Names are important identifiers. We respond when we hear our name even if the person saying it is calling someone else.
Another way to ask someone “what is your name?” is to say, “what do you call yourself?” Before answering we should think, because most people are imprisoned by their perceptions.
A person’s perception is true to them even if what they believe to be true is untrue. The way we view ourselves, other people or our circumstances determines how we react or respond to them, and ourselves.
Jacob’s name means “one who supplants”. For centuries people have called Jacob “deceiver”. His name does not mean deceiver, so how did he get stuck with the perception that he was a deceiver?
Jacob, along with his mom Rebecca, resorted to deception in order to obtain the prophetic promise God gave Rebecca while Esau and Jacob were in her womb. “Two peoples are in your womb and the older will serve the younger.”
There, do you see it? God named Jacob “supplanter.” We are who God calls us the moment He calls us.
That one misstep created an allusion in his own mind along with the people in his sphere of influence that he was a deceiver. This created a world of deception where his future father-in-law treated him deceitfully. Our perception of ourselves can create a reality for us that God never intended for us to be in. God causes all things to work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. GOD DOES NOT CAUSE ALL THINGS TO HAPPEN!
Have you been living out of a reality that is really not real? In other words, what do you call yourself?
Do you view your identity by your mistakes?
Jacob’s time of running was coming to a close and he felt the tug to return home, back to the land of his promises in God. On the way back He has an encounter with the Angel of the Lord. This was no ordinary angel. It was the preincarnate Christ. They get into a wrestling match and eventually this Angel says to him, “What is your name?” Listen, when God asks us a question He is not looking for information He does not know.
What this Angel was asking Jacob is this – “What do you call yourself?” I believe this Angel was trying to get Jacob to see who he really was, who he was from conception and through the gestation period. Jacob, said, “My name is Jacob.” That is what he said but what he meant is, “My name is deceiver. I am a deceiver.”
The Angel said, “No longer will you be called Jacob.” Not because there was a problem with the name. There was a problem with Jacob’s perception of what that name meant. He lost sight of his true identity. He believed a lie about himself. He believed he was a deceiver and because he believed he was a deceiver he could not believe he deserved God’s favor.
The Angel said, “You will no longer struggle with your identity because I am giving you a new name. I rename you Israel.”
Israel means “a prince, a overcomer. I hope you get this! This angel pointed him to his beginning in the womb when God named him supplanter. In the context of that declaration God was saying that Jacob was a prince and as such had all the benefits, blessings and resources that a prince was due.
What’s in your name? What are you drawing upon or withdrawing out of your name?
Jacob’s encounter with this Angel was at a river called Jabbok. Jabbok means “an emptying.” Until we are empty of all our misconceptions of who we are we can never be filled with heaven’s realities. As long as we misconceive we can never fully conceive.
Are you ready to release who you or others think and say you are?
Find your Jabbok river.
Rivers are great because what is dumped there travels away from where it was dumped.
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury
Positioned For Purpose
And A Hisstorymaker