Last year, I was visiting Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, where Bishop TD Jakes was guest speaking, and what he shared took hold of my heart and hasn’t let go. For that reason, I feel I must share it with you, too, because it’s just that good. We were studying in the book of Exodus, when God is calling Moses to be His mouthpiece to Pharaoh, and Moses tries to convince God that He has chosen the wrong guy—remember that passage? Moses didn’t think Pharaoh would listen to him. After all, Moses stuttered. Plus, he felt unworthy to be used by God because he had murdered an Egyptian (read about this account in Exodus chapter 2). I love this entire exchange between Moses and Almighty God, but the part I love best is when God identifies Himself as “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Bishop Jakes pointed out that when God said that to Moses, it was the very first time He had ever identified Himself in that way. This is significant.See, when God said, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” He had already renamed Jacob and called him Israel, so why wouldn’t God say, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel” when saying this to Moses? Why use Jacob’s old name?

Bishop Jakes has a theory as to why God chose to identify Himself in this way—because there’s a little Jacob in all of us.Sure, we can understand why God would say He is the God of Abraham. After all, Abraham was a friend of God (Second Chronicles 20:7). And, of course we can understand why God would say He was the God of Isaac. I mean, Isaac was the child of promise given to Abraham and Sarah, though her womb was dead (Genesis 21). But, the God of Jacob? Really, Jacob? His very name means “deceiver,” and that’s exactly what he did to his older brother, cheating him out of his birthright. (Genesis 25:19-34). But that’s why God included Jacob in His lineup. God wanted Moses to know that even though he was a murderer, He still loved him. He was still his God, and He still had a plan for him. Very few of us will ever be as perfect as Abraham or Isaac, but we can all relate to Jacob, right? See, God wanted us to know that He is our God, too, no matter what we’ve done. You can boldly say, “He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and (fill in your name)” because He is! He loves you and He calls you His own. (Read Ephesians 1:13-14.) So, the next time the devil tries to convince you that you’re of no use to God, that you’ve done too many bad things in your life, that you aren’t worthy—say out loud: “Devil, you’re a liar! I am a child of the Most High God, and according to Jeremiah 29:11, He has a great plan for my life.” Pray this with me: “Father, thank You for being my God, even when I fail. Thank You for loving me and never giving up on me. In the Mighty Name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.”

Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” Exodus 3:6 (NIV)