Genesis 32:28 “And he said , your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
You know the Kool-Aid in the tin that has the sugar already in; all that’s left to do is add water? Well, the water just ruined it, so as a kid I skipped that one and only step and ate the dry mix instead. Like most children I loved having sweets, one of my all-time favorites however was frosting. It doesn’t fill or add nutritional value to my body. It just tastes so good for the few moments it’s in my mouth. All that sweetness leaves as quickly as it comes.
Christ came to bring us our 'cake' by restoring to us our identity as sons and daughters of God. A classic example of this is found in the story of how God changed Jacob to Israel. Jacob depicts something that I tend to forget so as I remind myself allow me to share it with you.
While Jacob was wrestling with God he refused to let go until God blessed him. Now at this point the story reveals that Jacob had two wives, sons, servants, cattle etc. (sweet right?) He was basically a wealthy man; wouldn’t you call that blessed? What more could anyone ask for? He knew that though he had A LOT, the true blessing was in who he could BE.
God changed his name and his appetite was satisfied. He would no longer be a deceiver but Israel. He struggled with God and man, but overcame. This is what it means to be an Israelite, a child of God. Until your character is blessed, all other tokens are just frosting without a cake.
Even wicked hands that are diligent prosper with spouses, children and material possessions, notoriety etc. But the wealth of the wicked is transferred to the righteous, to those who overcome with God and man, whose blessings flow from a blessed identity and faith in it.
In Revelation we find short messages specifically addressing, ‘the one who overcomes’. This is what Christ desires for us! Those who conquer and overcome with man and God, like Jacob, will experience true prosperity. A new name and character with incomparable benefits awaits us.
Grace Taylor is a Bahamian writer, singer and songwriter currently living in Beijing, China.
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