I finished Max Lucado’s book “Drawing Near,” this morning and one of the last stories he wrote (the book is divided into little tidbit subjects that are a few pages long for readers to discover different qualities of Christ through the author’s experiences and also stories from the bible that the author analyzes in relational detail) was on Jacob. He also discussed the tower of Babel. The similarities between the two stories were that the people in the story of the tower of Babel wanted to make a name for themselves and also that the heart of Jacob’s problem with deceit was that he wanted to make a name for himself…he wanted God’s blessing. The fact that he wanted to make a name for himself and always felt that the ends justified the means, even if it meant being deceitful, ultimately brought him to a head-to-head battle with God. God is just. God is merciful. Indeed God did want to bless Jacob, because He loved him, not because Jacob’s behavior or performance deserved it. They wrestled, God blessed Jacob…but left him with a reminder…a wounded hip…to remember his wrestling match with God.
AND GOD CHANGED HIS NAME.
Have you ever wanted to change your name? Have you ever wanted to have a distinguished name or a flawless name or to come from a line of heritage with flawless characters? Well, the truth is none of us are flawless, only Christ. And that our names are not ours to change. It is the Lord that calls, it is the Lord that changes.
I think I fall into the trap of wanting to make a name for myself perhaps. My desire to have a purpose-driven life for Christ sometimes gets confused in me wanting to have a good reputation or wanting to achieve for my own sake. When God tests me in this pursuit, I am able to see my true colors.
I pray today that this year is one that is led by God, called by God, and confirmed by God in everything I do. It is He who changes us, yes even our name, but certainly our character.