Game Changer

Jacob Tapia and Christina Li


What is your favorite productivity app or gadget? Why?

Game Changer, definition: ‘an event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.’

A revolutionary product is a game changer. Sometimes, it’s a book that changes how you think and live and act. Some element takes you a higher place of victory and growth is a game changer. When God steps in a special way, that can be a game changer.

Gen 32:24-28 “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.”

Jacob came from a dysfunctional home. There was favoritism and competition between siblings. The name ‘Jacob’ literally means ‘heal grabber.’ Esau means ‘red and hairy.’ Jacob was trying to supplant where he was, trying to get ahead, even from the womb. Early on, Jacob conned Esau out of his birthright as the oldest son and had to flee for his life because of it. So, he went to live with his uncle.

Jacob got a taste of his own conniving when his uncle conned him into marrying the wrong girl. He did marry the right girl, but it was trouble. His father-in-law tried to cheat him over and over again.

Has anyone every tried to cheat you? How did you respond?

Sometimes, God puts you into a holding pattern and you get frustrated. Instead of turning to God, you turn away. However, God allows you to go through situations and circumstances, not to torture you, but to develop you. He wants to get you to a place of total, perfect reliance on Him.

Open your heart to God's will and God's timing.

Jacob finally left his father-in-law and decided to return home and try to make things right with his brother. It had been about twenty years, but he found out his brother was coming to meet him with 300 men (an army). So, Jacob sent out gifts to appease his brother. He sent everyone else ahead to meet Esau. Then, Jacob was by himself with everything familiar stripped away.

There Jacob wrestled with a man until the breaking of day. This was no doubt a physical manifestation of God working in his life. Jacob had a physical change and never walked the same way again.

God will make you a new creature as well. He can find you wherever you are. You can’t hide from Him. But, when you get into that place with God, He can change everything for good.

How has either knowing God or even knowing about God changed your life?

Jacob wouldn’t let go in that ‘wrestling match’ until he was blessed. God asked, ‘What is thy name?’

Your name defines you. Jacob was a liar, a deceiver, a trickster. Culture, social groups, family status, financial status, all these things try to define you.

But, God can change your name. He can give you a new identity. He can take what you are and what you have been and change everything about you.

God caused Jacob to become His fighter. He became a prince among men. He caused Jacob to become powerful in the things of God.

How has God changed your identity?

Jacob (the old name, old nature) was carnal and selfish, but Israel (the new name, new nature) was spiritual and godly.

You don't have to be the same anymore.

Isn’t it interesting that the game changers Jesus picked for his twelve closest followers were tax collectors no one wanted and a man who would cut off your ear rather than talk things (or think things) through? On the Day of Pentecost, it was none other than the former ear-cutter-offer, the one who denied Jesus three times, who preached, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.’ (Acts 2:38)

It doesn’t stop there with God changing you. He can use you to be a game changer for somebody else’s life.

This Bible study excerpted from a sermon preached by evangelist Jacob Tapia.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!