not fruitful so that the change I was asking Him for could come to pass. I was praying about some of those lost relationships last week and God clearly said, some things should be left in the past. I even thought about the people I thought I could not live without and how God had shown me I could live without them, and that the only person I could not live without was Him. I had to fight to get to this place. I had believed so many lies about myself. I had allowed so many of the behaviors that were not true indicators of who God called me to be to have me be less than that woman. I had embraced the identities of a victim, unlovable, someone to be used and manipulated, perfectionism, compromise, and many other things that did not line up with the truth of who God called me to be. I have to thank God for my baby yet again because it was his conception and life that really made me look those images in the face and shed them and the lies that allowed them to remain attached to me for so many years.
Names are powerful so be careful what you name your children and what you answer to! We know the story of Jacob. His name meant "holder of the heel" or supplanter which means to wrongfully take the place of another. Jacob was a thieving, conniving, con man who cheated his brother out of his birthright. Jacob conned his father on his deathbed out of his brother’s blessing and ended up having to run for his life. Jacob was the same con man that got conned by his uncle out of 14 years of his life by working for the right to marry the woman he loved. After all those years of lying and cheating, Jacob’s story took a turn and changed his identity and family tree.
So after Jacob sends his family ahead of himself in anticipation of meeting his brother Esau, a man comes and wrestles with Jacob. When the man saw he was losing, he decided to hit Jacob in a place that would forever leave him marred, his hip joint. The hip joint is responsible for bearing the weight of the body in standing, walking, sitting, or running. Basically, every time from that point forward, Jacob would remember that battle. That battle left him different, not just physically scarred, but in that battle, Jacob refused to give up until his assailant blessed him. Instead of deceiving and scheming to get the blessing, he actually fought like his life depended on it. In later verses, Jacob acknowledges that this assailant was none other than God himself in human form.
This mystery man asks Jacob his name, and in that instant, changes his name, affirming his new identity and removing the shame of his old identity.
How many of you have identified yourself based on the circumstances you faced? Victim. Orphan. Lonely. Based on how you grew up? Poor. Poverty. Or based on the choices you made? Promiscuous. Lazy. Ignorant. Stupid. Crazy. Irresponsible. Based on what society says? Based on what other people said about you? Won’t amount to anything. Waste of energy. Worthless Regardless of what you called yourself or what you answered to, you can hold on to God and fight for the blessing. Fight for your name to be changed to a child of God, blessing, daughter, son, heir, born again. Worthy. In an instant, God changed Jacob’s whole trajectory and outlook on life by uprooting the old identity and replacing it with the truth. So what will you believe — what God says or what you have believed all these years?