A New Name

“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.’” - Genesis 32:28
 
 
Today we will wrap up the story of Jacob—a man who’s name quite literally means “trickery or deceitful.” These were labels placed on Jacob from his own family from the time he was born. And the psychological effect of these labels lasted for a very long time.  
 
The good news of the text is that after trying to suppress his trauma for 14 years and run from it, Jacob realizes at the Jabbok River that he cannot run from his past any longer. It is affecting his mind, his heart, and his entire body. It is causing him stress, destroying his relationships, and preventing him from walking into his future.  
 
It is as if he knows that something greater is up ahead, but he cannot possess it until he deals with and heals from the pain that is buried in his past. And in Genesis 32:28, God through the angel, gives him a new name. It’s as if he is finally free from the trauma that has been holding him down.
 
“From now on,” the angel says, “You shall no longer be called Jacob….” Hear this, my friend. You shall no longer be defined by the label they put on you. You shall no longer be limited by the trauma that was inflicted upon you. “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”  
 
Israel means one who has prevailed, one who is victorious, one who is a winner, and overcomer, and for Jacob, that is a new perspective on life. His sense of self-worth and perspective on his future change from the negative word they spoke about him to the new word God was trying to speak over him.
 
And the same is true for you, today. God does not want you to live by the labels other people have given you. He has given you a new name! Claim the story God is writing about you and walk into the destiny He is designing for you. You have prevailed, you are victorious, and you are an overcomer!
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