Have you gone through a name change recently?

There are two ways to have a name change. First, you can change your own name.  Second, someone else can change your name.  There were several name changes in scripture:  Saul to Paul; Cephas to Peter; Jacob to Israel; Abram to Abraham.  Let’s look at the two types of name changes.

First, you can change your own name.  There are times when you look at life and feel confident and strong.  At that moment, your name is ‘I am Able’.  You can function in that name for awhile.  But when you change your name to ‘I am Able’ or ‘I can Handle Life’ or ‘I am Strong’,  you are setting yourself up for a fall…pride goes before a fall.  It is disastrous to go through this kind of name change.  We need to take a lesson from John the Baptist.  People came to him and asked him if he was the one that can handle life.  They asked him if he was able to beat life.  They simply asked him, “Are you the Messiah?”  His answer was profound. He said, “I am not.”  The reason that John could say that was because he knew Jesus who was the great ‘I AM’.  John the Baptist was ‘I am not’, but he knew ‘I AM’.  ‘I am not’ is a great name to have.  ‘I am not’ able to handle life. ‘I am not’ able to cope with life’s temptations.  But, I do know ‘I AM’ and He (Jesus) can handle life for me.  (Louie Giglio has a great sermon on this.)

Second, someone else can change your name. Satan wants to change your name. He tried to change Daniel’s name and his three friends.  Why, because he wanted to change their identity.  Daniel’s whole existence was wrapped around his relationship with God.  Satan wanted to change that and replace his name with a name wrapped around a pagan false god…this would then change Daniel’s whole outlook on life.  This is why we have to guard our thought life.  When God tests us and allows us to go through the process..pain, perplexity, darkness…and then promotion, we can easily develop some negative thinking about God.  Suddenly we change our name.  ‘I am Forsaken’ or ‘I am Worthless’ or ‘I am  a Sinner’ or ‘I am Not Loved’.  These are all devastating names.  We then become who we think we are.  If you think you are ‘Loser’, you will manifest those characteristics.  Don’t let Satan change your name.  This is why Satan tempts us to sin.  You may be ‘Virgin’ but Satan wants to change that name to ‘I am Impure’.

God also can change your name for good.  Look at Isaiah 62:2-4:  The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name.  [3] You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. [4] You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. Wow! we no longer have the name ‘Forsaken’ or the name ‘Desolate or Worthless’.  We have been given a new name…Hephzibah!  What does Hephzibah mean?  It means ‘I am the One that God delights in.’ Double Wow!  As children  of God, we are ‘the ones God delights in.’

Do you see why Satan wants to put a name change on you?  When we look at the name God gives us, we know that we are loved and delighted in and cared for and protected….wow!

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