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When God gives us a new name

When God gives us a new name (1) (1)

Have you ever noticed that the closer you are to someone, the less they use your given name? Nicknames, it seems, are a great indicator of relationship status. If someone feels comfortable enough with me to call me Bekkie, Bekka, or the many other variations of Rebbekka, I know that they’re probably close to me--even more so when they call me something entirely different.

It’s this line of thinking that has lead me to wonder what God calls me. Does God have a nickname for me? He, too, is in the business of changing people’s names to indicate their new standing with him. Here are just a few examples:

  • Abram, meaning “high father” — to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude of many nations”
  • Jacob, meaning “caught by the heel” — to Israel, meaning “God may prevail/he struggles with God/God preserves”
  • Jebediah, meaning “friend of God” — to Solomon, meaning “peaceful”
  • Sarai, meaning “argumentative” — to Sarah, meaning "princess”
  • Saul, meaning “prayed for” — to Paul, meaning “small/humble”
  • Simon, meaning “he has heard” — to Peter, meaning “the rock”
  • Joseph, meaning “He will add” — to Barnabas, meaning “son of encouragement”

There are many more if you look into it, and when you read their stories, these nicknames make sense. Saul, from Jewish decent, was a very religious man. I’m sure many people prayed for him, but at his conversion — at the time Jesus renamed him — he became a humble leader of the New Testament church. Similarly, Abram became Abraham because of God’s promise to him that he would be the father of many nations. His name was a reminder of that promise. Jacob really did spend time wrestling with God and because of it, God changed his name and blessed him. And Barnabas was a great encourager for the apostles and the early church.

>> Related: a creative way to be drawn deeper into God's presence

Then there’s Peter. He was the one who spoke up when Jesus’ disciples were all talking about what people were saying about him, and Jesus asked “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” Simon (his birth name) answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Then Jesus blessed him and told him, “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

Jesus looked at Peter and saw in his response what would become the foundation of the church. Peter had the courage to say what he was feeling, and Jesus responded by giving him a new name. I can’t help but wonder what Peter was thinking when he heard his new name for the first time, and how an entire kingdom would be created based on his proclamation of faith, or how Abraham felt when, as a very old man, after accepting the fact that his wife could not carry a child, God gave him a name that meant he would become the father of many nations.

God has given you a name, too

If you are a believer and a follower of Christ, chances are God has given you a name as well. The truth is, God’s grace changes everything about us. When we accept him, we are made new--no longer identifying with the person we were, but transforming into the likeness of Christ.

>> Related: what happens when we pay ridiculous attention to Jesus

If you look into it, you’ll find that the Bible already provides us with a wide range of nicknames. In Christ we are sons, daughters, conquerers, servants, leaders, brothers, sisters, and more. Because of our relationship with God, he calls us something new--something that reflects his promise and our purpose.

We need only accept Christ and embrace his mission to get a new nickname.

Our relationship with him can be summed up by what he calls us, and for me, I love the thought of God referring to me as daughter, princess, and conquerer.

What names do you think God has for you?

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Showing 28 comments
  • Walt
    Reply

    Came across your post while preparing a sermon for this Sunday. You did good. Blessings, Walt

  • Kahealani Cherland
    Reply

    I came across your post as I was looking into scriptures regarding a new name. God has changed my name. Totally changed my name from Gerilyn to Kahealani. As with the transformation in my heart, my thoughts, my actions, my purpose God has given me a new heart, a new song, new thoughts and a new purpose in life. Thank you for posting this. It was confirmation that God does give us new names.

    • Donnie Lee
      Reply

      How can I figure out wat name God has for me ?

      • Margie Sweat
        Reply

        Ask God,, sit quietly, listen, he will tell you!!!

        • Isabella
          Reply

          While I was talking to God one day I said “God you gave people new names in the bible. Do you have a new name for me? He gave me a name and when I looked it up it fit perfectly. Then I asked if He had a middle and then last name for me. He gave me those also. Now I’m praying if He wants me to legally change my name. If He does I will. I heard of a few others that have done this and I will too if He wants. My old name is for my past and my new name is for my future, my new life in Christ.

        • Gert Bock
          Reply

          I was dreaming God shows a big list of names and nearly at the bottom He showed me my name..WINROY ASTAND.

    • Tamika Lee
      Reply

      Yes As we myself, being a child of God, I am aware that God have and will change our names. He just told me to change my name from Tamika to Tamar. I researched why God change a person’s name. I found that the name change has a lot to do with the new Life and Identity of in which He has given to the person. Scripture tell us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, ” Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold all things are become new.” As I walk in the Spirit of Obedience. I was told and lead by the Holy Ghost to move to Savannah, Georgia. To start a podcast, you can listen @ TamikaLee.podbean.com. I’m currently writing my books and now He has told me to change my name. God is Amazing! He’s always up to something Great and I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for me!

  • Susana
    Reply

    Calvary greetings! I was born in a Muslim family, however, for the last 21 years I followed Christ, and asked God to change my name and while I was sleeping, I had someone calling me Susana, Susana, Susana! I believe God was answering my question, what do you think?My Muslim name was Aminat.

    • Sophie
      Reply

      Hi there

      I’ve got an interesting question about names. GOD said my name is GRACE, kindly elaborate what He means by that.

      • Susanna
        Reply

        Dear Sophie,

        Inspired by grace (eloquence or beauty of form, kindness, mercy, favor), which is derived from the Latin gratia (favor, thanks). The name was made popular by 17th-century Puritans, who bestowed it in reference to God’s favor and love toward mankind.In the Bible, it is described as the unmerited favor of God towards man. … According to the Bible, the name Hannah is associated with “favor” and “grace.”
        God has given you this new name, my prayers are, receive it with get honor, and you’ll surely, see new manifestations in your life in Jesus Mighty Name, amen.

  • Adriel (Jonathon)
    Reply

    For a time, I felt that I had gone insane. One night, I had dreamt that I had blood on my hands. I went to wash this blood in a creek, only to find that it wouldn’t wash away, my hands became stained. Then, I saw a man, with a bucket of water, walk up to me and poured this water on my hands. The water mixed with the blood and washed away into a pile of chains. Then I looked up, as this man put his hand on my cheek, saying, “Adriel, your sins are forgiven and you shall be my messenger in the kingdom of heaven.” All I could do was embrace him like a lost brother and woke up. Ever since then, I tried finding out what my God given name, Adriel, meant. It roughly translates as “The Help of God.” Originally, my birth name meant, “The Gift of God.” I thank you as well, as these others in the comments, to share their thoughts and testimonies that God has influenced in their life. I pray that God brings blessings to all of you.

  • Tiffany A.k.A Sophia
    Reply

    I have been going thru my awakening or rebirth as its called for a while now. Things were changing alot and I had so many coincidences and synchronicities going on and feeling energy that had been fearful all the time and then times of unimaginable Bliss and joy. When I started to go through this the only place I could go was to the Bible that I never read before this started. One day I was sitting there and I was so sick of all of the in and out the Bible changing. Things happening with no answers knowing that It had to have been God. So I asked God What’s my new name then huh since everyone gets a new name”? Which by the way that not everyone got a new name. Most but not all. So when your reborn from what I took it as or God wants you to work for God you get a new name. So one day I was driving by myself I started off downtown Vancouver Washington where I live,and as I’m driving and I’m like okay fine then what’s my new name and what’s my new name. About eight miles later when I get to WinCo and I go shopping and come out a teenager was wearing a sweatshirt that said A.K.A Sophia, and on the front of the black sweatshirt it had a Nike swoosh mark. I figured it was a sports sweatshirt or something that they had their names made on it or something. I was going to go ask but I knew that that was my confirmation that got her name me Sophia. My original name is Tiffany.
    When I first looked up my name years ago it was the beauty of God. Then it changed to the manifestation of God. In Greek Tiffany means epiphany. Which is the night that the three Magi visited Jesus. The feast of epiphany. Tiffany also means silk. It also means transparent. At this time I knew that it was God. Sophie means wisdom. In 2017 March I was listening to a song and he said to me at the same time I was reading I will become yours and you’ll become mine I Choose You. At that time I didn’t know my name was Sophia God’s wisdom. Just wanted to share.

    • Sophie
      Reply

      Hi Tiffany

      My name is also Sophie, I was stunned to know what it means, but now, God called me another name the other day. He said my name is GRACE, I’m still contemplating on what God means by calling me Grace.

  • Dionne
    Reply

    You left out the best one! God calls us “The Bride”!

    My given name, Dionne, means Divine Queen in Greek. When I once asked Him in prayer what He prefers to call me He said, “Mine!”

    Any time I play a game where you get to name your character I always call myself “Beloved” or “Loved” depending on the length option.

    But I came across this page when searching for the precedence of people nicknaming God. I have developed several for Him, each specific to a particular member of the trinity. Father – “Chichan” (Japanese for “Daddy”) Jesus – “Yeshi” (short for Yeshua, His given name in Hebrew), or “Ishi” (Hebrew for “my husband”) then Holy Spirit – “Rui” (which is short for Ruach meaning spirit in Hebrew and I’ve discovered that “Rui” means “affectionate” in Japanese.)

    I feel that using these nicknames gives me greater sense of relationship and especially for Rui as it is a name rather than “Holy Spirit” which in English seems more like a title.

  • Dasha (Ashira)
    Reply

    I had a child at 18..then at 20..On my 21st birthday i was very unhappy and cried out to God about who i am and what will i be.. i knew that raising children is good but it couldn’t be only thing for me.. i felt lost and unsatisfied. So after a week or so i had a dream where was just bright light.. no pictures just light and word Ashira. While dreaming i didn’t know what it means but i felt its something important and i need to remember that word..i did and later checked its meaning from Hebrew-
    “i will sing”,”abundant, wealthy, rich”. God gave me this new beautiful name that was also calling and prophecy. I always had passion for singing but never thought i’m good enough to sing in public or to do anything more than just singing along to the radio. But I believed God and right now I have more than 40 songs written by me with the Holy Spirit. Some of them I partly heard in my dreams, some melodies, words and then developed a song around it. so ask and you will be given, knock and doors will be opened for you! blessings!

  • Hans
    Reply

    Hello, thank you for your article ! When I was about 24 years, I have received a spiritual name. I was born with the name “Kevin”, but I received the spiritual name “Hans” (hebrew Iehohanan). May Eternal guides us.

  • Malcolm (Rhinoceros)
    Reply

    My Name Is Rhinoceros. Blessings, All Praises To The Most High!
    I Believe In The Lord Jesus Christ! I Love God, I Love The Lord!

  • Tarika
    Reply

    To make this beautiful story short.i was named Athena.Father just given me the new Hindu name Tarika it means way.i know this name was given by Almighty God.because the day I received my new name was most unusual.i was talking to a neighbor and she asked me my name.without thinking and for some odd reason.the first name that came out of my mouth was.tarika.and as I was walking back to my apartment I thought why in the world would I say that.where did that name come from.then it hit me.it came from Father God.and my confirmation of my new blessed name also came that same morning when I was cooking breakfast and I cracked open an egg to find it to have double yolks.i am so grateful for my new name and wonderful future.

    • Caroline Jyoshna
      Reply

      My born name is Caroline i lived the past 5 years with Muslims they used to call me Jameela that means beautiful,kindness,graceful, i wanted to use it my future husband is Indian Catholic wanted me take Sureshi means Godess Durga but i was not convinced sound like idolatry. I prayed God and put in his hands whatever name He want for me, two days ago dreamt with a strange name Jyoshnim somebody in my dream called me Jyoshna and saw it written in a whiteboard Caroline Jyoshna. I knew it was from God the meaning is Giving light to others. Perhaps that is my mission give light and help others.

    • Titi Lawal
      Reply

      God gave me a new name many years ago but i was thinking i didn’t hear him well but this name is changing my life for better

  • Linda
    Reply

    Since I was young, I would occasionally wake up hearing my name called. It was always a welcome and comforting experience and it would sometimes precede God speaking to me about something so I know it is Him that calls my name. Three nights ago I had one of those waves of grief that only a parent that has lost a child knows. My prayer as I was falling asleep was for God to call my name so that I could feel the peace that comes with it. God didn’t call my name but he spoke to me. He told me that my name had been Sorrow long enough and that I needed to put that name down so he could give me a new name. You would think that would be easy to do but I didn’t realize how tightly I had been holding onto my grief. I had let it start to define me and that was okay because nobody would ever forget my daughter. I’ve had a lot of talks with God the last couple of days and I’m ready to lay down that name. I can’t wait to find out what my new name will be.

  • Hannah
    Reply

    Christ called my name on September 17 at 4 AM in the morning. I had been away from God for many years. Although I had grown up in the church, although I had been baptized when I was in college, I was not a Christian. I was only good with acting like a Christian. It has been about two years since I had stepped inside a church, read the Bible, or prayed. I have been listening to a podcast in which it was talking about how teenagers are reluctant to receive help because they think they can do it all on their own. I decided then to ask for help. I asked my mom if I could join her and my dad at church I had been listening to a podcast in which it was talking about how teenagers are reluctant to receive help because they think they can do it all on their own. I decided then to ask for help. I asked my mom if I could join her and my dad at church and for them to get me involved and meet others. My mom immediately got me signed up for a Bible study. The study was called “Get Out of Your Head” and went through the book of Philippians. While reading through the first chapter, I was stuck on where it talked about motivation. I had realized my so-called Christian faith has been fake. I had made my faith what I wanted it to be. It was my way of control and perfection. It had always been about me, and never about God. Christ and called my name, which WAS Katie. I was baptized on October 11th. And I would also like to mention this all happened in 2020. From the moment got called my name until this morning, I was always Katie. Now my full name is Katherine, but my nickname is Katie. I always had an issue with my name, ever since I was little. I remember even in middle school I had wanted to change my name to Jennifer. Of course that did not happen, but something always felt wrong about the name Katie. Both Katherine, and the nickname Katie, mean pure. It never felt like that was my name. It was what people called me, but it wasn’t my name… it wasn’t me. Yesterday, November 7, I was attending a women’s conference at church. I had had a rough week and had fallen. During the conference I had many moments with the Spirit . Patience, stillness, quietness, listening, and so forth. The Spirit told me I would have a new name, but he would give it to me when the time was right. I have never been one to have much patience. So yesterday, I tried thinking of a name, that I thought God would give me. Of course, nothing came of that. But this morning as I was thinking about it again, the name Hannah came to my mind. Interestingly, this is one of the names, I would have liked, to name my daughter – if I ever had one. It’s worth to note that I am 31, single, with no children. In fact, I’ve always wanted to get married and have children, since I was in high school . So it’s interesting, that he called me Hannah. And it feels like me! It feels like I’ve always been Hannah and never anything else!… From what I can see, online, Hannah means grace and/or favor. Other than that, all I know is that Hannah was a woman in the Bible who bore a son named Samuel. I would love to hear more about the differences between the names Katie and Hannah.

  • Ben Bruce
    Reply

    God typically changes names when He enters into a covenant with them. For those in Christ Jesus our old name (identity) was sinner. Now that we have been redeemed into a new covenant we are called Saints. In the New Testament believers are called Saints 236 times, you can only find one reference to being called a sinner when Paul said he was the chief of sinners ( 1 Timothy 1:15), but even there verse 13 says formerly. The original translation of verse 15 where he says foremost actually means first in time. So congratulations to all my brothers and sisters in Christ, you have a new name, “Saint”.

  • Mary
    Reply

    God told me my name is Ishran not many meaning but they were pretty accurate… but what amazed me is I’m black but somehow name still came straight from bible origin don’t speak the language and never the heard the name before

    • Gert Bock
      Reply

      I was dreaming God gave me a new name listed on nearly at the the bottom …WINROY ASTAND.

  • Avery Christian Obadiah
    Reply

    Hey, I just wanted to say thank you for the comments. This has really helped me. From what I’m understanding, the Lord is wanting me to change my name and it helps to know that other people have experienced this. God is Great!

    (I will put my new name in the name section, aka my new REAL name)

  • Yosef Alexander Yahweh
    Reply

    Well, God will always make something clear with multiple affirmations, and I happened to find my way here. I have always been a truth seeker, and where not is there more truth than in the word of God or his divine son Jesus, praise be to He. I have lived a life of longsuffering, always confused heading in the wrong directions and always asking why? I blamed God for the deeds of the Devil and his demons, for the suffering he put into my life along with generational curses put on my family. Although I turned my back many times he never left me, even as many times as I cut him with my tongue he still always kept with me even through my darkest of times. It took me a lot of self learning and hard roads to get where I am now, where my faith is no more, but has become my reality. God created us in his image, and to know God is to know who he made you. We all have some attribute of God about or with us, as everything in this world is living just as you and I right now. I have never wanted to accept this world today for what it is, I am 27 years old to clarify. This world may be filled to the brim with the wicked and wickedness but the light that is the truth and that is Jesus himself the living word, will always shine brighter than any light put forth before thine eye. When I fully submitted myself to God’s will and not my own and started filling my spirit with scripture and word he gave me a new name, a very powerful name. My name has always been Joseph Alex, but my new God given name is Yosef Alexander Yahweh, for I am a son of God. My name has a multitude of meanings, but God told me what it means ultimately is. For He is with me and I am who I am. I will never claim to be Jesus or God, but they do both dwell within me a bond that could never be broken, I claim to be a brother of Jesus and a helper of Man. Don’t ever stop knocking at the doors for knowledge my brothers and sisters, for He never lies. Jesus is the voice of truth, Keep asking be persistent for He is always listening, no prayer unheard and no word not accounted for. I know this has been said many times before me, but truth will never die. Lay all your burdens on Jesus and he will answer, all you have to do is be patient and give him the time he deserves, for he does not work in the realm of time. I assure you as dark as it may seem the glory of God is shining brighter than ever and he is calling his people to come home. My message is just trust in God and Jesus and all your worries will dwindle when you realize you have been given the gift of eternal life in a place you cant even begin to imagine, so glorious and divine. When you truly walk with Jesus you have no fear, for fear is a lie of the enemy. God loves you so much even when you backslide and hurt him, He will never turn on you, that is truly the grace and mercy of God. I pray multitudes of blessings on anyone who finds this message, for there are no coincidences my friends, remember that brothers and sisters and be blessed beyond belief, and praise be to God!

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