Leave your name to bear GOD


There’s something I genuinely wonder about. It revolves around what it takes for a person to be fully given to GOD. I have heard endless stories about Christians who would have died for the Gospel if it was demanded of them. However, somewhere along the line, they turned their backs on everything—falling and staying out of the narrow way. 

What changed? If GOD is unchanging (Hebrews 13:8) then the change cannot be from HIM. If it is not heads then it’s tails…it’s us: you and me.

I sat in church one day. As I looked at the mass of gathered heads, I thought about this question again, and more. Was everyone here given to GOD? Were there some people who thought they genuinely served HIM but were far from HIM? How was that even possible? What would it take for a person to be fully given to GOD and love like HIM? To completely follow GOD, with no preconceived notions but only filled up with GOD’s Proposed Will

ABBA answered me. As I sat there in church that day, I took out my Note to write what HE said. That is what this article is about. 

What is your name?

ABBA said that when a man comes to HIM he has to let go of many things. He has to surrender everything that is not of the nature of GOD. He has to drop what’s inconsistent with GOD’s Will—but first, he has to leave his name to bear GOD. For those who seem to be in limbo, it is that they’ve not fully let go of their name.

Why? Everything a person does is attached to their name. A name is our mark on everything and everywhere we have been. In my secondary school, at the end of every session leading to a new class, I would write on my desk ‘Favour waz ‘ere’. All my classmates did this too. It was an unwritten (or you could say ‘written’ 😉) culture even though the school authority was against it. And even when we entered a new class, we were filled with glee to know – through the shapes of names shaded with black ink – which seniors sat at our new desks before us. It was a kind of legacy. 

When we leave this world, it is our name that is remembered. Think of everything that you have ever done and want to be remembered for–you slap your name on it. When you do something that you are not proud of, you want your name removed from the list. For example, that group project that was poorly done.

Our name is our pride; a part of our identity and for some, their entire identity. It is a fragment of our existence that lives on in our absence. When people want to gossip about you, they only need to mention your name to bring to the front all they know about you. Your name represents you, your essence. 

Your name is your pride and identity. It is a fragment of your existence that lives on in your absence.

– Maranatha

A baby is named at birth. Where I am from, among Ndi Igbo, a name is given that represents all the hopes and dreams of the parents for that child. Oftentimes, we see and hear of names ‘following’ people, that is, acting out in their lives like a prophecy. For example, my name is Favour and I find myself being favoured by people regularly; even strangers who owe me nothing. Names are important, too important.

As I write, I am keenly aware of my grasping and my inability to find the words to describe to you all I feel about this wonderful thing called a name. I will stop and try again some other time. But think, why do the people who pick an interest in you often start with wanting to know your name? Your name is your mark.

Case Study 1: The Tower of Babel 

The humans at the Tower of Babel wanted to make a name for themselves. Genesis 11:4 lets us know this: “And they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let’s make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered throughout the earth.””

I listened to a podcast by Gentle Podcast on this topic and I seriously recommend you listen to it as well. Here is a summary regardless: the humans at the Tower of Babel decided to build a tower reaching the heavens to make a name for themselves so that they would not be scattered about on the earth. GOD sees this and decides to confuse their speech to halt the project. 

Something we miss from this piece of history is that the building of the tower was not the problem, the idea behind it was. GOD wasn’t being troublesome just because or because HE wanted to spoil their market. GOD made all creation for His purpose and pleasure (Revelations 4:11); this tower was not fulfilling that context so it had to go.

Two things to consider as to how they opposed GOD with the tower:

  1. They wanted to make a name for themselves by mounting a monument that would fortify them and live on after them. They wanted a mark of greatness that would be a testament to their works, power and intellect. To contrast this, what GOD wants is to make a Name for Himself with our lives.
  2. The idea of the tower was also founded on a mistrust of GOD’s promise to never send such rain as He did in the time of Noah. They fortified this tower with asphalt to keep it safe in case of such an occurrence again. In contrast, what GOD wants is that we completely trust HIM enough to obey HIM to the point where we’re not making decisions as fail-safes to HIS promises. 

The first point is the major focus for us here. Do you see it now? The connection? The name, your name, it must go first. When we hold on to our names, which is an umbrella for all our achievements, our works, and our dreams (there are so many things contained in a name), we discard GOD and HIS plans. We cannot be fully given to GOD when we retain our names.

Here, again, we see our resemblance to GOD, even though perverted. It is HIS nature in us, HIS shared character, that makes us love names—even though we often choose the wrong ones. HE knows firsthand the importance of a name—which is why Abram had to become Abraham. 

Case Study 2: Abram to Abraham | building legacy

Abram was the man without a promise. Abraham was the man whose promise from GOD became his identity (Genesis 17:4-5). The Bible is replete with many examples of this (change of names) but the idea is the same—when we take on the name of GOD as our primary identification, believe His promise by faith and live our lives according to HIS Commands, HE becomes our primary identity. 

When Abraham left his relatives (Genesis 12) in obedience to GOD’s command, he was leaving his name to bear GOD. This is not just a matter of phonetics and syllables. Not everyone’s name may change as with Abraham, but there must be a forsaking of old identities and an embrace of new ones. There must be a renewed understanding of the meaning of your name, why GOD would call you that, and the connection of that name to HIS Will as well as what it implies for your destiny. 

At that point of Abraham’s physical departure, there began a detachment from everything Abraham thought he knew. He had to start afresh with GOD. Hear GOD’s promise to him, ‘I will make your name great…’ Would you look at that? Abraham’s greatness was synced with that of GOD. GOD made a name for Himself with and through Abraham’s life. The greatness of Abraham was not separate from God’s—he was great because his greatness was derived from GOD’s greatness. 

The people at the Tower of Babel wanted their name to live on, but that was a legacy that only GOD could give. GOD wrote Abraham’s legacy in the stars, as He would write that of JESUS on the cross. 

– Maranatha

GOD desires that like Abraham, we bear HIS Name, and not just for our sake but for our generations to come after us. When GOD goes after a man, HE does not want just that man but his bloodline. It is true that curses, oaths and vows can be traced to the bloodline, but so can blessings. Why else do we sing ‘Abraham’s blessings are mine?’ It is a spiritual legacy of faith that has been passed onto us. 

A Spiritual legacy of faith is ours when we yield to GOD for our generation! 

Come with me to Genesis 18, where Abraham negotiates with GOD concerning Sodom and Gomorrah. What did GOD say? Why did GOD not hold back from Abraham? 

Then the Lord said, “Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham? Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfil to Abraham what he promised him.”” (Genesis‬ ‭18‬:‭17‬-‭19‬).

What a powerful spiritual legacy, the best there will ever be. GOD trusted Abraham to COMMAND his household on HIS behalf. A command is not a request, it is a dedicated, deliberate, and intricate immersion into the way of GOD’s Kingdom so that the recipient has no choice but to see the light since they are so surrounded by light. Will what you leave behind for your family be for GOD’s Kingdom? Will it be a tangible legacy, a legacy of faith? Would another person say that because you insisted on their obedience, they found their First Love again?

GOD’s legacy is for those with an inheritance of faith and obedience, not just material things. The world may remember or forget as it pleases; in fact the world may never know you but most importantly, heaven…heaven marks your life. As GOD’s children who set their eyes on things above rather than those below (Colossians 3:2), our interest must move beyond earthly rewards and recognition. 

GOD’s legacy is for us to raise children who will not struggle with the things we struggled with, children who will start from a certain point of excellence because their predecessors have laboured in GOD. Would it make any sense if Isaac had suffered through the same things that Abraham did? Would you want your children to suffer the same things that you have suffered? Of course not! This does not apply to our biological children alone but also to our spiritual children.

Isn’t that a legacy worth living for?

Case study 3: Old money vs new money

Sometime last year, Twitter had a field day with the old money vs new money trend. It was a public discourse about the characteristics and behaviours of people with old money (people whose families have generational wealth) vs those with new money (people who have money but no family name).

As I examined the trend, with the jokes, banter and all, I received the understanding that old money or new money was not a matter of money but of name. Society is moved not by money but by name. 

Many people with money cannot get into certain rooms they desire because they have no name. It brings us back to the matter of Babel—it was a matter of name. And make no mistake, beyond old money, even the poor can hold on to their names—even lack is a name. Have you ever been moved to give out of pity? Anything that a man holds on to that is not GOD is a name other than GOD. 

It is why the Word asks us to know no man after the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:16-18) because it is easy to be deceived by a name. If you have ever experienced using a name as a key, where all you have to do is call a name and a door opens, you know what I am talking about. When someone rages, ‘do you know who I am?’ It is again, a matter of name—who they are or who they know. 

As spiritual beings in tune with our Father, our discerning must be open to looking beyond any name that is not of GOD, no matter how charming or appealing. This is why we must resist the urge to be so dependent on others for help that we feel like if they don’t help us we would amount to nothing. GOD is the only Helper, humans are simply channels. And when one channel closes, another opens. 

Name is access; it is authority. Name is identity; it is power. This is why the One Whose Name is above every other gave us HIS Name, but we don’t even understand the power placed in our hands.

Final study: JESUS.

Once we are born, we receive a name that is either GOD-given (if our parents are in sync with GOD) or man-given (if our parents were random about it). In the case of the former, we still have to grow into the uniqueness and call of our names (like Samuel). In the case of the latter, we have to forsake the name and embrace a new name (like Abraham).

In either case, we all receive an opportunity to come face to face with the Name from which every other name came. This is the Name above every other name (Philippians 2:9-11). Our LORD JESUS. 

The Word says that it is this same Name that has been given to us for our daily living. Could you let that sink in for a minute? That Name given to us through which we channel our petitions to ABBA, is the only Name that matters. It is the Name above every old money and new money. It is the Name above every position and office. This Name is above because from this Name came every other name. 

So, why do we fear other names? Why do we fear sickness and death, when HIS Name has been given to cast out demons (Mark 16:17)? Why do we hold on to our titles and accomplishments, or even that of others, when HIS Name is the biggest accomplishment that we could ever be honoured to slap as a tag on our being? That we know HIM and make HIM known?

When we accept JESUS, it means a loss of autonomy. When we accept Jesus as our LORD, it means a loss of independence, self-government and sovereignty. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:15, “And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.” 

– Maranatha

What this means is that we do not get to make even the smallest decisions without HIM. As our LORD, everything we do must be in HIS Name. Adam and Eve desired autonomy at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, becoming gods and a law unto themselves. However, we lose that self-governance when we accept JESUS! 

When a woman gets married, she lets go of her name to bear her husband’s own. Her children carry their father’s name as well. This is what applies to us when we come into JESUS. As the bride of Christ, we become HIS and everything attached to us must now fall under our new identity with HIM as the centre or be eliminated. We must let go of our names, our unique identifier, and adopt GOD’S Name. HIS Name identifies us as a part of HIS body. No more ‘self’, only ‘HIS’ body. 

The conclusion of the matter

There is a difference between when we bear our name and when we leave our name to bear GOD. The spirit behind it changes. When You bear GOD, you are in tune with HIS Will and carry it out to the letter. You are not interested in earthly accomplishments that will have people praising you, your desire is to decrease so that HE increases (John 3:30). You want people to look at you and see the CHRIST. 

The key, again, is obedience. Obedience positions you for GOD’s blessings, unlocking a generational trail of breakthroughs. If Abraham had not left his relatives, would he have ever received THE promise? It wasn’t beyond GOD to give him the promise in Mesopotamia but GOD wanted him in Canaan. Our walk with GOD is step by step, this is how HE tests our readiness for HIS blessings. HE did so with the children of Israel in the wilderness on their way to the promised land (Deuteronomy 8:2). If Abraham had not trusted and obeyed GOD to leave Mesopotamia, how would he have ever trusted and obeyed GOD to sacrifice Isaac? 

Your obedience will not be easy, but it will inspire others to obey. And glory to GOD, like a muscle, obedience can be built! Start from the small things and make it non-negotiable to obey GOD. Throw out everything that will test your loyalty to HIM–whether it is your right eye, your appetite for the latest tech gadgets, or clothing and jewellery. The more you obey, the more you obey. May we not be found wanting when the LORD tests our readiness for HIS blessings through obedience!

To leave your name to bear GOD is to drop yourself at HIS feet and only take up what HE gives back to you. The difference between when a man dreams and when a man accepts GOD’s dreams for him is eternally obvious. What is great in the sight of GOD is not always initially great in the sight of people (for example, Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31) but in the end, wisdom is vindicated by her children. Can you compare the legacy of Abraham with that of Solomon?

Who would you rather be? You will find either at the end of surrender or self.

∞ END ∞

If you enjoyed reading this, please leave a comment below–it encourages me to keep writing. You can also support my writing ministry by giving a one-time or recurring donation. God bless you ✨

Leave your name to bear GOD

6 responses to “LEAVE YOUR NAME TO BEAR GOD.”

  1. Princess avatar

    Thank you for letting God use you❤️This blessed me

    1. Maranatha avatar

      Hi Princess,

      Thank you too for consuming HIS Word to you. God bless you ✨

  2. Ekenedilichukwu Uche-Ugeh avatar
    Ekenedilichukwu Uche-Ugeh

    Amazing! Thank you for this, it’s so timely and sound.

    1. Maranatha avatar

      Hi Ekene,

      Thank you too. God bless you ✨

  3. Oluwabukolami avatar

    To be very honest Marantha, it is sometimes difficult to stay obedient, the fear of not ending up drifting away can be overwhelming sometimes.
    Thank you for always writing I personally love you ❤️

    1. Maranatha avatar

      Hi Bukola,

      Yes, it can seem difficult sometimes but when we look at the alternatives we see that GOD’s Way is really the best. Always remember that HE is as (or even more) invested in our obedience than we are. This helps us to accept HIS help and strength that are readily available when we need it. God bless you. I love you too and GOD loves you even more ✨

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