What’s In A Name?

Who defines who you really are? The world? Satan? You? or God?

There have been days when I felt like I didn’t know who I was. Struggling with doubt because Satan placed that doubt in my mind. Oh, he used someone else to do, but I know that it came from him. There have been other times when Satan himself whispered in my ear that I wasn’t good enough, or strong enough. Satan uses society and the roles that people play to cause doubt in our minds. We are always trying to measure up to someone else’s standard.

We place more importance on what people think than what God thinks. That’s exactly what Satan wants us to do. So, do we listen to his lies or decide to do something about it? But, what can we do about it, you ask? Let’s talk, okay?

You know, I write this blog to share my faith. I don’t want to use fancy words or make it seem like I’m better than anyone else. I don’t have all the answers. But, I know the one who does. Yes, I talk to him every day. He’s my Father. He’s your Father, too. Any way, on Sundays I like to take our preacher’s sermon and give you my take. You know, what my take away is. I’m not going to give you his sermon word for word, but I’ll share the scripture he’s used and give you a shortened version and what it meant to me.

The sermon today was based on Daniel 1:1-7. The story about Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. This is just the beginning. When they were brought to the king of Babylon. They were youths of noble families, royalty, and without blemishes. Smart, good looking young men. For three years they would be taught about the language and literature of the Chaldeans. They were fed the same food the king ate and the wine he drank and educated for three years. Then they would stand before the king.

What was the first thing the king did with these young men? He gave them names. They already had names, but he gave them new names that changed the meanings of who they were. Daniel whose name means God is my judge was given the name Belteshazzar which means Bel’s prince. Hannaniah, beloved by the Lord was changed to Shadrach meaning illumined by Sun-god. Mishael meaning who is as God was changed to Meshach, who is like Venus. Azariah, which means the Lord is my help was changed to Abed-Nego meaning servant of Nego.

Do you see what he did by changing their names? He was taking God out of their names. That’s what Satan wants to do with you and I. He wants to take the name that God has for us and change it. Loser. Lazy. Good for nothin’. You won’t amount to anything. You’re not smart enough, or rich enough, or pretty enough. You’re fat, ugly, scrawny, a loner. You can pick any demeaning, descriptive name and that’s what Satan wants us to think.

Satan tries to define who we are because when we know who we are and own the name God has for us, he trembles. The devil can only trick and lie to us. He doesn’t have control over us. But, Satan is attacking us because he is threatened by our identity with God and we have potential to do great things. You aren’t weak! You just threaten him.

Satan makes a game out of our lives. So we need to remember who we are! Don’t listen to what culture says. It doesn’t matter that you’re not the prettiest, most popular, smartest in your class. None of that will matter in the end.

Take these four points away from this sermon:

  1. You never have to compromise to get control when you live with conviction that God has control.
  2. That allows you to be driven by your convictions, not your circumstances.
  3. Small decisions set the biggest direction for your life.
  4. You need courage, not clarity.

So, pray. Follow God. If God is first in our lives, we are who we choose to be. We aren’t defined by our past sins. He made us and has a path for our lives if we choose to live it out, we just follow God and trust in him. He will always be there for us.

My take on this sermon is just that. My take. I can’t do justice to Jon’s sermons. You’ve got to be sitting in the seats in our sanctuary to hear the conviction in his voice. There’s no way I can convey that. But, you will not be disappointed.

We have a new website that I hope you will check out. You can begin to get a feel for what Milan Christian Church is all about.

In Faith,

Pam

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