"But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the One who formed you says, 'Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you and Mine.' " Isaiah 43:1
What's in a name? Far more than we think. Far more than you think. We tend to believe that everyone is given a name at birth, but they aren't. Author and speaker Christine Caine tells of how, when born to a mother who didn't want her, and father who had abandoned them both, had listed on her birth certificate under the space for name, "None." Except that she did have a name, and it began to be burned into her mind and spirit. In fact she came to have many names. "Unwanted, Unloved, Unimportant." The years would add many more. You see, even though a parent may not give us a name, there is no hesitation on the part of the devil, the world, and even the organized church to do so. And like Caine, these names can be burned into the very marrow of our mind, heart, and spirit. In Jewish culture, the names given the children signified the type of character the parent hoped the child would come to possess. Be assured that the enemy of our souls seeks to place a name upon us as well that he hopes will come to define the entirety of our lives. And keep us in the captivity of that names power. In so many instances, he succeeds. This is tragic on every level, but nowhere more so than when he succeeds in convincing those who are His that the names he has put upon them will now define every aspect of their life. And they will live under the bondage of that "name." Loser. Failure. Unlovable. Rejected. Ugly. Stupid. Such names are placed upon us by family, peers, the culture, the church, and worst of all, ourselves. What "name" and its tyranny might you be living under right now?
This is a fallen world locked in darkness, so it should not be surprising that it, working through all aspects of its culture, even the culture of the church, should seek to place a fallen name upon us as well. It will, and we have but one defense, one truth to turn to in the midst of that. Jesus Christ.....the One who, as the old hymn says, gives us " a new name written down in glory., and it's mine, O yes it's mine." Tragically though, too many of us never hear that name, or know that it's been given. And that name, given by the Father before the foundation of the world, really is ours. It's a name that contains everything the Father sees us as, everything He created us to be. That name, when we come to Him in saving faith, breaks all the power of all the names that hell and the world have sought to bind us with. If that is you, you've been given that name. Have you ever received it?
We won't know what that name is this side of eternity, but we can begin to live in the power of it right now. It starts with coming to know what it is that the Father says of us in His Word. Victor. Conqueror. Child of the King. Apple of His eye. Precious. Accepted. Infinitely Loved. Mine! T. Austin-Sparks said that everything changed for Saul of Taursus when he met everything that Christ is on the Damascus Road. Saul, murderer, persecutor, hater of His people, was transformed into Paul, the Apostle of the Heart....of the heart set free. We, and everything about us needs to meet our own everything in Christ. Have we? Will we now?
It just involves this; we need to bring every false name the the devil, the world, even the church has sought to put upon us, to Him. With open hands, we need to give Him those names, all of them, and allow Him to blot them all out as He writes His name, and the name He has given us, over them....in His blood. Their power is broken. They are erased from our minds, our hearts, and our spirits. Everything in us has met everything in Him. The old names pass away...and a new name, written down in glory, is ours. Have you received it?