My name is Siphesihle with means Beautiful/Precious Gift but early in 2017, after the 25th of February, I was in bed thinking and trying to figure out what name I wanted to refer myself as now that I’ve been saved and God said, “God’s Anointed Princess” and from there, I referred to myself as that hence the blog name.
Why the mention of this story?
Because we see that many times in the bible, God changed the names of some people and their names had specific meanings which revealed something about them afterwards.
Here are a few examples of name changes:
- Abram (exalted father) – Abraham (father of a multitude) ~ Genesis 17:5
- Sarai (princess) – Sarah (mother of princes) ~ Genesis 17:15
- Jacob (cheater/liar) – Israel (God’s people) ~ Genesis 32:28
- Hoshea (salvation) – Joshua (Jehova Saves) ~ Numbers 13:16
- Simon – Peter (Rock) ~ Matthew 16:18
So my question became: Why would God change their names?
Here’s 2 reasons:
- New Identity
- According to your purpose/ promise
Before we can even begin to find our new names, we need to ensure we have recieved salvation and have been made new creatures in Christ Jesus. That we have been transformed by Jesus.
So when we’re born, we are automatically born into a life of sin. Our hearts are automatically filled with sin and on top of that, we commit our own sins which adds onto our sinful nature. When we decide out of freewill to choose our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we become set apart from those of the world. At that moment, our identity changes from children of the world to children of God and automatically our names begin to change in heaven. I’m not saying that your birth name changes but what God calls you changes because of your new identity in Christ. You see when people like Paul’s name changed, it was to signify the removal from who he once was to who he now is. It seperates your past from your present and future. It is up to us to find out from God what He calls us now that we have a new identity in Him.
According to our purpose/plan/promise:
There were some people in the bible who God would promise something and sometimes in that promise, God would seal it off with a name change. Our greatest examples of this is Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was promised that he would become the father of many nations and Sarah, the mother of many nations right after promising them a child. Mind you,they were in their old age and it seemed quite impossible for Sarah to give birth but God is the God of impossible, nothing is impossible in Him.
You see, what God does is that He changes your name to align with His purpose or promise over your life. Look at Simon, after he had told Jesus who he understood/ was told by God who Jesus was, Jesus changed his name to Peter. Jesus changed his name to a name that meant rock and Jesus continued to add on to his name but elaborating on his purpose, “on this rock, I will build my house”-Matthew 16:18 and we see on some occasions in the bible that Peter was leading the apostles which showed that God would establish His people/church through Peter as well.
Multiple times in the bible, we become aware of the name changes but never really pay much attention to them but isn’t it time that we stepped aside and seeked God to find out exactly what He calls us, what our names are according to our identity in Him and/or the promise/purpose He has for us.
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