When Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord, the angel asked him his name…he of course replied Jacob…then the angel told him he would no longer be called Jacob which means “deceiver” but Israel, which means “a prince with God…” how did that come to be??? the angel said it was “because you have struggled and have overcome…”Gen 32:27-28. Up to this point, Jacob had been living up to his old name, but slowly and surely changing in character. God was busy teaching him important things as he lived with four women and at least 13 children. That would be enough to teach anybody something!!!! God was using him in his training years to teach his sons and one daughter, what life was all about. He apparently he zeroed in on Joseph and Benjamin who seem to be the best of the bunch. How many times in our lives, especially after we come to the Lord, do others try and put us down or reduce us in our view of ourselves or in what we are trying to accomplish. Many times…and we frequently listen to our own detriment. God has plenty to say about us to us in His Word…we need to read it, ponder it, and apply it. We are part of a royal priesthood, I Pet 2:9, an overcomer, I Jn 2:13-14, and lots of other things He tells us in His Word. Of course, if we don’t read it, we’ll never know. I remember many years ago when I was a fairly new Christian and had recently come to “know” God had called me to an unusual kind of ministry. I kept it to myself for awhile, began to exercise it hands-on…and got lots of unsolicited criticism…not a job for a woman, no schooling, no training, how would I live financially…and many more criticisms. A few friends that knew me well, believed in me and encouraged me FROM THE WORD to move forward. I did, and have never been sorry I listened to God instead of those around me. If we do not listen to the voice and Word of God, we will never live up to our potential because the only one who truly knows what that is..is God! And, He is anxious to tell you what that is by leading you through trials, and many deep waters…usually the best places for Him to teach us things there are no other ways of us learning. We get into situations and wonder what in the world is this all about…we know God is with us in it, and if we know the Word well, we can at some point look back and see what He was driving at! After all these years, I can now look back, ponder and sit amazed at the first hand teaching God does when your heart is open to what He has to teach. Experience is indeed a very good teacher…and a heart yielded to Him will “sop” up every little bit He has to teach. Stop listening to others, and listen to God in HIs Word, learn of His character so you can emulate it and move forward toward your potential. He’ll never lead you astray, never. And it won’t take any longer than what time you need to move into the place of service He has designed especially for you. Go for it!!!!