2012 is almost at and end, and we’re all probably thinking about how time flies. Another year is coming to a close, and the new year is just a few days ahead. Looking back, I want to give God glory on the things that He has blessed me with (and He has blessed me with so much!)
God is a loving God. He desires to bless us. But more than that, He desires to mold our character to becoming more like Christ. Why? Because that is what holds eternal value. Earthly blessings will fade away. But then there are times when we’re so attached to our blessings that we don’t want to let go. So how do you surrender the blessing you love most?
When you meet someone, it is always polite to introduce yourself. Tell the person your name. When you meet God, He already should know. But in the case of Jacob, he asked a simple and intriguing question. He asked “What is your name?”
Names have a very important meaning. It’s significance connects you to an identity that you own and hold. No one else shares that identity but you. It is an identity given to you by God – together with where you’re born, what nationality you have, what color your skin is, and all the other factors that make you… You.
Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” – Genesis 32:26-28
When God asks
God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Meaning He knows everything – every star, every creature, every hair on your head… And every name under heaven. But as you can see, in this short story, God asked Jacob something that He already knows. A simple question of his name. Why did God ask such a trivial thing?
He went to his father and said, “My father.” “Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing.” – Gensis 27:18-19
You see Jacob had another identity that he once claimed. He claimed to be Esau. He took on the name of his brother about whom God said:
Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” – Romans 9:13
Jacob’s name means deceiver. And we can see it unfolding its meaning in his deception of his earthly dad, Isaac in order to get his blessing. Now that Jacob wanted God’s blessing, God had to ask Jacob his name. Why? Because God wanted to let Jacob know that he doesn’t have to assume another man’s identity to receive His blessing. He can be Jacob and he can be blessed.
A New Identity
God gave Jacob a new name. He named him Israel because he overcame his struggles with God and men. This new identity became Jacob’s takeaway from his encounter with God. He remembered that God gave him a new name, a new identity together with his blessings.
And isn’t that true for all of us? When we decide to take on the new identity given to us by God is when we experience His blessings in our lives?
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
God has given all of us new identities in our Lord Jesus Christ. We have to understand that we cannot live in the old identity or any other identity which we once claimed to be our own if we want to be blessed by Him.
Bear your new identity in Christ and live a life blessed by God so you can bless other people and glorify His name.
Being rich and making lots of money has always been in my mind. I found it impossible to achieve as I thought about being corporate worker in an IT industry when I was still studying ICTM in De La Salle university as a college student.
This entry has been inspired by the impossibility of my business and God’s great blessings in my life. This is my testimony in light of my business.
I was a college student engrossed in wasting my time playing computer games – namely DOTA. I loved playing DOTA with my friends and DOTA barkada because of the temporal glory and praise I received whenever I’d turn the game around, lead the team to a win, upset the other team, dominate the game, etc… In short, I love the recognition I got due to my skills in the game.
I wasn’t really a good, ideal college student. In fact, I was the total opposite. If I didn’t like a class, I’d cut it. I used to cut a whole day to play computer games the whole day. I failed 28 units – 1 unit in DLSU costs around 3-4k php. My parents were frustrated, I was frustrated, and I’m pretty sure God was frustrated. I squandered my time, my parents’ money, and I paid little heed to discipline and wisdom. I was on my way downhill.
I never imagined earning much when I graduate due to my lack of discipline and my appalling number of failing units. My dream company back then was HP and I wanted to work there for my OJT – instead, God led me to another company in Ortigas (I live around Las Pinas by the way).
It was tough. The company I went introduced SEO (Search engine Optimization) to me when I wanted to be a Social Network Analyst. But I took the job anyway. I learned SEO by my own because I was on a day shift (around 8 of us) and most of the employees are night-shift (around 100 of them) employees due to the location of our clients (USA and Europe).
The SEO Manager left and the new one entered around a month after I came in. So all the SEO work was thrown at me and I had to learn it quick. Funny thing is, I was doing all the trial and error here in my ministry blog – God and You. And by God’s sovereign grace, it worked. That’s when I realized “Hey, I can do this.”
SEO is more about writing and playing with words than programming and technical skills. It’s leaning towards a marketing-oriented art. And I love it.
By February, someone in Church was looking for someone who can do SEO. I told him I could do it, but he had to risk with me coz this is the first time I’ll be doing it for a client. He said “Okay” and so I started work.
My first client was a gambling company in Costa Rica – not really something I’m proud of. So I prayed to God “Lord, if you don’t want me working on this, please cut it off.” Two months in the contract, the company had a merger that affected their operation and they had to cut my work and contract. Praise God!
I went to HongKong with my dad that Feb and I met someone there who is now a fast-growing Christian. She referred me to another company here in the Philippines and soon enough, that company became my client. One of the reasons I got the deal was because I had a client from Costa Rica – who would’ve thought?
And the ball kept rolling… It was also the month of March when I got into my first job. By God’s sovereign grace, I got into my dream company – HP. I worked there as an IT support person for SAP. I realized I didn’t like the work. I love the culture and the people and the company, but not the work – and definitely not the pay.
And so August, I left the company. All the while I only had 1 company client which was paying me really well. Unfortunately they cut my contract by the end of August. So I had no money coming in for September. So I prayed.
It’s amazing how God works. 2 clients I’ve been talking with suddenly came out of nowhere and signed a contract with me that started September 15. My company services is pre-paid and so God didn’t let me wander off half a month with no money. He provides. I praise Him. Indeed all blessings come from my God.
Right now God is continuing to not only provide for me, but to bless me so that I could bless others and give to others. My God has blessed me with 4 clients and a team of more than 10 people and growing. I thoroughly love my business and I am simply amazed at the thought of the impossibility of the amount I am being blessed with every month.
At this, I am devoted to giving away a portion of my blessings to people who are serving God and to people who are in need. My heart is set on fully pleasing and glorifying my God. Indeed this business is simply an impossibility apart from Him.
Does God want me to be rich? Does God want you to be rich? Only He knows His purposes. But what I do know is that God wants us to make the most of what He has given us – just like in the parable of the talents.
One thing I’m sure of is that God definitely wants our hearts to be His. Rich or not. God’s ways and secrets will be kept as it is – but what we do know is that all blessings and riches come from our God. And He does not bless without purpose.
This is my testimony.