College Music Society: Juba ‘dis and Juba ‘dat

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Chapter 5: …In My Father’s Name

We live in a day when people name children some of the strangest things. There doesn’t seem to be any understanding that names are more than ways to differentiate one person from the next. Names define a person. Many people have been on a lifelong search for the answer to the question ‘who am I?’ They don’t know who they are because people have, so often, called them out of their name. Jacob, whose Mother named him “supplanter” or “trickster,”constantly lived down to that name until one day he wrestled with “the only One who can give lasting answers to hard-hitting questions… God!” (56) Some of us need to spend some time wrestling with God until we can walk away with a new name and a new identity. Jacob walked away from his wrestling match named, Israel or Prince. Throughout the Bible are examples of people who understood their names and whose lives are evidence: Jesus – salvation, Isaac – laughter, Moses-drawn out, Benjamin-son of my right hand etc.

Jakes teaches that we must break the spell of every name that others have attached to us that doesn’t match who God says we are! And, if you’ve been guilty of cultivating a name that doesn’t match, you can appeal to the one who is still in the name-changing business. “A name is an expression of character; it means no more than the character behind it.’ (64) As long as you have breath in your body, you can change your character. You may not have always acted like who you really are but God has always known! And you can know, too.

Remember, that your words have creative power. What you say about yourself, what you say about situations in your life are very important. Seek to line your words up with God! Jakes says “The word of the Lord often stands alone. It has no attorney and it needs no witnesses. It can stand on its own merit. Whatever He says, you are! If you are to fight the challenges of this age, then shake the enemy’s names and insults off your shoulder.” (65)

Chapter 4: Refiners Fire

Like the three previous chapters, this one is filled with truths that are life-changing when put into action. I will focus on a couple in this summary.

God uses fire to purify and correct those He loves and nurtures. That sounds like an oxymoron, I’m sure but it’s true, none-the-less. Jakes teaches that whenever God gets ready to polish His gold (that would be you and me) God uses fiery trials.  God does this because “God is serious about producing the change in our lives that will glorify Him.” (45)  And at times, God has had to fan the flames of the fire to make sure that anything that is keeping us from our destiny and purpose are burned off.  Being in a fire is never comfortable. No one wants to be put into situations where the heat is blasting. Yet, because of the love God has for us, sometimes it’s necessary. The beauty is that God is also the one who controls the thermostat! God knows just how much heat you need for God’s purposes to be accomplished.

God is the master potter. If you’ve ever worked with clay you understand this better than most. Every potter knows that different clays and different glazes require different temperatures and often different kilns. The potter would never put a project she’s working on in a fire that is too hot because she knows it would destroy the work. Likewise, she knows that putting the project in a fire that’s not hot enough will not accomplish the goal. You can rest assured that every trial you go through, every fire you find yourself navigating has been specially designed by the one who knows you better than you know yourself. Even though you might look dull, after you emerge from the refiner’s fire, you will shine bright!

Now, not every fire that God allows you to experience have been ones designed by God. Some have been designed by the enemy who wants to take you out. Satan’s desire is to burn you UP but God will never let that happen. God is always Lord over the fire. With God, you can “walk in what other men burn in.” (49)

The last point I’d like to make this week is this: “We spend most of our time talking about what we want from God. The real issue is what He wants from us!” (47) Between the two of us, God has the greatest investment. God gave all when the only begotten son, Jesus, was sacrificed for our sins! And when God invests, God expects a return on the investment. You are good soil!  But even good soil needs to be weeded, mulched and watered. Sometimes good soil has manure added to it. So, just think of all the crap you have to go through as nutrients that will make the gifts God deposited into you grow strong and brilliant.

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