Many times when we are trying to get something across or make a point we will use statistics. We love using statistics because it helps to put emphasis on what we are trying to say but what exactly is a statistic? A statistic is defined in Webster’s as a fact or piece of data from a study of a large quantity of numerical data.

Let’s look a few statistics regarding alcoholism.

Statistically:

  • More than ½ of people who grow up with an alcoholic parent end up being an alcoholic.
  • For those who quit drinking, there is evidence that approximately 90% of alcoholics are likely to experience at least one relapse over a 4-year period following treatment.

I am willing to bet that prayer and the healing power of God wasn’t taken into consideration during this study.

For those of you who don’t know my testimony, I used to be an alcoholic. I spent many years addicted to alcohol but as of the writing of this article, I have been free from the chains of alcoholism for over 2 years and have not had 1 drop of alcohol. Even with that being said, the world will tell you that I am still an alcoholic. The world will also tell you that nothing will change that. I am here to tell you that through the power of prayer and the grace of God I am no longer an alcoholic.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36

The truth is that nothing will change that! Praise God that I did not have to go through any treatments and I praise God that the instant I prayed for deliverance and set my heart to remove that from my life, I was set free. If you find yourself in a situation where you just cannot move forward because of your past, understand that what the world thinks of you is far from what God thinks.

Your Resume Doesn’t Qualify Your Calling

Abraham & Sarah shall have a child.

Let’s take a look at this story of Abraham and Sarah.

Genesis 17:15-19
15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

I want you to notice how Abraham laughed at what God told him. Even though he was a man who served the Lord he still found it hard to believe what God was telling him.

Genesis 18:9-15
9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Notice now how Sarah is laughing just like Abraham did. The odds are so against them having a baby that they can’t help but laugh at the thought, even when God tells them differently.

According to yourfertility.org
Age is the most important factor affecting a woman’s chance to conceive and have a healthy child. As women age their fertility declines. A woman’s fertility starts to decline in her early 30s, with the decline speeding up after 35. At 40 a woman only has a 5% chance of becoming pregnant in any month.

Genesis 21:1-5
1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. As we saw earlier, that is not the resume of a couple who is about to have a baby. They knew that nobody around them was having children at this stage of life. This is not something that happened. You see it doesn’t matter what the world says and it doesn’t matter what we say. When God says He is going to do something, He does it. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense and it doesn’t matter if it lines up to the statistics. We serve a God who doesn’t work by statistics.

Your Past Doesn’t Predict Your Future

What is your name? My name is Jacob.

Now let’s look at the grandchild of Abraham and Sarah.

Genesis 32:22-32
22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two women servants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.

Who was Jacob wrestling with up on that mountain? He was wrestling with God. The creator of the universe, the one who knew Jacobs name even before he created him. The one who made it possible for his grandmother to conceive his father Isaac at the age of 90. God is asking Jacob what is your name? You see, his parents named him Jacob. When people call out the name Jacob, he responds. The world knows him as Jacob. He knows himself to be Jacob, but God said what is your name? He said my name is Jacob and God said no longer will you be known as Jacob but from this day forward you have a new name. You will be known as Israel.

How many of us walk around thinking we are who the world says we are, and who we say we are? God is saying to each one of us, no longer! From this day forward you will be known as Israel. Everything that you have done and everywhere you have been, it doesn’t matter anymore. On this day a new journey begins. I call you Israel and I have plans for you.

We need to step outside of who we think we are so we can become the Israel God has called us to be. We need to learn to not let the world convince us of who we are. We need to stand willing and ready for God to bless us and when He does we need to receive our new name and start walking in the power that comes with it. We have the God who created the heavens and the earth inside of us and that should empower us to walk like we are somebody.
We need to rise up and take our rightful place and know whose we are.

In 2018, it is time to start walking in our new name!

Author

Lucas Palso was born and raised in Upstate New York. Ministry has become a big part of his life and he enjoys singing with the praise team at his church. He currently resides in Louisburg NC and is one of the hosts of the One Way Podcast.

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