When God whispers your name – who you really are – it can’t help but change you. It’s one thing to know in your head that you are loved by God, but it’s a whole other thing when you encounter His heart for you. It’s life-changing.
Part (or probably all) of the reason this past year has been so life-changing for me is that I have finally seen His heart for me. I have seen glimpses and pieces for years, but this year has been a watershed year as He has healed broken places, transformed my thoughts and shown me how fantastically in love He is with each of us.
You see, this life that we are all living right now can be brutal on our hearts. The name that He has given us (or the person He has made us to be) is often obscured by all kinds of things. Sin, brokenness, our bad choices, other’s bad choices, lies we believe in our head, lies that are spoken, experiences that have broken us, disappointments we have endured, relationships that have been lost and so many other things can become our identity. God created each one of us in His image and He LOVES who He created us to be. Our sin and all of those other things are not who we are. It may be what we’re wearing, but it’s not WHO we are.
When we give our lives to God, He begins to set things straight and help us to see as He sees. God begins the process of restoring us or of freeing us from those things that have sought to rename us. He gives us a new identity. You are not Angry One, Broken One, Hurt One, Ugly One, Foolish One, Lonely One, Depressed One, Controlling One, Friendless One, Unlovable One, Failing One, Annoying One, Forgotten One, Obnoxious One or any of these other ‘ones’ that we can begin to believe about ourselves. You may be angry, broken, hurt, not beautiful as the world would say, foolish, lonely, depressed, controlling, friendless, unlovable acting, fail a lot, annoy some people or be forgotten and overlooked, BUT that is not WHO you are. Where you have been called Broken One, He wants to call you Healed One. Where you have been called Depressed One, He wants to call you Joyful One. Those lies you have embraced and believed about yourself? Not God. Here’s the great thing though. I really believe that behind every lie that we believe, is a truth that the enemy does not want us to get. That’s why there is a lie there covering it up. You don’t fortify unimportant things right? The most important things are guarded the most closely. What better way to guard a truth than with a lie – especially if it is believed.
You see, so many times these lies we believe are in direct opposition to who He made us to be. The enemy speaks opposite of God and is always trying to counteract what God is doing or wants to do. That is why he is so destructive. These things are external things that we wear sometimes. Sometimes we wear them because we were told that these are our clothes and we act like who we truly believe we are.
I have been amazed as I have read through the Bible and have seen how understanding who we are is absolutely crucial to our lives. It really is. Fearful Gideon was called “Mighty Warrior” when he was found hiding and went on to fight fierce battles that needed to be fought. Moses, who ‘couldn’t speak well’, was God’s mouthpiece to Pharoah and a nation was delivered. Zaccheus the Tax Collector became Zaccheus the Giver (Luke 19:8) Mary the Prostitute in Luke 7, became an example of one of the purest unadulterated expressions of worship on record. Saul, who killed Christians, became Paul who helped build the Church.
Esther, who was undoubtedly forced into marriage to an unkind king, found God’s identity for her. Instead of ‘Girl With Broken Dreams’, Mordecai helped her to see clearly. “Oh no, Esther! You are not a girl forced into a marriage to an unkind man. You are, but this is not WHO you are.” (The King did make his former wife ‘display her beauty’ for drunken men and when she refused, she was banished. I don’t think this sounds like the kind of man I’d want to be married to. This is not exactly a Cinderella story as we sometimes think it to be.) “You have been BORN for such a time as this. God has not named you Despondant One, Helpless One or Lonely One He has named you Strong, Courageous and a Deliverer. You have a part to play – and it’s a big one.” Mordecai had to help her see this. “Esther, This is WHY you’re here – for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) Maybe she was depressed and feeling stuck. The king had just passed an edict to get rid of her entire race of people. I don’t know about you, but I would feel a little stuck. This would not be entirely unlike a Jewish woman being married to Hitler. When Mordecai spoke God’s destiny to her – she rose and fulfilled it. If any of these had lived out of their old name, these stories would have never happened. These are just a few examples, but there are countless more throughout the Bible as well as other ones all throughout history and even now. Stories are still being written. Yours is being written…
In fact, I just read a book called, She is Mine about a lady who was abandoned as a child at 4 and lived on her own for about five years. She was missing a name, a birthday and her only identity was ‘Worthless One.” The lady who ended up rescuing her as she was dying, was going to walk past her because she was already taking care of as many children as she could. The lady stopped when the Lord spoke to her heart. He simply said, “She is mine.” The lady picked up His little girl and carried her to where she could nurse her to health. This little girl went from No One’s to Someone’s. She was eventually adopted and has now been married over 40 years and has numerous children and grandchildren. Not only that, but she speaks regularly and has even spoken to presidents on behalf of orphans around the world. Some with the worst names have the most grand stories.
God loves to take a broken person and restore them. His heart is for healed and restored people who have their identity in Him and who He says they are….(to be continued)
Part 2 to this is here. It’s my favorite part of this whole thing, so make sure and read it. It’s actually what inspired Part 1…