Be Who God Made You To Be

Ben CerulloBy Ben Cerullo5 Minutes

Have you ever been convinced that you know what God wants, so you decide to make it happen? Most everyone has made that mistake more than once – and the results are usually the same: disaster. When I’m tempted to make things happen, I pause and spend some time with Jacob in the book of Genesis.

Jacob’s Destiny

Jacob’s parents had begged God for a child, but Rebekah was confused by the painful discomfort of her pregnancy and asked God, “What is happening?” He answered: ‘Two nations are in your womb; and the separation of two nations has begun in your body…and the older shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23 AMP).

From the time of her children’s births, Rebekah worked to fulfill the words of God – and so did Jacob. During the delivery, the second baby reached out and grabbed the heel of the first baby, who would be named Esau.

That action, coupled with God’s prophetic words, earned him the name Jacob, which means grabber or supplanter. He would spend most of the first ten decades (100 years!) of his life doing all he could do to bring about God’s good plans.

Jacob’s Saving Grace

Not much went well for Jacob in those years. His best efforts created family tensions and heartaches. But through it all, Jacob had one special characteristic that kept him moving toward God’s destiny for him: Jacob cared deeply about the God of Isaac and Abraham.

He just didn’t know Him personally yet…but God knew Jacob and never left his side. Every difficulty he encountered shaped him into the man he was meant to be and prepared him for his destiny as Israel – the father of God’s chosen people.

Jacob’s Transformation

Bible scholars say Jacob was about 97 years old when he headed back to the Promised Land. Knowing he deserved his brother’s wrath, Jacob sent gifts ahead to soften Esau’s heart. After dispatching his wives and children to a safer location, Jacob found himself alone with God. It isn’t until we do business with God that our lives truly change. Scripture says Jacob wrestled with Him until daybreak – refusing to stop until he received a blessing.

It was then that God asked him, “What is your name?” In other words, Will you own up to the way you’ve lived all these years? And Jacob answered honestly…I am Jacob (a conniver, a grabber). When ugly truths are exposed, the light of God immediately transforms them! God replied:

Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel [Prince of God]; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed (Genesis 32:28).

Your Destiny

God knew you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13; Jeremiah 1:5), and He made plans for you (Ephesians 2:10). But the plans of God require the hand of God. Will you take time to seek His face so you can better understand His amazing plans for you? He wants to give you everything you need to fulfill your destiny. Power and provision are part of His plans – are you ready to receive them?

But one final lesson from Jacob/Israel. Even after his transformational encounter, Israel, the prince of God, sometimes lived as Jacob, the grabber. That’s a danger for every one of us. Treasuring our identity in Christ is the way we protect our inheritance and live out our destiny.

Friend, always remember, you can’t walk with God and still live the way you’ve always lived. You are transformed. Do things God’s way, and get ready for His blessings! I promise you that His plans are better than your own.