God Knows Your Name
by Beth Redman
A name is given and considered. A name imparts meaning, value, identity, and significance. Your name was chosen specifically, and especially, for you. A name gives both humanity and dignity to a person. The enemy would have you live a nameless existence—feeling anonymous, illegitimate, unknown, unimportant, inglorious, and unfit to be named. Nineteenth Century London was a time of such material, emotional, and spiritual poverty that: “Children were so utterly uncared for that some were even without names, and were known to each other by nicknames”.
In direct contrast, God says that He has a name for us. Where we feel worthless and insignificant He bestows worth and significance upon us when He calls us by name and chooses us for His glory.
Anyone expecting a child has flipped through baby name books, looking at the meaning and origins of names, and thinking about how they sound. I’ve found names I loved and then been dismayed to find out they meant something like harlot, wench or crooked nose!
Ideally, a name suits the person carrying it. When we named our third child and my husband suggested that we call him “Rocco Redman,” I thought he had gone a bit mad! Normally my husband’s track record on making decisions is spot on. There really is no point arguing with Mr. Matthew Redman because over the years I have found he is nearly always right. However, on this occasion, I wasn’t so sure.
I wanted our third child to be called Benjamin but Matt got the older children on board and in the end I came to peace with the fact that if he was anything like his Dad and his brother and sister he would easily live up to something as strong and bold as Rocco! The name means, “rest,” and so far he has turned out to be the most relaxed, peaceful, deep-sleeping, and gentle-spirited boy, as well as having the confidence and joy required to be Rocco Redman. In new environments, his name still causes a little reaction but it is so perfect for him and I love that every time I write or call him by his full name, Rocco Benjamin Courage, I am affirming and speaking rest, son-ship, bravery, and boldness over him.
In the same way, your Father God named you as precious, chosen, and beloved. When God calls you, He speaks over you His truth, freedom, and life. Your part is to make a good choice—to continually believe and live under those things He named you, and never to hide behind another name. Many of us each day live under other labels that the enemy would give us from past or present experiences—unwanted, failure, doubter, ugly, unlovely, needy, drama queen, mistake, disgrace, shamed, forgotten, or other lies.
Those thoughts and feelings cannot possibly originate from God—for He is the giver of good and perfect gifts, and the God of all comfort. Those negative impressions of yourself originate from the enemy—who we know to be a dirty liar.
Perhaps you think your problems and insecurities are too great to overcome. By the kindness and mercy of God in my own life, I can assure you that this is not the case. In my childhood I was abused physically, put down verbally, and rejected. I suffered humiliation many times and sadly began to act out how I felt about myself. In public I felt wretchedly insecure. I couldn’t go out with friends without being plagued by feeling self-conscious and unimportant. I hated myself inside and out.
Then Jesus called my name. And everything changed.
I hardly recognize the person I was back then. Our names may conjure up memories, but not always truth. I know that ultimately I am defined not by what others think of me when they hear my name, or what my earthly father says about me. Instead, the authority and compassion of the God who called my name define me. He loves, He shapes, He convicts, and He lavishes us with affirmation.
It’s time we heard His voice the loudest.
This article was excerpted from God Knows My Name, 2010 by Beth Redman. Published by David C. Cook, www.davidccook.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Beth Redman is an evangelist, Dove-Award winning songwriter, and author whose books include Soul Sister, Beautiful and Blessed Be Your Name. A native Brit she recently moved to Atlanta to plant Passion City Church with her husband Matt and their children.