I was reading Genesis 17 last week – God making a covenant with Abram changing his name to Abraham and God changing Sarai’s name to Sarah promising her a child. Immediately I thought of Saul becoming Paul and then the question, “Why does God give new names?”
As I pondered that question, I started thinking through the similarities between these 3 instances. In all 3 situations, God is doing a new thing. He is marking an inner transformation with a tangible, lasting reminder of the old passing away and the new being brought to life.
God has done & is doing a new thing in us. Just as God made a covenant with Abraham, a promise to Sarah and a transformation in Paul. How has God marked His covenant with us? What name have we been given?
Wounded has been named Healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Forsaken has been named Treasured. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
Lost has been named Found. (Luke 15:6-7)
Blind has been named Sight. (Psalm 146:8)
Unwanted has been named Child of God. (Galatians 3:26-27)
Depressed has been named Joy. (James 1:2-3)
Unloved has been named Chosen. (Ephesians 1:3-6)
Captive has been named Freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:19
I’ve struggled off & on with some extremely dark depression & defeat since I was a teenager. I felt God putting this message in my heart this morning about trusting Him & not living in fear. I don’t know what you’re facing today but I’m praying this encourages you.
I was reading Numbers 13-14 this morning which tells the story of Moses sending out 12 men to explore the land of Canaan to see what the land held in store for them when they took possession of it. When the men returned to report to Moses & Aaron 10 of the men were filled with fear as they described all of the enemy groups living in & around Canaan. Caleb was the only one who spoke up and said, “We should go up & take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” The men who went with him were convinced it was impossible & spread that word among the Israelites. Once the Israelites began to be fearful they immediately wanted to return to Egypt.
Instead of trusting God to fulfill His promise to them they would’ve rather return to their former life of slavery, bondage & imprisonment. After all that God had done for them…delivering them, providing for them, protecting them, showing His faithfulness & patience, performing signs & miracles…they still wanted to return to Egypt.
As I was reading these verses I found myself relating to the Israelites. I’ve asked God to free me, deliver me & do a new thing in me but once He does that & things start to look scary or uncomfortable, I let fear creep in. I start to slip back into all that God has already freed me from. In my fear I lose sight of all God has done & all the ways He’s been faithful. I don’t want to continue living in fear. I want to be like Caleb & speak out against fear. I want to believe God for what He’s promised me. I don’t want to keep imprisoning myself in the old broken chains every time I’m faced with an impossible situation.
God is either worthy of our trust or He’s not. What is He wanting you to believe Him for? He does not deliver us from our bondage and part the Red Sea of the God sized problem threatening to swallow us whole just to leave us to ourselves. Trust Him to fulfill His promises in your life. Keep choosing to walk in the freedom He has given you.