Genesis 17:1-5 NIV

[1] When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. [2] Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” [3] Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, [4] “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. [5] No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 


Do you know what your name means?  Do you like it?  Apparently my name 'Craig' comes from the Scottish-Gaelic 'creag' meaning "rock".  I'm happy enough with that.  I know a number of people who, at a certain stage of life, decided to change their name, to indicate maybe a new beginning or a new level of maturity. 

Have you noticed that God is in the habit of changing people's names, most often when He wants to change their self-identity.  He therefore chooses names very carefully: “In the psychology of the ancient Near Eastern world, a name was not merely a convenient means of identification but was intimately bound up with the very essence of being and inextricably intertwined with personality.” (Nahum Sarna)

Thus God renames Abram as 'Abraham' which means "father of a multitude."  

Think of how often your name is used every day.  Imagine being Abraham, 99 years old and still waiting on God to fulfill His promise of a son and heir from whom a great nation would come.  Every single time anyone called him 'Abraham' it was a declaration of God's promise and a prophetic pronouncement of God's plan.  Even though he had now been waiting for 23 years to see it come to pass, God was speaking into the present as if it was already accomplished.

He does the same with Gideon, calling him a 'mighty warrior' while he is hiding in a wine press.

He does the same with Simon, calling him 'Peter', the rock, when he couldn't have been more shaky and unsteady.

God prophetically speaks over each of us, not what we are right now, but what He has lovingly and sovereignly placed within us.  We might not even be able to see it, but He does.  He calls out of us the greatness within, the treasure in the clay pot.  He reminds us of our true identity when disappointment would cause us to believe that we are less than we are.  He speaks His truth over us when the enemy, the father of lies, taunts us with failure and inadequacy.  He reiterates His promises over our lives when time and circumstances have caused us to doubt they could ever come to pass.

Remind yourself today of what God says about you.  Speak His Word over your identity.  Declare His promises over your future.  You are not who others say you are, you are not even who you tell yourself you are.  You are what God names you - loved, adopted, called, chosen, precious, honoured, empowered, righteous, gifted, planned with purpose and you are a child of God.