What is in a name? Shakespeare, one of the great writers then, said, a rose by any other name will smell as sweet. In other words, names don’t matter; but that is human opinion because God said in Isaiah 55:8 that: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith the LORD. There could be a lot in a name, because a name can affect your destiny and what you leave behind after you leave this world.
We discovered from Exodus 2:10 that Moses means drawn out of water and a look at the history of Moses showed that water played major roles in his life. For example, he changed water to blood; he parted the Red sea and changed bitter water to sweet (Exodus15:22-26). He also brought water out of the rock in Exodus 17:1-6 and the reason why he didn’t get to the Promised Land was because of water (Numbers 20:1-13). All the days of his life, water kept cropping up because of his name.
Another example is Elijah, which means “Jehovah is God.” In I kings 18:30-39 after Elijah prayed on mount Camel and fire fell, the nation of Israel fell on their faces and everyone shouted “Jehovah is God.” They were actually shouting Elijah.
Your name is important because it can affect your destiny and legacy. For example, there was a man called Methuselah in Genesis 5:26-32. He lived for 969 years and was the oldest man that lived; but since he died, nobody ever named his son Methuselah because he lived and achieved nothing. Also, nobody has ever named his child Judas Iscariot because that man left behind a terrible legacy. Cain was the first murderer and because nobody wants to start and not end well, people refused to give their child that name. Though Jezebel was a queen, nobody can give his child the name because she was a terrible queen.
But you hear people who give their children names like; Mary, Stephen, Abel, and Enoch among others because they are great names. Your name is important! When you go through the scriptures, you will see how God intervened and changed the names of some people. Whenever He sees that a name is hindering a destiny and the person calls on Him, He will intervene. An example was when He promised Abraham that he was going to become very great. His name was still Abram but God changed it to Abraham (Genesis 17:1-16).
Isaac never caused his parents sorrow all his life but there was somebody called “sorrow” when he was born in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. His name was Jabez which means “sorrow.” He cried to God for intervention and God changed his story.
IMPLICATIONS OF A NEW NAME
Apart from the fact that, a new name means having a new destiny and legacy, a new name could imply that you have joined a new family. For example, the Bible in John 1:11-12, says Jesus came to His own but His own received Him not but as many as received Him, He gave them power to become sons of God.
You could join a new family in two basic ways
- By adoption: Romans 8:15 says, we are children of God by adoption because God has only one begotten Son and that is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16) but the rest of us were adopted.
- By marriage: particularly if you are a woman. A woman goes into the church for a wedding as a “Miss” and comes out as a “Mrs.” From that day, people stop addressing her as “Miss” because her name has changed. If you join a new family by marriage, it automatically means a new accommodation.
If you join the family of God today according to Colossians 1:12-13, you will be translated out of darkness into light immediately. A new name can mean new family, accommodation, and it automatically means a new behaviour and new responsibilities.
When you leave your father’s house and marry into another family, you are expected to behave the way they do in your husband’s family. For example, Ephesians 5:8 says, we were darkness before we married into the household of God but now, we are light and we must begin to walk as children of light. In 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8, the Bible says, they that are of the night get drunk, sleep and do all manners of evil in the night but those that are of the day must be sober and put on the breastplate of faith and love. A new name means new behaviour and responsibilities.
Advantages of a new name
In Isaiah 43:7a, the Almighty God made a promise saying, Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory. If you are called by the name of God, glory is guaranteed for you. For example, when you hear the name “Christian” which means “associated with Christ” it follows that you are associated with the anointed One. In Acts 10:38, the Bible tells us how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power and He went about doing good and healing those that were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him.
The moment you become associated with Jesus Christ, the anointing that is in Him becomes available to you. Isaiah 10:27 tells us that the anointing destroys yoke, so it is not a small thing when you say “I am a Christian” which means “as an associate with Christ, I am called by the name of God, my yokes are broken and I am made for the Glory of God.”
Being a Christian brings dramatic changes into your life
If truly you are a Christian, you will end up with many names just like Jesus. He says, “I am the Way, the Door and the Shepherd. He is also; Wonderful, Counsellor, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace and many more. ” You can boldly say to anyone who asks you for your name that your new name is the light of the world and if somebody looks at you and says “what do you mean by that,” you will say, “that is the name Jesus called me in Matthew 5:15-16. That verse of the scriptures says ‘you are the light of the world.” The implication of that is when darkness sees you coming; it runs because light shines in darkness and darkness can’t overcome it. The moment you become a Christian, you have a right to the name “THE LIGHT.” Your days of running from the forces of darkness are over. Witches and wizards should become afraid of you.
Before I became born again, I ran away from my village because some people in the village told my daddy that they would use me for breakfast. After 13 years, I met the Lord Jesus Christ and I was invited for an event in my village. I told my mother that I would go and she said “if you want to go, wait till you have buried me because you are my only son. They are waiting for you there. You go then you are dead.” I laughed and said, “Things are different now. The one you know before is not the one you know now.” Then I went and I came back. Now when I want to go, I announce that I am coming so that forces of darkness can go to the farm.
Another name that you have is “THE SALT OF THE EARTH.” Jesus called you by that name and the implication of this is that you are to bring joy to people because, when you add salt to whatever does not taste well; it changes the taste. Salt is used as a fertilizer to make things productive. It is used as sanitizer to deal with flies. Now, because your name is, salt of the earth, it means you are to impact your generation. Your life will not be a wasted life. It will not be a useless one. In Acts 8:5-8 the Bible says Phillip went down to Samaria and preached Christ to them. It was as a result of the impact of one fellow that there was great joy in the city.
One of the names of whom you are associated with is the Door which means nobody can shut any door against you anymore because your Father has the key of David and He opens and no one can shut and when He shuts no one can open. That was why when they put Peter in prison in Acts 12: 5-11, the doors opened for him on their own accord. In the name that is above every other name anywhere you turn, doors will open for you in Jesus name.
You are a Christian means Christ is involved with you. In Colossians 1:27, the Bible says “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” I am associated with Christ, He now dwells in me, people have known me with Christ and whether the enemies like it or not, my future will be glorious.
In the main text, the Bible says when we get to heaven, one of the things that Jesus will do is to give each of us a white stone and on each stone is a new name and it will be only known by the owner of it. That is why I am so glad that I am a Christian and I am on my way to heaven, because I know when I get there finally, I am going to get another name but in the main time I can introduce myself as, a child of God, light of the world and salt of the earth.