Struggling To Find Your True Identity?
by Kim Penix
Some of us spend the rest of our lives trying to discover our true identity. Who we are on the inside and whom God designed us to be.
In the Book of Genesis, we’re introduced to a young man while still in his mother’s womb. This fellow was a twin and, before birth, began fighting to find his place in the world. The in-utero brawling was so bad that the mom of these two scrappers cried out to the Lord for help. (Genesis 25:23)
At birth, the first to arrive had a very ruddy complexion and was covered in hair. Appropriately, his parents named him Esau (Harry hairy). Number two came out literally on the heels of his older brother. His hand was grasping the heel of Esau. What a little shyster, already trying to get something he didn’t deserve. Aptly, his parents named him Jacob (deceiver, liar).
Now, remember how I told you our family joke is that my parents “thought” I was going to be a bundle of joy? Try growing up with “Liar” as your name. Talk about being handed your own destiny. How do you fight a moniker like that?
Unfortunately, he grew to embrace and exemplify his name. His first recorded scheme was getting Esau to sell him the family birthright for a bowl of stew. (Genesis 25:27-34).
Later he upped his game from schemer to con man by stealing Esau’s rightful blessing from their blind father. This charade even included a costume change and use of his mother as an accomplice! (Genesis 27)
Once the heist was known, Jacob had to run for his life. His mother suggested he go live with her brother some distance away. Through a series of events this con man found himself being scammed, all in the name of love. (Genesis 29:1-30)
Eventually Jacob returned to the land where Esau lived. Alone and afraid for his life one night, he was approached by a man. The two wrestled all night. During the fight the man touched Jacob’s hip, causing him to admit defeat and walk with a limp for the rest of his life.
The man told Jacob he was giving him a new name, superseding the name given him by his parents. No longer would he be known as “Liar.” Jacob’s name was changed to Israel because he wrestled with God and lived, and wrestled with humans and overcame. At this point Jacob/Israel realized he had been in a wrestling match with the Divine. God Himself had given him a new name and a new identity.
My friend, are you struggling to discover your true identity? Are you caught in a trap of others’ perceptions that you’d like to overcome? Do you often wonder what your life’s purpose is?
Please understand, your true identity and purpose in life can only be known through a life-changing experience with God.
Once Jacob wrestled with God, he discovered his true identity was that of patriarch of Israel, God’s chosen people. From his family line, God would send His Son, Jesus, to be our Savior.
You see, Jacob didn’t have to use all that trickery and deceit in order to be someone important. God had already chosen his identity and purpose.
Each time Jacob took it upon himself to craft his own destiny, it didn’t end well. God had a plan and a purpose, and had Jacob only waited on the Lord, I’m sure things would have gone quite a bit more smooth.
Grasp hold of God. Dig in His word and wrestle with Him in prayer. Allow yourself to go through a life- changing experience with God and discover your true identity in Him!
How can we pray for you today? If you would like us to pray for you as you grab hold of God and seek your true identity in Him, leave a comment and let us know.
Kim Penix is a Christ-follower, bible study facilitator, writer, blogger, wife, mother to two, and grandma to a firecracker born on the fourth of July! In 2011 she stepped away from her career in the financial industry to focus on her faith, health, and family. Her new blog, Grace IS Sufficient~finding peace and purpose after diagnosis, is where you’ll find her these days. She writes about her faith, family, home, and health and has a desire to help others live a fulfilled, purposeful life for Christ, despite chronic illness.
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