“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” —Revelation 2:17
I firmly believe you can’t receive your destiny until you go. What’s that popular saying, “You can’t drive a parked car?” It’s like that. Obedience is the key that unlocks God’s door to revealing your secret name.
It wasn’t until Abram left his country, friends, and relatives that God revealed His promises (Genesis 12:1). He wasn’t fully changed into the Abraham we all know and love until he went. He made a few huge mistakes along the way, but God still honored His promise. Abraham was to become the father of many nations. Because of Him we have the entire Jewish faith and the beginning of the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Genesis 17:5, Matthew 1:1).
Jacob was another man in whom God saw potential. His deceiving ways might have gotten him a physical birthright in place of his brother, Esau, but God had in mind a spiritual birthright. “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome” (Genesis 32:28).
Simon Peter proclaimed Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God—and his name was changed to Peter, “the rock”, which God used to build His church upon. He denied Jesus at the most crucial time in history, however that did not qualify God from giving him the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:18-19).
Paul’s terrifying transformation took him from lead Pharisee and terrorist of Christians to lead apostle of the early church. His rebirth was the foundation of most of the books we now have in the New Testament (Acts 8:3, 9:1, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Hebrews, 1 & 2 Timothy, & Titus).
I am convinced that Jesus has a plan and purpose for your life. You must believe! Maybe you feel more like Much Afraid in Hinds Feet in High Places than you do Joy or Peace. Choose to move forward in faith even though you have no idea how God is going to make good on His promises. Your dreams are waiting on the other side. God may decide to keep your name secret for a while, but once he reveals it to you—you can count on it like a promise.
I’ll never forget the day I drove out to Texas. I was nursing a broken heart and decided to go to school in San Antonio, TX. My big prayer was a name change. Call me crazy, but at the age of 21—I knew something within me had to change. To break. I was afraid of asking, because I knew all the men of great faith endured many trials before God changed their name. But I still asked.
A few days after settling into my new apartment I decided to make a trip to the Christian bookstore (back in the days when they had bookstores and before Amazon existed). Before I left, I flipped through their name cards. You know—the ones that list your first name, a Bible verse, and the meaning of your name in giant bold letters? Renee has always meant “born again” or “new life.” And for some reason this particular card said “Peaceful.” I laughed out loud. Who, me? Peaceful? No way! That’s when I immediately knew that God had heard and answered my prayer. I also groaned inwardly because I knew that it would not be an easy process.
Is there something within you that needs to change? “I experienced a sense of bondage I could not name and did not know how to escape. The outside of my life was bright and shiny, but inside I was a mess: anxious, lonely, afraid, and looking for significance.” I wonder if like Abram, Jacob, Simon, and Saul you’re waiting for God to reveal His secret name for you. Like me and Jennie, who felt trapped on the inside.
Don’t be afraid; ask Jesus to change your name!
Dear Dream Giver Jesus, I feel stuck and trapped and empty inside. I know You have a purpose and a destiny for me, and all I can see are my shortcomings. Would you please change my name? Give me what I need to continue on my journey. Thank You for transforming me and for making me a new creation! Amen.
Have you ever thought about changing your name? Why or why not?