In Old testament times a person’s name often represented his or her character. Right at the point of contact
the name was a clue to the person’s persona, as well as an indication of his or her relationship with God.
Consider these: Naomi meant pleasantness, Adam meant red earth, Deborah meant eloquent, David meant
beloved, Esther meant a star, and Hosea a savior. If you’re familiar with the lives of these people, the
applications are obvious. If you’re not, you’ve got some catching up to do. On occasion God would literally
visit one His children and change his or her name, assigning new responsibilities to align with it. God
changed Abram to Abraham, for example, because he was about to be the cornerstone of a vast multitude
of offspring, comparable to the countless sands of the ocean’s shores or the stars
in the evening skies.
When we move forward to the New Testament we still see remnants of this. Saul’s name was changed to
Paul, and the translation meaning small may have been an indication of his size. The name Stephen meant
a crown, and surely his brave martyrdom brings an image to mind of Stephen wearing a crown
in the dominion of heaven.
We too have new names. In God’s perspective our names have been changed to Christian. After all, when
you were born-again, you became a Christian for real this time. As was consistent with people of old, God
will allow whatever is needed for us to grow into our new names, because assignments and character need to
be in sync. If some of us are struggling to know God’s will, maybe our characters haven’t yet developed to
match our new names. Keep working on it. An old Greek philosopher named Socrates said:
“The unexamined life is not worth living”.
So if you’re scratching your head, going…..
God’s will? How could I possibly know that?”…..then maybe Socrates had a point.
“If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new person. Old things pass away and all things become new.”
II Corinthians 5:17