Much like Jacob (whose hip had been put out by the angel) we must realize that we cannot ‘prevail’ in our own ‘natural’ strength. AT THIS POINT, Jacob was changed physically. He was brought to a place where he either had to lean on the new name that God had given him and what God now called him, or spend the rest of his days limping through life trying to ‘make it’ using his old supplanting tricks… He had gotten to the bottom of his ‘trick hat’.
THIS end point to self, is the place we must come to so that God can change us and call us by a new name… Forever setting the seal on His promises concerning us. AT THIS POINT, something must be taken away by God. The ‘taking away’ is not meant to disable us, but to serve as ‘breakpoint’ so that we always have a reminder that WE CANNOT GO BACK… Jacob limped for the rest of his life but until this day HIS LEGACY is unbroken…. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This phenomenon of name changing is not peculiar to Jacob alone, and even in our world today; people give and are given names that give meaning to circumstances surrounding their births or hope for their future.
If we take a look at some of the name changes in the scriptures, we will note that when they occurred, flawed men and women, who held on to God after they had ‘come to the end of themselves’, rose up to the status of the destinies they were called unto… Their lives forever changed.
To name a few (pardon the pun):
ABRAM (Exalted father – a self-aggrandizing title) TO ABRAHAM (Father of many nations -The ‘h’ – ‘I am’ i.e. “Yhwh” element was added)
SARAI (Woman of power – self-sufficiency) TO SARAH (Princess – from ‘I’ to ‘ah’ which depicts breath of God – the ‘Ruach’ or the “Yhwh” element added – God sufficiency). Interestingly this name occurred after Sarai had given her maid Hagar to Abraham to bear a child with disastrous consequences – Her own attempt at ‘playing God.’
JACOB (supplanter, cheat) TO ISRAEL (Prince)
SIMON (to hear, to be heard; reputation depicting a boaster, impulsive) TO PETER (Rock, Solid, dependable)
SAUL (One that was prayed for – mortal savior) TO PAUL (the little one – through whom God did great things). Little wonder that Paul wrote that God has chosen the foolish things of this world, to confound the wisdom of the wise.
LO AMMI or LO RUHAMAH (Not my loved one) TO AMMI or RUHAMAH (You are my people).
Sometimes the world will try to change the name that God has given us, or even rename us – usually in a demeaning way, but also sometimes in a self-inflating way. We must not allow ourselves be sucked into these ‘ego building’ or ‘soul bashing’ labels, no matter how benign they sound as these are underhanded attempts to deceive us into conforming to a ‘self-promoting’ or ‘self-pitying’ agenda designed to abort our destinies.
We must refuse to be called by any other name than that which HE has called us…
We must be like DANIEL (God is my Judge) who refused to be called BELTESHAZZAR (“Bel’s prince”), by the Babylonian eunuchs, Bel being one their heathen Gods…
And like JOSEPH (May Jehovah add or increase) who bore his name to the death even though Pharaoh changed his name to ZAPHNATH-PAANEAH (Revealer of secrets or Savior of the land).
The thought may come to mind… “So how will I get to know this name that He has called me by?” Let me assure you He WILL speak to your heart if you quieten yourself and LISTEN to the voice ‘within’. Even if there is a dearth of God’s Word in the land as it was in the time of Samuel, He WILL continue to call you, no matter how many times it takes until you can say “Speak Lord for thy servant heareth”.
He WILL speak, and you will hear…
As a post script – I have seen my friends on social media place ‘add-ons’ to or change their names. These ‘add-ons’ reflecting present status, hopes or aspirations. Every time I see ‘add-ons’ or name changes, I rejoice knowing that the changes came from a place of revelation, and I agree with them for its fulfillment as they call those things into ‘being.’