To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial and a name
better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name
which will not be cut off. Isaiah 56:5
Ever notice that friends give each other nicknames? Children get baby nicknames that usually stick no matter how old they get. Even pet’s names get changed over time, usually shortened to a syllable. (I won’t even tell you the names I’ve given my cats. They are the source of much teasing at our house.)
To change someone’s name legally, you must have the authority to do so. Who has more authority than God! He changed significant people’s names all throughout scripture. They correlated to a new God-given calling or their new role in history. Abram ~ Abraham. Saul ~ Paul. Simon ~ Peter. Sarai ~ Sarah. Judah ~ Israel.
For over a year, God began speaking to me about my name; probably because I hated my middle name to such an extent that I wouldn’t tell many people what it even was. There isn’t enough time to tell you the whole story but let me just say that the my feelings changed entirely about my middle name, Eloise, by the time the Spirit of God revealed some things.
One thing I’ve come to believe is this ~ each of us should find out the meaning of our name. It may have scriptural roots and a significance that fits our personality and calling. Satan works through the brokenness of other people in our lives to achieve specific things ~ one of which is to make us believe that we are the exact opposite of what our name represents. For instance, if I have a name that means ‘adventurer and courageous’, life would have dealt me some blows that caused me to become conservative and timid. I must, by God’s grace, grow into my name.
Because of the Gospel, I inherited many new names. Beloved, saint, friend, daughter, etc. I also inherited a name that only God calls me and, one day, I will hear Him speak that name. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’ Revelation 2:17 I’ve met 2 people who say they already know what their new name is as they’ve heard God speak it in prayer. I have no reason to doubt them and think that their stories are pretty awesome. They didn’t tell me this arrogantly; in fact, they were a bit shy to admit it. I will say that there was a look on their faces as they spoke of it. A look I won’t forget.
What do you think your new name will be? But, have you also embraced the names and identities that came with salvation? We must shed the names bullies called us as well as the malicious names that were spoken by friends and family. Our new name comes off the lips of Jesus so tenderly. It’s the nickname between intimates.
Give me the courage to believe every name You’ve already given me. Amen