Death To Selfie Part 3: The Power of Identity
The “Selfie” illustrates a conflict that exists between who we believe ourselves to be and who we want other people to see.
- There is the me I see.
- There is the me I hope to be.
- There is the me I pretend to be.
- There is the me I was created to be.
THE POWER OF IDENTITY
In this series, we’ve seen Jacob trying to be someone he is not, Leah wanting to be as beautiful and loved as her sister, and Rachel being jealous of Leah’s success. We saw how each one encountered God. Yet, all of them needed multiple encounters. Every encounter got them closer to the “me God created them to be.” But change is messy! After God renamed Jacob to Israel, the Bible still refers to him as, at times, as Jacob. Finding our identity in Christ takes multiple encounters. This was true for Rachel too. God gave her a son, but it wasn’t enough. She fell back into worshiping other gods.
James 3:16 (AMP) For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.
Genesis 31:19-21, 30-32 (NIV) When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. So he fled with all he had . . . . 30 [Laban asks] Why did you steal my gods?” Jacob answered Laban . . . “If you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.
What happened to Rachel? God had already opened her womb! Notice what Jacob said would happen to the person found guilty. Isn’t it amazing how careless we can be with our words?
Genesis 35:15-20 (NIV) Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel [House of God]. Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath [Fruitful. But it was derived from “apher” meaning bandage.], Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t despair, for you have another son.” As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni [son of my sorrow, or pain]. But his father named him Benjamin. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
Rachel experienced great sorrow. In her sorrow, she used her words, not thinking about the damage those words would do. Rachel called it the way she saw it. You are my son of pain. Jacob refused to name his child’s destiny according to a moment in his son’s history. Jacob refused to let one event define him.
Rachel got to recommend a name, but Jacob had the naming rights. People in life may recommend a name for you, but only God has the naming rights. My hope is that you would peel off the labels people have given you because of one moment of your life.
THE POWER OF WORDS
- Jacob has been renamed to Israel.
- Jacob said, “Who did this will die.”
- Jacob renamed Luz to Bethal (Genesis 28:18-19).
- Jacob is beginning to understand the power of words.
After walking with God, Jacob began to learn he can rename his tragedy and lose. His whole life he was seeking the blessing from outside sources. He was looking to other’s to place their right hand upon him and bless him. It clicks! I am to call those things that be not as those they are!
The right hand signified the hand of blessings. Benjamin means, “Son of my right hand” or “Son of blessing!” We don’t get to chose what all comes into our life. But we do have the power to rename what comes into our life. Don’t be like Rachel and call it the way you see it. Instead, rename it to what you want it to be. Bless and do not curse.
Genesis 50:20 (NLT) You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
- We can turn sorrow into joy.
- We can turn tragedy into triumph.
- We have renaming rights!
Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.- VOICE