You can change your name
This was the third time that I went to church. I really like the way that the verses in the Bible are preached.
This time the pastor said that he would talk of a time before the birth of Jesus where there were instances of sighting of God. He told us the story of Jacob. Apparently, Jacob means a cheat, manipulator and other such stuff. He told a brief story about the life of Jacob.
He was a wrestler since birth. He was wrestling even in his mother’s womb and when Rebecca gave birth, he was born holding his brother’s foot. Throughout his life, he wrestled to get whatever he wanted. He left a comfortable home to fulfil a promise that he’d made to God. He set out with his 2 wives and had to cross River Jabbok when he heard that his brother was approaching them in order to kill him.
Jacob being the sly person that he was, sent a bunch of people along with his first wife Leah and then then a bunch of people with his second wife Rachel to cross the river. The unsuspecting wives obeyed him without questioning why he wanted to come by himself in the end.
His intentions weren’t pure. He thought that his angry brother would kill the people with Leah and if he was still angry, would proceed to find all the people with his second wife and take out his remaining anger on them. And in the process wouldn’t harm Jacob.
Just as he was crossing the river, a man came and started wrestling with him. They both seemed to match in strength, but one touch from the man caused Jacob’s hip bone to get dislocated from the socket. In an instant, he became lame and he held onto the seemingly ordinary man for support. The man told him to let go of him and continue his journey as the sun had risen. Jacob refused to let go of him until the man blessed him, for he had realised that only a godly spirit could have the power to make him lame with one touch. On being asked his name, for the first time, he didn’t lie about it and replied with the truth. God then told him that it is no longer his name and he is changing his name to Israel. Jacob agreed and immediately started making enquiries about how everyone would come to know of this. The divine man replied by saying that it is not necessary to publicise his name and it is enough that Jacob, himself knows about the change. He continued saying that the way of God is by starting a change in the personality which everyone would eventually come to know about and realize that Jacob is a changed man. After giving his that piece of information, the man disappeared.
The pastor told us that it was one of the times that the form of God which can be seen by humans: Jesus made his presence on the Earth.
Following this very astounding story, he highlighted a few lessons that can be taken from this story. This was my understanding of what he said.
Basically, if we refuse or resist a change in the negative aspects of our personalities, we will be suppressed by a higher power and made to change (just as the bone got dislocated for Jacob). Isn’t it just better to submit ourselves before something greater than to resist it and be suppressed? When we submit ourselves, we can continue to walk confidently whereas if we are made to change through suppression, the effects will be seen by the outer world.
Also, when it comes to something that we believe in, it is alright to wrestle with it in order to achieve the success we deserve. The God respects a person who wrestles with him in submission and blesses him/her to be able to lead or reach out to a group of people. Personally, I think that we should always fight for what we believe in.
Also, some people think that people cannot change but in reality, people can change and become a better version or a changed version of themselves. I’m not saying that their core beliefs will change but people are capable of changing if they make an effort.
It is in a moment of solitude that this change happens. You don’t publicly announce that you’re a changed and reformed person do you? The change has to start from within yourself. Aspects of your personality changing will only be known to you in the beginning and only later will other people recognize that you have indeed changed.
So if any of you are feeling lonely, know that it is okay and you are probably going to get “a divine revelation” or as I like to think of it: you’d be reflecting on your life, yourself and start making an effort to change and modify those aspects in your life that are negatively affecting you.
It’s incredible to think that there are so many lessons to be learnt from just a few verses in the Bible. Even if you are an atheist you’ve got to agree that it has a lot of life lessons that we could and should incorporate.