Daniel 1 :6-7
Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
If I were to ask you what were the names of the three Hebrew boys that were thrown into the fiery furnace, I would guess that 9 out of 10 people would answer Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And technically, they would be right. However, the Bible records their Hebrew names very differently.
Our names are critically important. They identify and differentiate us from others. We greet each other by our names. And sometimes, we remember people by their names. Some people may not like their names and will change them. It may not seem like a big deal to change your name. In fact people do it all the time. The reasons for doing so vary. A recently divorced woman may want to rid herself of her ex-husband’s name so she changes her name to her maiden name. A rising music star may feel that their birth name is not suited for the bright lights of fame, or just seeks to maintain some element of privacy and will change their name to achieve that end. For whatever reason people feel a need to change or alter their names for at least separation or acceptance.
Just as important as names are in this physical realm, they are of equal or greater importance in the spiritual realm. Names are very important to God as well. Even before our names were given to us, God knew us (Jeremiah 1:5). He knew our names while were still being formed in the womb (Isaiah 49:1). He calls us by our name (Isaiah 43:1). In fact, it is so important that God knows our name that He will say to many on the Day of Judgment, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Your name is important to God, so important that He keeps it written down in what will prove to be the most important book of all time — the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 20:15). In the eyes of God each of us have a special name. Whether you choose to accept that name or not is up to you. But there is a name given to you only by God. But you must be born into His kingdom to receive that name. Except a man (or woman) be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3)
In this day and age it is so important to protect your identity. People can use your identity for fraudulent purposes, leaving you holding the bag. It is an evil world. And it wants you. Everyday we can feel the pull of the world beckoning us to come and enjoy sin. It calls us to forsake God and pursue after fleshly desires. Thats the king of this world trying to put his name on your forehead. He wants to steal your identity in Christ. He wants to kill any relationship you have with Him. And he seeks to destroy your life and your soul.
Just like King Nebuchadnezzar who tried to remind the Hebrew boys that they were now in his realm with these new names, and that they were to be subject to his gods, our enemy tells us that “you’re not a child of God, you’re not the son or daughter of royalty.” He wants to put himself on the throne of your heart. He wants to dethrone the King of Kings from the throne of your heart. Everyday this enemy of God says, “I know who you are; you’re nothing more than that drunk that used to walk the dusty roads on Friday nights. You’re nothing more than the crack addict that would crawl the streets looking for another hit. You’re nothing more than the thieving, lying, adulterous person who coveted every pleasurable thing you set your eyes on. You’re mine. You belong to me! My name is on you!” In the ancient world, it was believed that if you knew the name of someone you had power over them. Satan thinks he has power over us because he knows our former name.
But Praise be to God, although the world thinks they know who we were, or tries to label us, or the enemy condemns us for who we once were, God sees us differently. He sees as His daughter, His son, His offspring. The world may know our former darkened lives, but God sees us in a different light. He sees us in the light of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that we are seated with Him in heavenly places, it tells us that we have the Spirit of the Living God living within us. He has given us a new life. He has given us a new name! (Isaiah 62:2-4, 12) He has given us HIS NAME! Hallelujah!
You don’t have to hold your head down and say “I was once a drunk, and I will always be a drunk. I was once a drug addict, and I will always be an addict. I once was an angry and bitter man and I always will be.” BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY CALLS YOU!!! He loves you so much he blotted out your former name and has given you a new name. And that name is written down in glory this very day! Rejoice! REJOICE!! Jesus said ‘Don’t rejoice that the devils obey your commands, but rejoice that your names are written down in Heaven!” (Luke 10:20). You can turn around and tell that enemy that “I am not what you say I am; Though you may call me a drunk, an addict, a liar, or any other name you think to call me, I know my Father in Heaven has called me by my right name. He has called me His Child!”
Today you have a right to rejoice Child of God. Your name has been lovingly etched into the pages of the Lamb’s Book of Life!
God Bless Beloved!
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