I read her response on my phone, the one I hoped wouldn’t show up. With each word, my heartbeat became faster and, louder and louder, I heard my name — that familiar, too-often-heard call toward what the voice of the Enemy says I am.
Have you ever wanted to just make someone proud with your life? Have you ever experienced that striving, that never-ending pursuit of trying to please someone?
I have, and it just never seems to work. I do this, and that’s not the right thing. I do the opposite, and that too is the wrong move. And the truth is, I can never please everyone at once and so why do I try, right?
Why do I try?
Because deep down, I want to remove the name that lies have put on me.
I don’t remember the first time I ever heard that name, but I know it’s followed me for a while. So long, that I answer to it now with zero hesitancy, like it’s normal to be called something so disappointing.
One thing I love about God is that He loves to rename people, to redeem people, to give each one of us a purpose. Abram to Abraham (Genesis 17), Jacob to Israel (Genesis 35), Simon to Peter (Matthew 16).
Take the story of Simon for example. In Matthew 16, Jesus asks the disciples who people say He is, to which they replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets (vs. 14, MSG).” He then asked them who He was to them. Simon answered, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God (vs. 16, MSG).” Jesus then re-named Simon,
Jesus came back, ‘God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven.’” -Matthew 16:17-18, MSG
Did you catch that? Jesus asks Simon who He is to him and once Simon says Christ is his Lord, Simon’s name changes to one with a promise — a promise of a purpose and a heavenly inheritance! This must mean that, if we have Christ as our Lord, we too are given a name with hope, purpose, and promise.
I wonder what name you’re carrying around today? Is it Failure? Maybe Not Enough, Too Much, Fearful, Doubter, or Unworthy? What name has been placed on you that was never meant to be there?
God has many names, but my favorite is Love (1 John 4:7-10). And He has given you some names, too. You are chosen. You are loved. You are redeemed. You are blessed. You are cleansed. You are free. You are HIS. The One whose name is Love calls you be-loved.
If you are a child of God, you (like Peter) carry a name of promise and purpose; replace the lies of the name you hear with the names God has given you in His word. If you would like to become a child of God today and claim the hope Christ has given all of us who call Him Savior, it takes one simple prayer and is the best decision you could ever make! Say this out loud and mean it with all your heart:
Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice on the cross. Thank you that, while I was still sinning, you died so that I could be free. From this moment forward, I claim you as my King, my Savior, my Lord. Please dwell in my heart and save me. Thank you for this gift. In Your name I pray, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, please share your decision with someone! If you would like to share it with our team so that we can be praying for you and share with you some next steps, please write us a message in the contact form here! We’d love to celebrate with you!