But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:1, 2 NKJV)

One of my earthly teachers, Poju Oyemade once said that for some reason it appears you don’t get things perfectly right the first time or in the beginning. Now I see why he made that comment, and I agree with him because the scriptures teach so.

The name Jacob and Israel refer to the same person, but they have two different meanings. One of them, the name Jacob was given to this individual when he was first born, or created by God, and it means supplanter, which is to take the place of another through scheming.

In the second statement following, God decides to use a different word, instead of “create” He uses “formed”, which is an intentional effort to achieve something else from something by design. Then God also calls the same individual by a different name, Israel, which means “he will rule as God”.

Then God says to him, I have defined you by a name that will set you apart from the rest of humanity and set you on high where everyone will see my glory in you. Are you trying to define yourself on your own, or are you letting the world, or your friends, or the wrong things define you? Let God define you, let Him give you your right name.

This man’s first name suggests someone who will only become something that someone else already is by scheming his way and conning people off their rightful positions. He was a con man. He had no dream, no vision for himself and the only future he could see was that of others. But when God worked on him again the second time, He made him into something extraordinary. God gave him a dream and a vision, and his life became his own.

A lot of people think that holding unto their lives makes it their own, no, if you hold unto the life you think is your own you will lose it, but when you let God have it, He makes it beautiful and hands it back to you, better and much more valuable. He who holds his life will lose it but he who loses it to God will gain it.

I don’t know what it is you’re going through right now, I don’t know where you are in life right now, but whatever and wherever, God will like you to know these two things; one, allow Him to define you, surrender your life to Him by letting His word guide you in all things. God wants to use you to prove to the world that the things and people they write off as nothing can become the best of the earth in His hands.

No matter what it is you are fighting and struggling with right now, don’t give up, just surrender to Him, He will make you the man that goes through water and fire and comes out on top. I was there, so I am telling you from experience. God replaces wet eyes with wide lips. Your life may be like Jacobs right now, undefined, purposeless, falling apart and all that, but guess what? God isn’t done with you yet, He will finish the work He started in you.

When a potter takes a lump of clay and slaps it on the table, a clay jug doesn’t just appear. He takes time to work the clay, eventhough all that is needed to produce the jug is already on the table, the potter will skillfully work the lump of clay into a jug. That was what God did with creation. It was first void and without form, but then He began to work on it till it became what He wanted it to be. God is still working on you, so don’t get off that table till He’s done with you. You have no idea what He wants you to turn out as, it’s beautiful, I tell you the truth.