“Don’t listen to any names other than the ones God calls you.”
By Aubrey Sampson, author of the book Known
God is the only being whose speech cannot be separated from his acts. When God renamed Abram and Sarai, he propelled them into a vast calling. When God renamed Gomer and Hosea’s children, he showed his people a vision of a better future and a certain reality. When God renamed Jacob, he stripped him of what was holding him back so he could move forward into God’s purposes.
When God changes your name, he brings you into his healing power and holy plans. He changes your entire story.
In place of the damaging names you have carried, the Holy Spirit, as in the ancient days, wants to speak a new name—a forward name and a freeing name—over you. God is inviting you to shed your false names, leave them behind, and replace them with his name for you.
Photo credit: Jon Tyson (jontyson)
What would happen if you and your community began to pray about, listen for, and invite God to reveal, remove, and replace any adverse names you are living under? What would that look like? Feel like?
I don’t know what false names or nicknames you’ve been speaking over yourself or listening to, but I can say this: You are not Mistake, Idiot, Too Much, Too Little, Piggy, Overlooked, or Unloved.
You are Beloved. You are Noble. You are Spiritual Mother, Spiritual Father to Many. You are Servant of King Jesus. You are Daughter of God, Son of God. You are Renamed.
Don’t listen to any names other than the ones God calls you.
Photo credit: MD Duran (mdesign85)
And also this: If, over time, God seems to be silent about your (re)name, don’t lose heart. Move toward him anyway. God may have a very specific name to speak over you in a sacred, surprising moment. Or God may be directing a long process of calling forth a name for you. Or you may already be perfectly named. Or God may wait until you meet him face-to-face.
What I’m saying is, don’t get too concerned or stuck searching for some “secret” name that God may or may not reveal to you today or tomorrow or even a decade from now. God is not playing hide-and-seek with you. Isaiah 56:5 tells us that the name God will give his children is an everlasting one, a name that will never disappear.
In his perfect timing, in his perfect way, he names his children.
Being named only matters because of the one who has named us. His name covers us; his name defines us. His name remakes us. The true and final name, the decisive name that God will bless you with, is one that can never be changed or taken away—because you are his.
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Known by Aubrey Sampson
So much is tied up in our longing to know who we are: our worth, whether we’re loved, what we’re meant to do with our lives. But there’s a powerful truth that settles every question: God has named us, and the names he has spoken over us settle every question and pain we have experienced in our search for identity.
Known invites you to understand and embrace what it means to be created and named in the image of God. In the process, it will ignite a passion to speak life-giving names over others, to bless them through the power of the Name that is above every other.
With vulnerability and humor, Aubrey Sampson shows you what it means to be powerfully and personally made and named in the image of God. Everything changes when you believe this incredible truth: You are known by God.
About the Author
Aubrey Sampson serves as pastor of discipleship and equipping and is a part of the preaching team at Renewal Church in West Chicago, IL, which she co-planted with her husband, Kevin. Aubrey writes regularly for Christine Caine’s Propel Women and has contributed to Proverbs 31, Ann Voskamp’s A Holy Experience, Christianity Today, and more. She speaks at churches and events around the country. Aubrey is earning her master’s degree in Evangelism and Leadership at Wheaton College and serves on Lausanne North America’s “Women in Church Leadership” strategic think tank. Deeply passionate about helping hurting Christians find healing so that they can fully embrace their God-given identities and purposes, she has authored three books, Known, The Louder Song, and Overcomer.