Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Name

"But the True Shepherd walks right up to the gate, and because the gatekeeper knows who He is, he opens the gate to let Him in.  And the sheep recognize the voice of the True Shepherd, for He calls his own by name and leads them out, for they belong to Him." (John 10:2-3 TPT)

I have read this scripture more times than I can count, but today when I read it, something different jumped off the page.  The words "…for He calls His own by name and leads them out…" resonated deep, because I'm a person of words.

As I continue to settle in to my true identity in Christ, my heart is more sensitive to the words spoken over me and within me.  Words and phrases like "worthless", "not enough", "too much", "too loud", "Nobody really listens or even cares what you say", "You're not a good mom, writer, singer", "Why can't you focus?", "You're not smart enough", "You can't read" were like a boomerang video that continued to play over and over in my mind.  If you're like me, sometimes the voices vying for the attention in your mind are much louder than the ones right in front of you.

But the phrase "…for He calls His own by name and leads them out…" sparked a beautiful new thought in me this morning.  The names that Jesus calls me are "beloved", "beautiful", "enough", "worthy", "just right", "intelligent", "redeemed", "forgiven", "wonderfully made", "steadfast", "conqueror", "warrior", "overcomer", "saint", "accepted".  

In a given day, I had to ask myself, am I really recognizing the voice of the Shepherd (Jesus)?  He is calling me by Name, all the names He has for me, but in a day, how often am I listening to another voice, the voice that seeks to kill and destroy me? How often do I settle on words, names that Jesus would NEVER speak over me?   

What words and names will you allow to lead you out into this day?  We have one True Shepherd, the only One truly worthy of following, and the only One who knows the TRUTH of who we are.  So I challenge you to listen to the names spoken over you, and make sure you are following the True Shepherd.  He will never lead you astray.  His plans for you are always good and pure.    He wants us to embrace our true identity in Him rather than some counterfeit that the enemy tries to plant deep within.  

The sheep know the Shepherd's voice and come to Him.  Do you think that sheep would come readily to a shepherd they knew would beat them?  No, they come because the Shepherd is safe and wants the very best for them.  He feeds them, cares for them, helps them when they are hurt and carries them when they can't make it any longer.  That's Jesus.

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