Because I believe that their name decided a lot of their characteristics.
Man has yet to discover all the animals that there are on the earth. Every year they find a new type of spider that they've not named or a new creature that lives deep in the ocean.
If you've ever watched any of these documentaries, there are so many different species of animals on the earth and such a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes.
God has such a wonderful imagination - or did Adam?
Adam was created in God's image and therefore, is a creative being. Was it the name that Adam gave the animals that decided that the giraffe would have such a unique pattern and a tall neck? That the elephant would have such 'cute' feet, floppy ears and a long nose? How much authority did Adam have over the earth where God placed him? The Bible tells us that God gave the earth to man. (Psalm 115:16)
If you've ever looked up the meanings of the names of the people in the Bible, it's a study all in itself. Do you know what your name means and what your children's names mean?
If you think about it, we 'declare' their name over them thousands/millions of times in their lives. What are we calling them? Does their name have an impact on who they are?
I think it does. I believe that God names every single child. Even those that don't believe in God. He puts a name on their parent's heart and it's the name He has decided for this child. (*I want to edit this statement. My daughter reminded me of situations where God probably had nothing to do with the name some parents gave their children. So thinking about it more, if parents don't seek God for a name for their child, does that name have an impact on that child? I think it does. And there are several examples in the Bible of God changing a person's name when they entered into covenant with Him. Abram-Abraham, Sarai-Sarah, Saul-Paul)
Because He knows every talent, every ability, every calling and potential that He has put in their life. And of course, one or two names can't cover everything, but it certainly is important.
My husband and one of my sons names are Mark. Mark means 'warrior.' And they both certainly demonstrate leadership abilities.
Several years ago I was selling real estate when I told someone laughingly that my husband and son were named Mark, my boss was named Mark, three of my clients were named Mark and a dear friend's husband was named Mark. They replied, "God has surrounded you with warriors!"
Whenever a name surges into popularity, I pay attention to what it means. What characteristic is God bringing into the world 'for such a time as this'?
The name 'Linda/Lynda' means 'pretty or beautiful.' I had a friend many years ago that was a bit of a tomboy and teased me about being 'girly.' She told me one day that her daughter 'Lindsay' is "Just like you!" and when she started to try to change that, the Lord stopped her, saying, "I made her that way!" Lindsay is a derivative of the name Linda.
Different variations of the names Kayla, Katelynn and Katherine have been very popular for years. They all mean 'pure.' My middle name is Kay, which also means 'pure.' I love knowing what my name means - Beautiful Pure. It's a lot to live up to! :)
So God brought an interesting thought to me the other day. I was thinking about the 'spirit of Joshua', the 'spirit of Moses' - you know...how people always say 'there's a spirit of someone on them' - and I was wondering if that was true. Isn't every individual's spirit unique and does God put a 'spirit of someone' on us? (Joshua means Jehovah Saves and Moses means Pulled out of the Water)
And God brought me this question, "How much do we determine who we are and how much is determined by God?"
God gives us the potential but how much of what we decide determines how far we will go on this journey God has for us?
I believe that when we receive a prophetic word, which is kind of what a name is, our obedience is what determines how far we will go and whether or not it will come to pass. We cannot just lay down and wait for God to make it happen. We are a co-creator in this thing. The earth was given to man.
And your life was given to you.
A few years ago, I had an assignment from the Lord. When I started down the path, I didn't know it was an assignment. I was just following God as best I knew how. And then I found myself in the middle of a battle. I continued to seek God and lay down my life as He was telling me and obey specifically what He was showing me to do. After about a year of intense battle, the Lord showed me scroll. I saw it unroll and on it was a 'things-to-do list.' Everything on the list had a check mark next to it. As I watched, the Lord marked off the last thing! I knew that I had obeyed the Lord in everything He had told me for this assignment and that this assignment was over.
I believe that every obstacle you overcome, every wound you decide will make you stronger, every person you forgive, every dream you determine to make a reality, every single thing that you lay down before God and submit your will to His - every single thing, takes you closer to fulfilling the calling on your life. Every single thing takes you closer to "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest."
God is using His people to change the world - one assignment at a time. Never despise the small beginnings. Never think that you're not doing much as you share Christ with just one person. It's these small assignments that add up. Be humble and faithful in the little things. We each have 'a garden' to tend. If we do well with our small garden, it grows.
We change the world one assignment at a time.
photo credit: Royaltyfreeclipart