“And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.”
Jacob’s life was one of trickery, deceit and manipulation. He tricked his brother, deceived his father, and tried to manipulate circumstances to benefit himself. It all came to a head when he deceived his father, and Esau, his brother, determined to kill him for stealing his blessing. It was at this point that the deceit in Jacob’s life came back to haunt him.
Jacob’s life made a big change in one night. He was going home when he heard that his brother was coming to meet him with four hundred men. He thought his brother was coming to kill him. His plan was to divide his wives and children into two groups and have them take two separate ways so that if one of them were killed, the others would still be alive. After he sent everyone away, he went to sleep all alone. It was that night that the angel of God came and wrestled with Jacob all night until the day broke, and his name was changed to Israel. The name, Jacob, meant supplanter or deceiver, but the name Israel means, as a prince has power with God and man. Jacob’s life made a dramatic change that night for the better because he went from being a deceiver to a prince with God.
The problem with Jacob after that point was that he went back and forth between both names. Several times you will see the Scriptures refer to him as Jacob, but at other times he is referred to as Israel. The difference to how he is referred to is determined by his outlook on the situation. Every time he looked at life through the eyes of negativity and deceit, God referred to him as Jacob; however, every time he looked at the future and blessings of God, he was referred to as Israel. Jacob’s life was like a schizophrenic who couldn’t decide who he wanted to be. Several things you must do if you are going to avoid being a schizophrenic believer like Jacob.
First, accept God’s viewpoint of your life. One of Jacob’s biggest problems was that he had a hard time accepting God’s viewpoint of him as being a prince, and that was why he slipped back into the old life. You must realize that God never looks at your life from the rearview mirror, but He looks at your life through the windshield and sees where He is taking you. You cannot allow your past to beat you up because your past only destroys God’s ability to take you where He wants to take you.
Second, rely on God’s strength to help you live the life of promises. You can live in the past of defeat and see everything as bad, or you can live your life in God’s promises and see life in a positive outlook. Only God’s strength is going to help you see your life through the same prism as God sees it. You must daily ask God to give you His perspective of your life and trust Him for His strength throughout your day.
Third, you must claim His promises to avoid being a schizophrenic believer. My advice to you is to get a promise from the Scriptures every week and claim it. Bring it with you everywhere you go and every time you are tempted to slip back into the old life, look at that promise and claim it.
Are you a schizophrenic believer? Don’t let your past continue to defeat you. Don’t listen to those who try to remind you of your past and accept God’s viewpoint of your life and you will successfully defeat the schizophrenic life.