Don’t believe the old lies.
Your New Name
By Esther Fleece Allen
The enemy of your soul will never encourage you or speak life into who you are. The enemy will never affirm who you are becoming; instead, he tries to distract you or make you think your new name is earned and not given. The truth is, none of us can live “good enough” to earn a new name from God. God names us because of who he is and out of his love! When we hear painful lies from our past or when our old names or identities resurface, we need to ask, “Who is speaking this name over me?”
I used to hear things like, “You will never be married.” “No one will ever want you.” “You are not desirable.” And if we pause to think about these statements, we realize they are accusations. “You this, you that.” We wouldn’t look at ourselves in the mirror and talk like this to ourselves. When we hear dreadful accusations in the name-changing process, we can be sure it is the enemy and not God, trying to proclaim identities over us that have never been true.
So how can we discern the difference between these voices?
God’s voice is gentle and kind. God’s voice provides guidance. Even when God corrects us, he does so out of love (Heb. 12:6). God’s kindness leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4), and God’s words will always match Scripture. God’s words are full of truth and show an everlasting kindness toward us (Jer. 31:3). God’s words sound like:
You matter to someone (Ps. 139:17).
You are not a mistake (Eph. 4:1).
You are loved (Ps. 86:5).
God’s words are affirming and loving, even when He is correcting us. When we hear accusations directed at us, there’s a good chance the accusation is trying to take the place of our new name. Don’t let it! Don’t believe the lie that “you are not enough,” and ask God to help you hear His voice of truth.
When I heard the words “You are not loved,” they led me to isolation and could have prevented me from giving my heart to Joel. But when we listen to God, the Holy Spirit will “guide us into all the truth” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit will tell us our new name by affirming us, not by putting us down. The Holy Spirit will never shame us into believing God. The Holy Spirit will never lie to us, mock us, or attack us. The Holy Spirit reminds us of who God has already made us to be—his own.
When life is hard, sometimes our old names and identities resurface. As wedding planning became stressful and bills piled up, it was easy for me to believe my name was “Poor” or “Undeserving.” But these were accusations. They evoked the old labels and not the new names God had given me. And slowly I began to learn to challenge them, clinging to what God says about me instead.
God was my provider. Not only did God provide a godly husband, but he was delighted in our covenant marriage. God wanted to speak words of life, love and affirmation over my wedding day. Any voice of guilt or shame was a distraction that tried to get my eyes off my new name.
I am not poor; I am provided for. I am not unworthy; I am lovely. I am not orphaned; I am chosen, and you are too.
The true words God speaks about us have the power to extinguish any influence our old labels may have once had.
Excerpted from Your New Name by Esther Fleece Allen. Copyright © 2020 by Esther Fleece Allen. Used by permission of Zondervan. Zondervan.com.