A New Name

Genesis 17:4-6
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.  Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.  And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

Abram’s original name meant “high father,” though he lived for many years before becoming a father to anyone.  And God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, father of many nations, because it is God who makes us into what He wants us to be.  God gives us our purpose.  He makes us more than we are or can be without Him.  Abram had tried to take matters into his own hands and had Ishmael.  But in God’s hands, Abraham will produce Isaac, father of Jacob, father of Judah, father of David, father of Jesus.  That was the ultimate purpose for Abraham’s life, and he wasn’t going to get there without God’s intervention.

The same is true for us.  We must make ourselves and our lives the raw material for God to work with without our interference.  We must let Him assign us our name of who we are meant to be.  We must let Him mold and shape us into who He wants us to be.  We must offer our lives for His greater purposes to be fulfilled through us.  And then something that comes from our lives will be passed down to the generations to come.

This takes faith and patience.  We have to align our steps with God’s perfect timing.  Rushing ahead gets us into trouble, as Abraham found, but lagging behind also means we may miss out on God’s best for our situation.  We have to trust and believe that God has a plan and a purpose and that He is faithful to His promises.  And we have to submit to Him in obedience.  Then we can live in hopeful expectation of what God has in store for us.

So who has God made us to be?  What is the name He’s given to us, the role He’s assigned, the purpose He’s prepared?  We won’t find it if we’re off somewhere pursuing our own agenda.  But near to God, we develop a relationship.  With God’s Spirit working in us, we develop a character.  With God’s Word leading, we follow a path.  And by the power of God, we can become exactly who He wants us to be.  Everyone’s journey and purpose is going to look different.  But as long as God is at the center of it, we’ll end up where we’re supposed to be, fulfilling God’s will for our lives.