Today’s Bible Verse

I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.

Genesis 32:30

A New Name, A New Story

One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to admit our faults.  It’s much easier to tell ourselves that life’s challenges come from without and not from within, that our problems are not our own, and that they originate from the people, environment, or circumstances that surround us.  That is the lie that we tell ourselves – it is this perfected lie that keeps us in denial of the truth, deceived about who we are, who we may have become, and where we are headed if we refuse to change. 

Too many of us have become accustomed to doing just that – lying to ourselves and arrogantly denying the truth; so much so, that it becomes a defense mechanism and the very open door that permits us to continue deceiving ourselves so that we can, in turn, better deceive others.  It is as if we intuitively believe that if we can first convince ourselves, then we’ll be more effective at convincing others.  

And so it is with our secret faults and secret sins; we tell ourselves that our sins are tolerable, that they really aren’t as bad as they seem; and with pride in our hearts, we refuse to expose our own suffering, and in turn, we empower the sin, further falling into the cycle of hiding our transgressions from others, only because we have become experts at hiding them from ourselves.

Jacob was like this.  He, like many of us, had become very good at hiding. Throughout his life, he had been known as a schemer.  He became a master manipulator, controlling people and exploiting situations to get his way. But finally, in Genesis 32:22-30, while engaged in a scuffle with the Lord, God confronted him, wounded him, and for the first time in his life, Jacob was forced to recognize and admit who he had become and who he now was.

In the Bible, every name has a significant meaning.  Your name says something about your identity and your character.  Jacob’s name identified him as a “deceiver,” but during his skirmish with God, something in him changed.  God wounded his pride, humbled his heart, and caused Jacob to confront the hidden things in his life and finally admit to himself and to God, “Who he was and who he had become” (Gen 30:27).  

When Jacob confessed his name before the Lord, it became his moment of self-reflection as well as his hour of repentance.  All of his hidden lies were revealed, and all of his denials were removed.  It was in this encounter with the angel of the Lord that Jacob finally came to realize the absolute necessity of holding onto and clinging to God.  It was as if Jacob knew that he would surely die if he spent one more second under the weight of his sins and the pressures and influences of the world.  And so he held on to God and demanded that He bless him because he knew that if he let go of his connection with God, he would suffer affliction and die. (Marques Farmer)

Change My Story

“Who are you and who have you become?”  If God were to ask that question of you today, what would your response be?  For any of us, answering these two questions sincerely will require humility, honesty, openness, and transparency; but I believe that when we do so, it unlocks the door for us to experience sincere, true repentance and a genuine relationship with the Jesus, and for God to bless us, like He did for Jacob, with a NEW identity, a NEW name, and a CHANGED story.

Today’s Declaration

Thank You, my Lord and my God, for sparing my life, for humbling my heart, removing my pride, and opening the door to REPENTANCE in my LIFE!  I am THANKFUL that because of You, the lies of the enemy have been exposed and silenced; secret faults and secret sins in my life have been revealed; and through HUMILITY & REPENTANCE, I NOW have a NEW identity, a NEW name, and a NEW story!

Today’s Bible Reading

  • Old Testament: 1 Kings 17-18; Psalms 119:81-88
  • New Testament: Luke 4:1-12; Ephesians 5:22-33