What's Your Name?
Let me start by leaving this video here. We'll be introducing this song at Fusion worship this weekend and I recommend taking a listen.
The chorus lyrics are as follows: "He picked me up
He turned me around
He placed my feet on solid ground
I thank the Master
I thank the Savior
Because He healed my heart
He changed my name
Forever free, I'm not the same
I thank the Master
I thank the Savior
I thank God" I still remember where I was standing, what I was wearing and the temperature in room on the day He changed my name.
We were in a worship service during my first year of ministry school, and I was surrounded by 1400 other students from all over the world. It was a day like any other day, with all of us crammed like happy sardines into the boxy civic center and settled in for an hour of worship. During this particular afternoon, we were listening to our school leader steward a moment of activation from the stage, and I found myself in one corner of the balcony listening intently.
“You are God's children, His beloved sons and daughters. God calls you His own and has given you a new name. I want you each to close your eyes and ask Him what He calls you.”
As I closed my eyes and asked the question in my heart, the answer came and stunned me with it’s immediacy and completeness. As clear as day, the word “Fearless” dropped into my Spirit and imprinted itself on my heart.
I was stunned by the moment. Throughout my life, if you asked me to describe myself in one word, “fearless” would never have been on the table. I was anything but. Fear had become my close friend throughout my young years, promising me comfort and security in a dangerous world. Fear had been my companion when I cowered away from my calling, challenged myself to grow, or dared to dream of something bigger than myself.
Labels such as “quiet”, “shy”, “timid” and “reserved” were offered by well-meaning people around me ever since I was small. The message communicated was that I couldn’t be brave because it wasn’t in my nature, and I believed it. These labels became defining features: a cage of familiarity and comfort. But God, in His mercy, wasn’t going to let me stay there forever. He showed me the exit sign and all that was required of me was to believe that what He had spoken to my soul was true. After that encounter, I was never the same. I started viewing myself the way He saw me: bold, courageous, fearless. I started believing I could be and do what he said I could be and do. It doesn’t mean I don’t still encounter fear from time to time, with it’s tantalizing promises of safety; but I no longer hold tightly to the lies that had become my home. By grace, fear has lost it’s hold on me.
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. I believe this is the provision for each of us. We were never meant to dwell in the counterfeit identity that the devil offers us on a day-to-day basis. Jesus gave His life in order to give each of us a new name; why hold onto the familiarity of captivity when He offers us freedom? Why do we allow ourselves to be defined by titles such as “timid”, “wrong”, “unintelligent”, “scared”, or “alone”, when He calls us His own?
There’s a process that goes on here of exchanging beauty for ashes. The Lord has paid the price and done the deed, and He offers redemption and identity to us all freely. But it will require us to take a step forward and sacrifice the comfortable lines of what we’ve always known, what we’ve come to rely on, for the promise of something new. Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is choosing to believe what He says is really true… and then begin to live like it. "You have been chosen... that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." -1st Peter 2:9
So I put this before you: insert yourself into this story. Take a moment to name the lie, the one you know has been following you around and making a home where it doesn’t belong. Now imagine Jesus, in all His ever loving kindness, embracing you and offering you a new name in place of that counterfeit identity. Feel the lightness and the freedom of trading in what’s been holding you back for what will now propel you forward. "Perfect love drives out fear." Carry your new name as a gift, a badge, a calling to greater destiny as who you were created to be. Here are a few names to get you started. You can claim these as your own because they are given to us in scripture: “Chosen”, “Known”, “Holy”, “Courageous”, “Child of God”. (1 Cor. 13:12, 1 Peter 1:15-16, 1 John 4:18, Gal. 3:26) Pick one of these truths and engage daily with what it means to operate from this identity. We have been saved, set apart and set free; let us thank God!