My husband and I will be married 16 years this coming Friday. (Happy Anniversary Babe!) This not only marks the anniversary of our adventures as husband and wife, but it also marks the day that I took on my husband’s last name. At first, like many brides, I didn’t respond when people called me by my married name because I forgot that was my name. I had gone by my maiden name for so long, I struggled to make the switch.
It has been over 3o years since I took on a new name in Christ, but I still forget my new identity. I still answer to my old names. For example, when I fail in life, in love or in any other area, the internal name calling begins. Loser. Failure. Worthless. Etc… Old names shout loudly using the evidence of my circumstance as ‘proof’ that I should answer them. And worse still, I do answer to them. ‘Yes, that’s me’, I agree and then I proceed to hang my head and wallow in my own hopelessness.
“You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem (jewel) in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted …or Desolate. But you will be called Hepzibah (which means,‘My delight is in her’).“ Isaiah 62:2b-4
When the truth of the above scripture truly sank in, I was moved to tears. Once again, Christ has showed me in His Paperwork (the Bible) that ‘Loser, Failure, Lost Cause’ are not my names. I am not to respond to them, because that is not how Christ sees me. Just as clearly as the minister announced my new name on my wedding day, God Himself has given us new names when we said “I Do” to Jesus. And they are beautiful names:
“Crown of Splendor in the Lord’s Hand” (Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?)
“Royal Jewel in the Hand of God” (Just call me R.J. for short.)
“My Delight” (This one is my favorite. Like a spouse calling ‘love’ or ‘honey’, God calls us, ‘My Delight’.)
Learn your new name.
“What is your name?” is the first question we are taught to respond to as children. Over and over, this question is asked until we can respond with our name. Yet as children of God, can we do the same? Can we state our identity in Him with confidence? Do we even know our new names? If not, the above scripture is an excellent place to start (or click here for more). Write them out for yourself somewhere: I am a Crown of Splendor in the Lord’s Hand. I am a Royal Jewel in the Hand of God. I am God’s Delight. Believe it, dear one, for God Himself declared it.
No longer respond to your old names and labels.
“No longer will they call you Deserted or…Desolate.”
I love those words. They are like a line drawn in the sand by Christ Himself.
Any name that has not been given to me by God Himself, is no longer my name.
In the past I may have been defined by my failures, but no longer.
I may have been called Rejected or Unloveable, but no longer.
I may have labeled as a loser, but no longer.
Therefore, by the grace of God, I will respond to these old names NO LONGER.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Is there an old name that you struggle to ignore? State the identity that God has given you in its place. If you feel comfortable, share in the comments below.