“And He said, ‘Your name shall be called no more Jacob (crafty deceiver), but Israel [that is, “A prince of God”]. For as a prince you have struggled with God and with men, and have triumphed.’ ” – Genesis 32:28
The patriarch Jacob was given the name Israel (Hebrew: Yisrael) by God Himself after striving with Him all night long. Followers of Christ are sometimes called the “Israel of God” because we are also God-strivers (Gal 6:16). To strive for anything requires that we give it our upmost and go all-out to reach our destiny in God.
God expects our faith to be that way; to be active and energized – not passive. Utilizing hyperbole, Jesus once said,, “The kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). The violent who take the kingdom of God by force are not those who are weak in faith, but those who press-in spiritually by passionately pursuing their faith and believing God to do great and marvelous works. They act on the confidence that, with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). God honors His children of great faith with miraculous answers to their prayers.
Without great faith it is impossible to please God.
In order to be triumphant with God we must be like the men and women of old who are held-up as examples for us to follow (see Hebrews chapter 11). Great saints of God like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, and others who, through great faith, subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, closed the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and more.
The true Israel of God demonstrates their saving faith by trusting God in all circumstances. They remain steadfastly loyal to God and His Word at all times and believe in spiritual realities not visible to the common person. They have purposed to never let go of God until He blesses them.
Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for choosing me to be part of your family – the spiritual Israel of God. Help me to live my life worthy of Your divine calling by walking in great faith that is most pleasing to You. Let me honor You by trusting You in all circumstances and believing You to do great and mighty things. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
– Luis Yosefus
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