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)

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