Do you often feel as if the destiny God has for you is different than the one your friends or family want for you? Or maybe you don’t know what you are called to do in life.

This is a common issue people face when seeking to step into their true identity in God. In fact, many of us spend a lot of time trying to operate in an identity that was never made for us.

This happened to two brothers named Esau and Jacob in the Bible.

Two brothers and a case of switched identities

Before the twins were even born, God spoke to their mother, Rebekah, concerning their destiny:

The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” Genesis 25:23 NIV

It was traditional in those days for the eldest brother to receive the largest portion of inheritance. However, as the brothers grew up, Esau preferred being a man of the wilderness, while Jacob preferred the day-to-day business of home.

The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Genesis 25:27 NIV

Leaving the false identity behind

One day, Esau came in from hunting as Jacob was cooking some stew. When Esau asked for a portion, Jacob said he would share some if Esau would sell his birthright to him.

Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:34 NIV

The birthright didn’t even mean much to Esau because it was a destiny he didn’t want. Jacob wanted the birthright because it was the destiny God had in store for him.

Stepping into your true identity

Eventually their father, Isaac, was near death and accidentally gave the eldest son’s blessing to his younger son, Jacob. God’s prophetic word to Rebekah was fulfilled.

Instead, Isaac blessed Esau to become a man of the wilderness and throw off the burden of having to serve Jacob (Genesis 27:34–40).

It’s important to note that both Esau and Jacob were born under a cultural expectation that they didn’t even care for. Esau was initially angry with Jacob because he felt his identity was taken from him—but in his heart, Esau knew it wasn’t what he desired.

God had other good plans for Esau. Once the false identities were removed from both brothers, Esau thrived in the wilderness while Jacob found success under the blessing of his father.

Making peace with your true destiny

Years later, Jacob tried to make amends with his brother by sending him great gifts.

But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.” Genesis 33:9 NIV

Wow. Esau and Jacob both found peace in the identity the Lord always had for them. God really does know each of us individually and what kind of prosperous future will make us feel fulfilled.

It’s time to throw off the weight of other people’s expectations and step into the true destiny God has specifically chosen for you!

Watch for God to speak to you concerning your true identity in Him.