Say My Name, Say My Name

There is something about names that is very personal to people. It is almost like your verbal identity. Growing up my mother never called me ‘Tinuke’ because she did not like that name. She always called me ‘Atinuke’. My name means ‘pampered from the womb’ but it did not mean much to me as a young child. I did not like or hate my name. It was just a name and I still don’t get too bothered when people cannot pronounce it so far they try. I have had a name ringing in my head all week but I will begin by telling you about my weekend.
I love worship music and I love people so the idea of a place full of people ready to worship excites me. This is how I found myself in a concert. When speaking to someone about the concert, she was telling me how she had an amazing time and I was confused because I thought it was ‘just alright’. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments where my heart was singing and crying out but between the people arguing around me, my sweaty neighbour and an aunty who kept complaining that she couldn’t see the stage, I found it hard to focus. That morning I had been studying the name ‘Yahweh’ in the bible and not-surprisingly for the all-speaking God, many songs had this word in it. It is one of the names of God. I tried my best to understand why I kept hearing this name. How is the power of this name relevant to me at this moment of my life in this over crowded, tiring concert where I selfishly just wanted to worship with one artist and go home?
This was two days ago. Today I decided to read 1 Chronicles in the bible because nothing spices up your life like the testimonies and crazy stories in the old testament. Since as a born-again Christian I call myself a child of Abraham, I think it’s safe to say my ancestors were crazy. I started the chapter and it was a list of genealogies. I whispered to God, “this is my worst part of the bible” but since I have decided to devote myself to studying the word I decided to read anyway. I read names I cannot even recall and tried my best to ask God why these chapters are in any way relevant since they are in the bible. By chapter four, I stumbled on these verses about a man named Jabez. His name means something like ‘pain’– what a horrible name. His mother named him that because his birth was painful- what an emotional mother. Yet, the bible says Jabez was honourable and cried out to God for some things; that God should bless him, enlarge his territory, Gods hand should keep him from evil and best of all, to be free from pain. He asked to be free from pain but pain was his name. How ironic is that? I pondered on that verse for so long because it seems almost impossible to be free from pain yet the bible says God granted his request. It is one thing to ask God to be free from something, but when you identify with something and it is tied to your name, surely, there is no escaping right? Wrong. The bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is irrespective of whatever you may have identified as before. I used to be known as angry. I was always angry and joy never seemed like it was going to be my portion. When I heard God speak to me for the first time in my life, he went for the one thing I identified with- my anger. This was rooted in pride and un-forgiveness and by showing me the beauty of his name and the inconsistency of my name; God changed that part of me. When a woman gets married, her last name changes. In the same way, when we decide to walk with God, our tribe name changes. We are no longer known as the name tagged to us before but can now identify with the family of prayer and this family is built on intimacy with God.
I carried on reading and came across even more confusing names. I cracked a joke with God and said, “I wonder if the name Neriah would come up”. Within a few verses, I saw the name ‘Neariah’ and my response was ‘are you kidding?’ There is a story behind that name. When I was sixteen years old, my mum decided that we should spend our summer in Israel on a pilgrimage. My family was not born-again but had many religious habits. My mum was raised catholic so she decided we should be baptised in the river of Jordan and not only that but that we should pick names from the bible. I fished through all the names and was displeased with names like Sarah, Esther or Rebecca so I went for ‘Neriah’ not knowingly that this was actually a man in the bible. Although that is what I chose, the moment my brother mentions that name to ridicule me, I immediately deny it and say, “That is not my name”. Now, I am saved and I love to study bible names so I decided to look up the name. It means ‘light of Yahweh’ and there again appeared that name of God that was so magnificent yet found itself embedded in a name I continuously denied. At this point, I think God wanted me to be like Jabez. God knew fully well his mother would give him that horrible name but God was so ready to free him from a destiny of pain without deliberation because embedded in the identity of every human is Yahweh. ‘Yahweh’ means ‘I AM’ so when I introduce myself and say ‘I am _’ God wants his name to be the foundation of my identity. Just over a year after that baptism, I gave my heart to Jesus and I did become a light to the world to point people to Jesus. With that, I think it is safe to say that the name ‘Neriah’ was a prophecy on my life from the Holy Spirit who had been tugging on my heart. Just like Jabez, we all have identity tags, labels that we wear on our chests and burdens that we carry because of that. This may not be your actual name but a name you identify with be it ‘stupid’, ‘aggressive’, ‘sl*t’ or ‘careless’ but I will be glad to inform you that names change.
Jesus understood this very well. his name means ‘Yahweh saves’ and he lived out this name through temptation, crucifixion and up until resurrection where he buried all our sins and paved a way for us to be saved from death into eternity. Jesus teaches us to anchor our identities to his name because Gods name never changes.
“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation” Exodus 4:15
Jesus always prayed the kind of prayers that showed he was seeking God and seeking God helps us to know his name and understand his character so we can put our hope in it. When you date, you have to spend time with a person, learn about their lives and dig deep to know them and this assures you of their character. God is self-defined meaning that he is enough to be fully himself and fully satisfy us. His character is self-determined. We can be faithful today and after someone coughs on our jollof rice, trashes our house and lies to us continuously, we no longer see that person as worth investing in. The beauty of God is that he is not like us and like a timeless rock, he stays the same in his awe-inspiring character. People say that you cannot give too much of yourself to people but I believe you can when your life is consumed with God. If Yahweh is self-sufficient then my insufficiency can die when I am freed from the ‘self’ in me that makes me insufficient, that is, the parts of me that are not from God. Like Jabez, I need to cry out to God and tell him to rid me of anger, criticism, fear, being opinionated, defensiveness, pride and all the desires of my heart that take my eyes of God and into my glass mirror. this crying out is through prayer and seeking the true character of God in the bible. The promise is that those who know and experience God’s name will never be forsaken (psalm 9:10) so I am assured that I will not have to sit outside tis door wallowing in disappointment because the door will always open and I will continuously step into the names that Jesus has given us access to- adopted, patient, qualified, chosen. What am I saying? The name of Jesus is bigger than your name such that just calling on it and believing it to be a source of redemption is enough to transform anyone be it murderer or monk into a child of God. It all starts with the name. The earth started after God’s name and even when this earth is gone, the certainty of this name will remain. That should give us confidence to shout it or even whisper it in every situation and see that the ‘I AM’ of life wants to be our ‘I AM’ not just as a prefix but also to us, he is to be everything.
What a love.
Tinuksx

Advertisements

What Healing Looks Like

People always talk about healing but what does healing really look like ? You can organise workshops on healing, attend counselling and pray all day long but there is a load on the heart that could stick there like glue. I’m in a weird place where a lot of people expect me to be super sad because it’s been a year today since my mum passed away. Even though that experience was painful and sometimes it feels overwhelming to think of, I myself am shocked as to how people can touch where what seemed like nails at the time pierced deeply and I don’t feel pain. Here is how I deal with my loads in life.

1. PRAISE

Praise is one of the most underestimated and misunderstood activities in peoples lives. I woke up yesterday morning with a really strong urge to praise God. I’ve been a Christian for 2 and a half years now or so and I fell in love with praise only in December. Normally, praise is something I do because I have to but my Christmas experience in Nigeria changed my life. My step mum would lock herself in her study and morning and night she would praise God. This inspired me to really dig into praise and I would dance , I would shout, I would jump in the secret place. It’s crazy how I know how to dance when my friends are there but what about in the secret place? Sometimes when I sing on stage in service, I forget myself and just move like I do at home. It feels like release.

Why do I praise God?

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;

his greatness no one can fathom.

One generation commends your works to another;

they tell of your mighty acts.

They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—

and I will meditate on your wonderful works.”

Psalm 145:3-5

Prayer is fantastic but praying without praising is like a footballer trying to shoot the ball with no awareness of where the post is. You have to know the position and size of your post. Praise tells me how great my God- big enough to hold the oceans in his hand and for the clouds to be dust at his feet. It tells me the position of Jesus Christ who seated at the right hand of the throne of grace. He is merciful enough to forgive our sins and faithful to redeem sinners SO WE DONT STAY SINNERS but we are made new by his blood and spirit. I remember how high God is above my sin, my circumstance , the government , war, fear and any other thing that obstructs my vision.

Alright, this player is ready to shoot now.

2. I LIVE

I get to know people every day and I have an extroverted personality. Some people think living is going out to party or making a lot of money but there’s more to life than just that. I can’t just enjoy my life with basic natural things. I need life that is eternal with Jesus because that satisfies me. I live for Jesus. My heart is his. My life is his. He gives and he takes and I believe this is truth. He is my friend. He laid his life down for me before I knew I needed saving and he took up the role of a servant yet he called me friend. My response to his is to do the same. This is what friends do right ? We serve each other. As Jesus served me, even though I’m not even worth to touch him, I’ll serve him too every day by laying down my own life. He is the love of my life and my peace, my joy, my hope, my strength, my creativity is all found in him. You know what the beautiful thing is? He chose me to be loved and he gives me life from his love. This reminds me I’m never lacking. When I feel like I don’t have any reason to live, I know this is a lie from the enemy and I seek truth in the words of my lover Jesus who I was made through so that I could be his compadre for eternity. Since the whole bible is written by his spirit, I use his words to pray and I meditate on them because they draw me closer to him.

Not only do I read his word, I have to act on it. Players, if you know where the post is and that it’s in a perfect position for you to shoot your life and it’s prayers in, kick the ball!

What does living look like to you?

I’ve been reading this book called ‘Strengthening Yourself In The Lord’ and in one section it talks about testimonies. Testimony means ‘do again’ and God told us that we inherit every testimony of God. WOW! That means everything God has done in the lives of His Church (the people of God ), you inherit it. Some of you come from families with messy history. Unfortunately I do to but thankfully when I gave my life to Jesus I inherited his family history. Everything God has done for his people whether healing people with handkerchiefs or saving, delivering from addictions, parting seas into two, causing barren women to conceive, giving knowledge to the clueless, it’s all my family history now.

When I am ready to shoot my ball, these are the things I meditate on. I meditate on the testimonies and how amazing the works of God are but more so , how he can DO IT AGAIN. This way when i pray, I know that there is more than just the average everyday expectation. I’ve seen people healed when I laid hands on them. I have been delivered from pain and led people in pain to places of healing. I have seen restoration in my own life. I have seen my greed turn to kindness. I have seen addicts delivered. I have seen God provide supernaturally and more by HIS GRACE and by the Holy Spirit who is God that lives in me. He works through me like a vessel. For the things I haven’t seen, I keep believing because faith is not about what you see but what your heart believes and my heart believes that Jesus can do all things. This is my declaration.

3. I SURRENDER

This is the last one because these are big topics. We can praise and live but what are we living for ? Rather, who are we living for? Do you know there is a part of the bible that says not everyone that says ‘Lord Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. That means you can shoot but your ball was not really aimed at the post. It’s almost like this player spoken about in Matthew 7:21 is aiming for the crowd so that human beings would give him praise. What is human praise compared to Gods love? It’s dust.

When my mum died I had to do a different kind of surrender. I was already a Christian but I needed to take my idea of life and put it in the hands of God. This life is not my own. I don’t live for me , I live for Jesus. I don’t own anything. No one around me is mine or belongs to me.

Wow, that’s a hard blow to take, but it’s very true.

I surrender because it’s easier. That may sound contradicting to what some people tell you but surrender is easy. It’s easier on your heart. We are all human. We can’t carry loads because it makes us tired. It’s like working out with weights every second of every day. Surrender is easy. Strong legs are not half as strong to God as falling on your knees (Psalm 147:10-11). Repent. Lay down your life and pick up a new life. For my battered and beaten heart, Jesus offered me a new, righteous , pure and loving one. Fortunately, I was not foolish enough to refuse. He offers this to you too because you have not been put on this earth to let sin make a mockery of you, your destiny is to rule with Jesus and to live like a child placing your feet in his footsteps. Greater things are ahead of you. If you want to know Jesus, and don’t have a relationship with him, read this with me;

Hi Jesus

I don’t need to introduce myself because you know my name. I am a sinner because I don’t have a relationship with you.

I thought my life was okay but it’s passive without you.

I have heard that you are life itself and I repent for my sin.

Here is my load Lord because I am not strong enough to lift it. Here is my heart because I am not big enough to fix it.

I believe you are the only way to true life and you died on the cross so I can have no more nails. I believe you rose in victory from the grave so that death stays in the grave and the power of God has set me free. I accept you as my Lord by faith.

I come to your throne declaring that my old life has passed away and I am no longer a slave. I am new in you. No more religion. No more living for the world. No more fear. No more being a victim of pain. I surrender all you you.

You have all of me and I have life in you. Fill me with your Spirit. Thank you for calling me. Thank you for your blood. Thank you for your love.

There you go. Healing is not having it all figured out or constantly being an emotional wreck. As a matter of fact, healing has little to do with us but more to do with a shifted perspective on the person of God and living out faith in this character because his word says you are already healed. You can trust that he is faithful and he loves you.

Tinuksx

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: