Deborah Toyin Daniel
WHAT IS IN YOUR NAME?
Reflection: Exodus 20:3-6, Exodus 20:23
As a follower of Jesus Christ, it is important to make good judgment about the names you choose to be called, the names you choose for your children, your projects, your businesses, and anything that has to do with you.
Do you consciously or unconsciously bear a name that promotes other gods, idols, or an ungodly act? What is the spiritual state of the person who gave the name you bear? Your name may mean one thing to you, and another thing to the one who gave it to you, especially if you are from Africa, Asia, and certain parts of South America. A name could also be a Blessing or a Curse. An ungodly one will hinder you from enjoying the presence of the Lord in your life. In Africa for example, many still innocently answer to names that bear the god of iron (Ogun), the devil himself (Esu), the god of lightning (Sango), the river goddess (Oya), Ifa, Odu, and more. Prayerfully rebel against these names and have them changed if you are determined to be a true follower of Christ. You have no relationship whatsoever with those deities.
I had a first name that was given to me by an important member of my family, when I was born. Right from my childhood (and for quite some time), my life was a mess: Things would be beautiful one day, and then turn ugly the next. I just could not figure out what was going on, until I did a little bit of investigation and figured out what was in that name, and other pertinent details that I would rather not share, to accord the giver of the name his due respect. I stopped answering to the name instantly.
You are who you say you are, and what you answer to. When you answer to a name you are called, you are more or less saying "Amen" to a prayer. You are responding to a blessing or a curse pronounced, by saying, "Yes, it is so". Likewise, when you introduce yourself as such, you are expressing agreement with what others say you are - citing examples: My Christian name is Deborah, and so I am destined to be a blessing to others, not a curse. I am called to speak forth the Word of God, deliver His messages, and encourage others. My African name, Olutoyin (Toyin) means the Lord is worthy to be praised; thus, everything that concerns me must showcase His greatness. Even if I had chosen not to fill these roles, I am called by these prophetic names with numerous tongues that have power. My destiny is tied to the names.
Some people had their names changed in the Bible for good reasons: Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, and Paul, to mention a few. Though their name-change was not by their own choice (as the Lord did so for a reason), you can prayerfully have yours changed too. It is your prerogative, and not a crime to choose not to be called by certain names now that you are a new creature in Christ. It costs little to have your name changed in the United States and the United Kingdom, and almost nothing in certain parts of the world. If others ask why you changed your name, let them know you were created for God’s pleasure only, and must live out His purpose for your life.
Let the Lord be glorified by your lifestyle, conduct, and the name you are called, beloved. May we be guided!
Yours Firmly in His Grip.
Deborah (Toyin) Daniel