When God Changes Your Name [Series]--Intro
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17, ESV)
The short answer is He both informs and transforms us. There are quite a few instances in Scripture where God is intentional about changing the names of people as He shifts the trajectory of their lives and prepares them for greater influence. Why is it significant? Because when God changed a name it always connected to how the person related to Him and how their lives would influence the lives of others. Why was a name change necessary? In some cases, God was peeling away an old identity and behaviors that wouldn’t suit the destiny and legacy He was establishing in the person. In other cases, He was communicating a literal change in status physically or spiritually.
An accurate understanding of who we are increases as we obtain an intimate knowledge of who He is. As believers in Christ, He has given us new names. We are called Beloved, Saints, the Redeemed, the Called, the Righteousness of God (in Christ Jesus), Ministers of Reconciliation and a host of other names which redefine our status, reflect our spiritual character, and point to our purpose. Our name change gives us a clearer glimpse of who He has made us to be. When He changes your name, it’s a BIG DEAL…. It signifies you belong to Him. You are His. He is yours.
When we understand this, it encourages and energizes us. It propels us forward and draws us closer to Him. It helps us better embrace the vision God has for our lives and do a much better job of aligning our choices with His will.
One of my favorite books is Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It ranks in my top 10. It’s a Christian allegory about our walk with God. The main character’s name is “Much Afraid.” The book details her journey to the High Places with the Shepherd as she travels through regions which have names like the “Valley of Humiliation” and the “Village of Much-Trembling.” Along the way she encounters the characters Mrs Valiant, Lord Fearing, Craven Fear, and Pride. Toward the end of the book “Much Afraid” begins to understand the purpose of her particular journey to the High Places, the Shepherd’s faithfulness, and experiences a pretty cool name change and paradigm shift of her own. In case you decide to read it, I won’t give away any further details.
Beginning next week, I’ll be exploring the name changes of a few beloved people from Scripture. The series will begin in Genesis with Abraham and this truth:
When God changes your name, He establishes a destiny for you and a legacy through you…. I hope you’ll consider joining me....
Stay close to Him, Live beautiful.