“But you are a chosen people, set aside to be a royal order of priests, a holy nation, God’s own; so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (VOICE)
I remember the long-ago day my three youngest kids decided to play in the backyard with a handful of baby dolls and a head full of imagination.
They spread a blanket across the green grass and settled their dolls on top of the patchwork fabric.
“This will be our house,” my 9-year-old said. “And I’ll be the mommy named Tabitha.”
Her siblings nodded in agreement, and the role play began.
“I’ll be the daddy,” my 6-year-old son chimed in. “And my name will be David.” He puffed out his chest as he proudly claimed the name of the shepherd boy who toppled a giant with a handful of stones and a heap of faith.
“Good,” Tabitha replied with a nod of her head. “We’ll need somebody to protect the babies.”
Finally, the preschooler spoke up. “I will be the babysitter,” she said with a dazzling smile. “You can call me Sparkling-Rose-Lovely-Mermaid-Princess.” She picked up a baby doll, flung it over her shoulder and burped it with a hearty slap.
“That doesn’t even sound like a real name,” her brother argued. “We’ll just call you Rose.”
“No!” my youngest one refuted. “My name is Sparkling-Rose-Lovely-Mermaid-Princess.”
Big sister dropped to her knees and offered a compromise. “That’s a very fancy name, but it’s really long, and it’s kind of hard to remember, so how about we call you Sparkling Princess?”
When the voices drifting through the kitchen window grew terse and tense, I headed outside to intervene.
But before I could keep the sweet game of make-believe from spiraling into a sour sibling spat, Sparkling-Rose-Lovely-Mermaid-Princess planted her hands on her hips and stomped her foot in frustration.
With a defiant shout, she declared, “I already know who I am, so you don’t get to choose my name!”
Immediately, the suggestions dwindled to silence. And a quiet lump formed in my throat.
I’m sure my youngest daughter didn’t recognize the steadfast wisdom wrapped in her spirited words, but I certainly did.
You see, for far too long, I allowed the voices around me or the circumstances in front of me to determine my name.
When victory eluded me, I was called a failure.
When my zeal kicked in, I was called too much.
When my cries for help grew too loud, I was called needy.
When my best efforts missed the mark, I was called not enough.
But as I studied Scripture and discovered who God says I am, I began to realize what Sparkling-Rose-Lovely-Mermaid-Princess already seemed to know …
As children of God, we don’t live by the names we are called; we live as the named and the called.
God has called us out of darkness into His glorious light. And He’s given us a name that doesn’t hinge on our circumstances or change with our mood.
1 Peter 2:9 says it like this: “But you are a chosen people, set aside to be a royal order of priests, a holy nation, God’s own; so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light.”
Chosen and cherished, holy and His — this is who God says we are.
But, friends, like the feisty 4-year-old who refused to be swayed, we always have a choice.
We can let the world give us names that aren’t ours to claim. Or, we can tune our ears to the truth of Scripture and stake our confidence in the name that reminds us who we are, the name God speaks over us with lavish love and deep delight …
You are Mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
Dear Jesus, forgive me for all the times I’ve forgotten who I am. Help me to listen to Your voice over any other. I want to live as the woman You say I am. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Isaiah 43:1: “But now, this is what the LORD says — he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’” (NIV)
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For more encouragement and a free printable to help you remember who God says you are, visit Alicia Bruxvoort at her blog today.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
What names have you accepted that aren’t yours to claim? Spend some time with God in His Word. Ask Him to highlight a truth that reminds you who you are. Carry it with you this week, and share it with someone who needs that truth, too.
Join the conversation! Share your answers in our comments section!
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