United Methodist Church of Livonia, NY

God has a Name for You

In my last message I mentioned that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.  Some thoughts about new names given by God.

God is the only being whose speech cannot be separated from his acts. When God renamed Abram and Sarai, he propelled them into a vast calling. When God renamed Gomer and Hosea’s children, he showed his people a vision of a better future and a certain reality. When God renamed Jacob, he stripped him of what was holding him back so he could move forward into God’s purposes. And of course Saul to Paul.

When God changes your name, he brings you into his healing power and holy plans. He changes your entire story.

In place of the damaging names you have carried, the Holy Spirit, as in the ancient days, wants to speak a new name—a new name and a freeing name—over you. God is inviting you to shed your false names, leave them behind, and replace them with his name for you.

What would happen if you and our church began to pray about, listen for, and invite God to reveal, remove, and replace any adverse names we are living under? What would that look like? Feel like?

I don’t know what false names or nicknames you’ve been speaking over yourself or listening to, but I can say this: You are not Mistake, Idiot, Too Much, Too Little, Overlooked, or Unloved.

You are Beloved. You are Noble. You are created in God’s image. You are Servant of King Jesus. You are Daughter of God, Son of God. You are Renamed.

Don’t listen to any names other than the ones God calls you.

And also this: If, over time, God seems to be silent about your (re)name, don’t lose heart.

Move toward him anyway.

God may have a very specific name to speak over you in a sacred, surprising moment. Or God may be directing a long process of calling forth a name for you. Or you may already be perfectly named. Or God may wait until you meet him face-to-face.

Don’t get too concerned or stuck searching for some “secret” name that God may or may not reveal to you today or tomorrow or even a decade from now. God is not playing hide-and-seek with you. Isaiah 56:5 tells us that the name God will give his children is an everlasting one, a name that will never disappear. In his perfect timing, in his perfect way, he names his children.

Being named only matters because of the one who has named us.

His name covers us; his name defines us. His name remakes us. The true and final name, the decisive name that God will bless you with can never be changed or taken away—because you are his.

Who we are matters deeply to God.

But Whose we are is everything.

Pastor Hoyt      

Watch the series, Dream Like Jesus, as we study dreams in a different way.    
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