My wife, Elizabeth, and I considered the choosing of names for offspring a sacred act. We took this responsibility seriously, knowing that the names we selected would mark our offspring for life.
Choosing the names of favorite celebrities was never a consideration. Choosing traditional names passed through the family was good but not good enough. Our expectation was that our children's names would guide them prophetically into their destiny.
Our firstborn was a boy. After much prayer, we called him Zion Seth (Zion probably means fortress; Seth means appointed). It was our way of praying that the Almighty would "appoint" him to be a "fortress" of faith in a world filled with doubt, a "fortress" of truth in a world full of deception.
Ten years later Elizabeth became pregnant again. After five months we received a very disturbing report—our daughter, yet in the womb, had spinal bifida (a hole in the spine) and would probably have cretinism (mental retardation). Though the doctor knew we were ministers, he had the audacity to suggest abortion as an alternative to carrying the baby full term. We never went back to that physician.
Instead, we responded by naming out yet-to-be-born, precious girl Destiny Hope. It was our way of dismissing the negative report by raising a faith-filled banner over her entrance into the world. Yes, it was our way of announcing, "Little baby, no matter what they say, we declare that you have a destiny and you have hope. The One who formed you in the womb will perfect you, just as Psalm 138:8 declares." And it happened. Faith attracted the power of God, and our baby girl was born perfect.
So name giving can be an expression of prophetic intercession—with transformational, even supernatural and miraculous results—especially when God does it.
My awakening to this revelation. Years ago I was involved in an in-depth study of the names and titles given to God in Scripture. It powerfully pulled back the veil on the true nature of the Creator, allowing me to behold the glory of who He is and what I should expect in my relationship with Him.
Incredible confidence was released in me when I came to know Him as my Redeemer, Savior, sure foundation, and the chief cornerstone of my life! What a blessing it was to discover that He is the Lord my righteousness, the Lord my healer, the Lord my provider, the Lord my shepherd, and the Lord who is always there! What a sense of security I felt upon realizing He is both the author and the finisher of my faith (Heb. 12:2)!
I learned in Psalm 91:1 that when I dwell in the secret place of "the Most High" (El Elyon in Hebrew) then I "abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (El Shaddai in Hebrew). In other words, when I make Him the Most High—higher than all my dreams, goals, possessions and attainments—His mighty power overshadows my life to perform His purpose marvelously.
Praise God! My spirit soared. That word study empowered me to rise to the next level spiritually. Nothing I had considered up to that point could compare to this revelatory subject. Then one day—unmistakably, profoundly—the Lord spoke to my heart something that would change my life forever. He communicated that it would be just as important for me to know my God-given names and titles.
A spiritual menorah was lit with holy fire deep into my soul.
I began zealously searching the Word. Much to my surprise I found not just dozens but hundreds of names and entitlements. Excitement surged through my spirit. With great gratitude, I realized God had led me to a mother lode, a primary vein of gold in His Word that would enrich me for the rest of my days. More importantly, it would enable me to enrich others. Each title was like another nugget—a shining, golden declaration of who we are in God's great plan of the ages. I felt like a spiritual prospector dancing with glee at the sight of each gleaming, new discovery peeking out of the soil.
Poring over the Scriptures with fresh fervor my heart was filled again and again with great expectations as I learned what it means for us to be the apple of God's eye, ambassadors for Christ, the bride, children of Abraham, children of the resurrection, a chosen generation, the church, disciples, heirs of the kingdom, heirs of promise, the light of the world, more than conquerors, new creations, overcomers, the redeemed, a royal priesthood, the salt of the earth, true worshippers, vessels of mercy, and much more.
The greatest transformation came not in my knowing but in my doing. It was wonderful to discover and know my identity in God, but it was far more wonderful to actually walk in the reality of that revelation—in tangible and relevant ways. Now it's my blessed privilege and my sacred charge to pass this glorious gift to you. This revelation will prove to you how loved, blessed, transformed, called, empowered, victorious and destined you really are.
I urge you to do more than just accept them by faith. Be filled with wonder. Respond with worship. Then make it happen. Walk in the reality they declare—until you become who you really are. You will never be the same. But more importantly, the world around you will be changed forever as well.
Adapted from Who Am I? Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ by Mike Shreve, copyright 2016, published by Charisma House. There are hundreds of names and titles that describe the people of God in the Bible. Fifty-two of the most powerful names that belong to the body of Christ are explained in this book. Know who God says you are. To order your copy click here.
Prayer Power for the Week of August 7, 2016
This week ask the Lord to help you see how loved, blessed, transformed, called, empowered, victorious and destined you are. Accept it by faith and respond with worship. Ask the Lord to help you walk out what He deposits in your spirit through your study of the Word regarding what He's created you to be and become. Continue to pray for those affected by the recent terrorist attacks at home and abroad. Pray for continual protection for our nation and its allies, and include Israel and the persecuted church. Ask for His guidance concerning the upcoming elections (Ps. 13.8; Heb. 12:2; Ps. 91:1).