Growing up I always liked my name Jennette because when teachers called my name during class I always knew they were looking for me to answer, not the five other girls named Jennette. I always extended much sympathy to the many Jennifer’s in my grade school forced to add the first initial at the end of their name to avoid confusion. Who really wants to be called Jennifer P. in grade school? I’m sure the snickers from all pubescent boys wasn’t damaging or scarring in the least.
With a unique name like Jennette, I always know when I hear my name called the person is definitely looking for me. Friends often tried to nick-name me through the years, but I wouldn’t have anything to do with shortening my name and subsequently joining the vast seas of Jenny’s out there. I actually like the name Jenny and Jennifer, and I have quite a few friends with the name. But that’s the thing…I don’t have any friends named Jennette.
I rather enjoy my one of a kind name.
Believe it or not, I’ve only ever met one other Jennette in my entire life. Of course she spelled hers differently; my spelling I inherited. In the mid-70’s parents hadn’t caught the “find an interesting new way to spell names to frustrate every child who really wanted to buy a personalized key chain at the gift shop while on vacation” trend yet. My mother actually passed on her maiden name along with the spelling when she named me.
No, I’m not bitter because I’ve come to terms with the fact that even if an A was added to the mix in my name, I still wouldn’t see any rendition of my name on the cute little charm bracelets at the jewelry store. All you Jennifer’s and Jenny’s have that on me, I do admit. Honestly what is the purpose of jewelry with our names on it? Is amnesia that rampant that we need ID badges to cover the possibility of a blow to the head?
Whether your named the most popular name for the year you were born or your name is so obscure people have to ask you to repeat it five times before they finally give up and rename you Bob, God knows you and has a whole slew of names for you. The great news is no matter if you love or hate the name your mama wrote on your birth certificate, God’s name for you fits perfectly.
Do you know the name God calls you?
God calls you by name and its not just reserved for the day of salvation. God has many names for you. Two names we’ve all been given are God’s Delight and Claimed By God.
Never again shall you be called “The God-forsaken Land” or the “Land That God Forgot.” Your new name will be “The Land of God’s Delight” and “The Bride,” for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as his own. ~ Isaiah 62:4 tlb
The name God’s selected for you matters because packed in each name is a key to your purpose and destiny for each new season you are entering. Abram, meaning exalted father became Abraham, father of multitudes. Jesus changed Simon’s name from “he has heard” to Peter, the rock. Saul transformed from “asked for” to Paul, the humble.
In each case, the newly appointed name foreshadowed and spoke life to what God envisioned for them to take hold of and walk out. Embracing their name heralded to the present a departure from what had been and solidified an acceptance of the new identity heaven declared over their future.
God wants the same for you.
God so desires for us to know the many names we are famous for in heaven. Often times when we first hear the new name He bestows upon us in the beginning of a new season of life, we have a hard time accepting. Generally we feel the opposite. God appoints us names we need to hear to face the challenges ahead. He is calling us up into the name and asking us to believe.
Paul spent a good portion of his life puffing up his ego with more knowledge than he knew what to do with. Wisdom, void of the Spirit of God, fueled an arrogance that lead him to grievously track down, jail, and kill faithful Christians who he believed were in great error.
Most of us with the same track record would feel anything but humble following a reckoning with God. Yet, Saul was lead to adopt the name Paul for a reason. God knew Paul’s destiny and carefully charted out a future, presenting Paul with opportunity after opportunity to lay down His life for the cause and purpose of Christ. God knew Saul needed to see himself as humble to fulfill his God given destiny.
God knew and God knows.
God knew who Saul truly was. Saul was not just “sought after” by God, but a “humble” servant too. God sees you and knows your name as well. Part of the joy of walking with Christ in life is discovering who He made us to be in Him. I doubt the discovery will cease even in heaven. We will spend eternity unraveling the many layers to who we are because of Jesus.
However, God’s heart is for you to know the names He shouts, sings, smiles, and dances over you right now. His heart longs to see you step into His reality. Just like the friends of God who came before, His goal is for you to walk out your destiny with confidence and assurance in His goodness and support.
How do we discover our new names?
Sometimes our new name will come in a quiet whisper or thought of encouragement while we engage in conversation with God. Other times, a friend or fellow believer might sense God’s heart for you and share what they are seeing. Remember, if God is giving you a new name it won’t be a name you are use to. His aim is to stretch you and prepare you for what’s ahead.
I once unknowingly was preparing to walk into a trying time for my family. Two people in my household would each go through their own dark night of the soul. During this tumultuous time, I needed to stand my ground and declare the truth of God over my loved ones and the atmosphere of our home.
The problem was, if you asked me prior to this season, I would have told you my name was “much afraid.” I would not have claimed the name God called me three times, through three different people, over the course of a month. The first two name calling session were with believers I just met. Each stranger said that God called me a mighty warrior. The idea of me being a mighty warrior was lovely, but laughable.
If I was anything, I was reluctant.
I felt like God forever had His hands on my back pushing me into situations as I dug my heals into the ground, resisting out of fear. I’d go, most of the time, but not without much trembling. I wasn’t able to fully accept in my heart what God was saying until a friend out of now where, in casual conversation stopped everything, locked eyes with mine and rather sternly told me, “God calls you His mighty warrior princess.” Then, I finally believed.
God got my attention. Something in my spirit stood up a little taller. I left the meeting with a sense of knowing myself in a new way and with a greater purpose than previously. I am so thankful God called my name because I really needed to believe. I really needed to agree with God and step into owning my role for my family as the mighty warrior princess.
If I had’t accepted the name God was calling me by, I never would have risen up to stand in the gap for my family. I know the prayers I prayed during that season were powerful and effective to tear down the things the enemy was trying to build in and around our home.
The Word reveals the Truth.
Another way God will disclose our new name is through the Bible. Have you ever felt drawn to a certain story or person in the scriptures? More often than not God is highlighting the individual because something about their story or character is also indicative of you and how He sees you. I’ve recognized this principle in my own life.
For as long as I can remember Jael from Judges 4 stood out to me. I did not understand why I was so drawn to her, given the gruesomeness of her story. She aides God’s people during a battle with their the enemy by single handedly killing one of the key commanding officers. She lures the officer into her tent by promising him rest and a safe hiding place. However, while he sleeps, she takes a tent peg and hammers the stake through his temple, killing him instantly.
Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come into my tent, sir. You will be safe here in our protection. Don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. “Please give me some water,” he said, “for I am very thirsty.” So she gave him some milk and covered him again. “Stand in the door of the tent,” he told her, “and if anyone comes by, looking for me, tell them that no one is here.” Then Jael took a sharp tent peg and a hammer and, quietly creeping up to him as he slept, she drove the peg through his temples and into the ground; and so he died, for he was fast asleep from weariness. ~ Judges 4:18-21 tlb
I admired her bravery and tenacity, but I didn’t know why her story stuck with me over the years, until God called me His mighty warrior princess. During the season I mentioned previously of standing against the schemes of the enemy, I learned to use the promises of God to do the same as Jael had done with her hammer and tent stake.
I drove my tent stake through the enemy’s lies.
Apparently, our understanding of amen meaning “so be it” and “verily true” is accurate and correct, but when scholars study the hebrew root words a better definition of amen is actually more like “to drive a tent stake through it.” Given the nomadic nature of the people in the Old Testament, one doesn’t need to stretch their imagination to see why a tent peg firmly penetrating hard ground is a sound and perfect picture for the Israelites.
When God declares His promises over His people, He wants their trust in Him to mirror the tent stake, firmly driven into the ground. He asks us to put our yes and amen to His word, and for our amen to ring out steady, sure, and immovable like the tent peg.
When I faced the taunts and strategies of the enemy threatening to take my loved ones out for the count, I grabbed my tent stake, my amen. With the same tenacity and boldness Jael mustered up in the strength and anointing of the Lord, I too drove my amen into the head of the enemy. God’s plans and purposes prevailed when I partnered with the Father’s heart for our family that season. I truly rose up to my new name, mighty warrior princess.
It is time for you the hear your new name.
I bless you today with clarity in hearing God’s voice. May His people surround you with words of life and hope. May women and men after God’s own heart find you, see you as the Father does, and call out the truth of who you are in Jesus. May even the dreams you dream at night be filled with images of your name and identity as a son and daughter of the most powerful and loving King of all kings.
I bless you to recognize the wonderful connection you hold to those who came before us, champions in the faith, that you resemble and carry similar characteristics and traits. May their stories of Christ’s victory in their life encourage and strengthen you to rise up and walk into your destiny.
Share your story.
What names have you heard God speak over your life? How did you come to discover your new name in God? Did you hear through a trusted friend, a scripture, Holy Spirit’s still small voice, or some other way? I would love to hear more about your journey with God. Please share your thoughts below so others can receive encouragement too.