I’m super prego right now at 38 weeks, so along with thinking about the next thing I need to clean or prepare and if I need to buy some more onesies I’ve been thinking about names, babies, new life.
And I’ve been reflecting on how we named our first daughter…
It was just minutes after giving birth and I was holding this beautiful new baby girl in my arms with admiration and joy. Tired and excited I turned to my husband and said with anticipation “say her name”. Her daddy said the name we had chose for her and she immediately turned her face in response to her name. It was a stunning moment.
With new creation, new life comes a new name, and identity. Therefore if anyone is in Christ [she] is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17). It may be easy to believe something great about someone else’s identity, a sweet baby or someone you love but can we believe this about ourselves?
I want to be like my tiny, new, baby girl -responsive to who God the Father says we are. My baby daughter’s response reminds me of Mary Magdalene to Jesus after His resurrection. She didn’t recognize Jesus standing right in front of her, didn’t recognize him when they were talking but when Jesus said her name “Mary!” she immediately recognized it was Jesus speaking her name. From John’s account it seems like she couldn’t contain herself, her response was to give Jesus a big hug. I just wonder how when Jesus said her name, how did it speak deep into her soul when He said her name…I just can’t help but think that no one else ever said her name quite like that. The one who speaks creation into life also speaks our identity over us…after He said her name she fully believed, even when perhaps no one else believed that Jesus was alive she seemed to be full of faith, joy, and love.
There’s several people in the bible that God changes their name or calls them by name to re-enforce their identity…
- Abram – Abraham (father of a multitude)
- Sarai – Sarah ( mother of nations)
- Simon – Peter (rock)
We may not have had a dramatic name change but God does have something to say about each one of us, who He has made us to be, for His divine purposes.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view (2 Corinthians 5:16) Whatever you believe about yourselves, or belittling things others believe about you have no standing compared to what our Holy God says about us. Instead, Truth Himself sings and declares His love and value over you. Truth’s suffering and shed blood and continuing faithfulness attests to this. As the creator, as our Father He alone gets to ascribe worth and identity to us. We are made in God’s own image, (Genesis 1:27) we are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, He predestined us to be adopted as daughters, (Ephesians 1:4,5) we are formed, fashioned, wonderfully and fearfully made (Psalm 139).
Believing and responding to who God says we are influences our faith and how we practice it. If we believe that we are daughters of God, made in His image, heirs to God (Galatians 4:7) how does that change the way we live, how does that boost your faith? God is the authority on who we are and our value. Our insecurities, self doubting, or misconceptions of ourselves can hold us back from living in God’s love, and joy. I like how Dan Mohler says it: “God of the universe – He must value us so much. He must know something about our value and destiny. He must know how vital it is for us to be transformed back into His image that He would come in the likeness of sinful flesh so we could be restored back into the power of the Spirit.” God’s Spirit transforms us into a new creation, we are becoming who God says we are! We are more than just mundane people, God is dwelling in us!
As beloved women let’s encourage each other in who God says we are and call that out in one another! Over these coming weeks let’s build each other up and let go of any worldly way we see ourselves and others. Just like Mary Magdalene let’s respond to who God says we are with love for Jesus and faith.