What does your name say about you?
In Bible times, a name held great significance. There were instances where people were named after great events in world history or personal history (Peleg, in 1 Chronicles 1:19, Ichabod, in 1 Samuel 4:21). Names were also given to describe characteristics (Jacob/usurper, Esau/hairy, and Edom/red in Genesis 25). And there were pivotal times when names were given or changed by God (Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Cyrus, John, Jesus, Simon to Peter, etc. etc.).
As we grow older, the pressure to live up to our name or to “make a name” for ourselves seems to increase. Sometimes, that pressure feels so overwhelming that we feel like giving up. But, just like grace or righteousness, making a name for ourselves or living up to our names is not something we can do alone. We need an almighty God Who already knows our past, present, and future to come in and define our days; giving us the ability and will to do great things in His name.
The name many of us strive to live up to is, “child of God.”
In order to be God’s child, we must follow His rules, read His Word, be part of the work He’s doing, and proclaim His Gospel… Though all of those things are great, and we should do those things, yet doing those things does not make us children of God.
Faith, a childlike faith, is what it takes to become His child. Once we believe in Jesus, we are not suddenly required to be perfect, but we should strive to please God, serve Him, and follow wherever He leads.
If He gives you an opportunity to serve Him in some way, then go ahead and take that opportunity, but only with the understanding that He is the one Who gives you the wisdom and ability to be fruitful in that ministry. And if an opportunity to serve God presents itself, and you already feel overwhelmed or it would conflict with another responsibility, don’t take that opportunity.
The Lord gives you strength to do what you think would be impossible, but He also knows that you are not Him; and you have to remember that truth, too. Only God can be in every ministry at every moment. He will bring laborers into the work, whether that laborer is you or someone else.
So, why am I saying this, and reminding you of things you should already know? Because, maybe you are doubting your “placement,” feeling unfulfilled, or feeling like you are working below your potential. I want to remind you that God works in those Who seek Him, and you will never stop being His child, no matter what you do.
Yes, you are going to make bad decisions, because you are not perfect. But it is so important that you don’t let your imperfections define you. Lay your sins and every mistake at the feet of Jesus. Let Him convict and refine you.
Finally, keep seeking after God; drawing your strength and wisdom from Him. Keep praying, and He will open doors and close them, and give you the wisdom to know the way to go. You may take one step and then God draws you back, but don’t be afraid to take that step.
You are a child of God, which means that your Father will lead you by the hand, call you out onto the waves, and give you the strength to follow.
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