Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed (Genesis 32:28).
Everyone who strives with God and men and prevails will undergo a name change. The name change is indicative of a character change. Scripture says, “therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh” (2 Corinthians 5:16).
In Genesis 32, we see Jacob undergoing a profound change that affects him, his children, and the nation of Israel forever. Jacob is wrestling with a Man, and he says, “I will not let you go unless you bless me!” (Genesis 32:26). Jacob had spent his life trying to receive God’s blessings. Now he was experiencing his most telling moment. He was actually “grappling” with God Himself. Though wounded by the hand of the Lord, he persisted in his quest to have the Lord’s best. “So He said to him, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Jacob’ [supplanter]. And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob [supplanter], but Israel [Prince with God, striver with God]; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed’” (Genesis 32:27-28). Are you determined to apprehend the blessings of God? Jacob was determined! He wanted God! He wanted every blessing and every promise. In short, whatever God was offering, Jacob was taking it.
From this story, it is apparent that Jacob was relentless in his pursuit of God. He wanted the Lord more than anything. He was willing to risk everything to apprehend the Lord. Are you like Jacob? Are you willing to lose everything for Him? Do you love Him in this manner? By a faith pursuit that is more dogged, more tenacious, more persistent, and more relentless than anything the world could offer, Jacob pursued the Lord. I believe the Lord wants us to demonstrate our determination by “prevailing pursuit.” He wants our heart to be portrayed by our “prevailing faith.” These character traits have been given to us in Christ; therefore, use them to conquer and overcome all obstacles to your success.
“Jacob called the name of the place Peniel [Face of God] […] as he crossed over Peniel the sun rose on him, and he limped” (Genesis 32:31). Jacob’s limp was “a limp of victory!”