A New Name

“You will be called by a new name that the Lord himself will give you.”

Isaiah 62:2

WE are all born with a name. A given name. Something that our parents gave us.

There is a meaning in that name, an identity. We are known by that our entire lives. Sometimes it is a blessing and other times a curse. That name that we sometimes try and distance ourselves from, runaway from, leave behind.

Many of us, in fact all of us at one time or another have tried to reinvent ourselves, but for our name. Our names stick like a thick gelatenous honey, unable to separate from our souls. We try over and over again to be or do something new, all the while “stuck” with a name that no longer serves us, or chains and binds us to the person that we were before- a different person, one we may no longer recognize.

We can try and change our appearance, our style of dress, our living situation, even our friends. Many of us may go even further than that in a desparate attempt to shake ourselves from our names.

Names are indentities. They are stamps, marks on our soul. They define us, remain with us and cannot be shaken off, no matter how hard we try.

So how is it that we reinvent ourselves?

I for one am someone who has tried to do this. Reaching externally to try and distance myself from an identity that no longer served me. But this proved impossible and binding, and the further I went to reach for the external world, the further I sank in the mire.

The desire to change the external is a good indication that we are reaching for God without even knowing it. Trying to change something that we simply cannot change on our own- our souls, the essence of who we are.

And in trying so hard to change ourselves and our identities, we find that we become even more lost, wading in a world of uncertainity, more desperate for change, groping, wanting for something more…

But the need for a new identity is wholly internal. We remain the same as God created us, but changed. Instead asking God to change those parts of us that we created to please other people, to please the world.

That absolute restlessness is a desperate cry to be loved and accepted for who we are . But we are writhing and screaming in the wrong arena. While the world’s arena will swallow us and force us to be something that we are not, God’s arena will not. When we allow our maker to reshape us, to bestow on us a new identity, we win, we find truth. Because outside of God’s economy, we live in a world of chaos and disorder. We are unaware of truth. We are unaware of ourselves.

For those of you suffering and writhing to change, to find your true identity, to garner a new name, stop running. Stop trying to change on your own. Sit still and listen to that inner voice, the voice which is other worldly, the one that is not coming from yourself…

Or reach out for help- from a therapist, pastor, spiritual counselor or advisor or someone else that you feel comfortable speaking with and trust.

Do not let your pain festor to the point of danger.

Know that you are not alone. So many of us are here, have walked this journey or are walking it.

And that makes us an army.

Day 99- The Truthful Mile

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” Matthew 26:15

Say it. Say it as if you said it. Because you did. You betrayed God.

When you weren’t kind. When you were unforgiving. When you decided to follow only three of the ten commandments  because that is what is convenient for you. You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

What about supporting abortion.  You’ve decided that it was ok to take a life. You continue to support abortion.  You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

Your husband or your wife do not make you happy anymore. You’ve decided to leave. You have found another partner even before you are divorced.  You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

You have decided that you don’t want anymore children. You’ve chosen to close your womb. You are not open to the possibility that the next child you have may be the President or even the next Pope. You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

Somebody has told you the truth. You don’t like it. You decide your truth goes down easier. Your mind and heart are closed to what God has to say. You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

What is the price of betrayal? Is it your happiness? Your wealth? Your unwillingness?

And at what expense does it come? The cost of a marriage? The cost of a family? The cost of your relationship with God?

In these last days, the words of Judas are for us to ponder, left for all eternity, imprinted in God’s Word. His question is our question, his thought our thought. We cannot take them out of context. Every word in the bible is there for our benefit.

If the words don’t convict you, than you are not receiving them. If you are open, they will dance in your soul and stir you to repentance. God is the giver of life and death. We are not our own masters. Whether you believe this or not is of no consequence in God’s kingdom. God will still be God. 

The truth is a beast if you make it to be. The ancient rules a binding if you do not understand their freedom. Obedience is a gift and not a curse. Adherence to rituals alone is not love, it is death.

As you find yourself open or closed to this meditation, ask yourself this question- why is this making me angry? or sad? or introspective? None of this I write is on my own, every word is from the word of God.

He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your ancestors, so you might know that it is not by bread alone that people live, but by all that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord. The clothing did not fall from you in tatters, nor did your feet swell these forty years. So you must know in your heart that, even as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord, your God, disciplines you. Therefore, keep the commandments of the Lord, your God, by walking in his ways and fearing him.

Deuteronomy 8:3-6