“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet unto the nations” – Jeremiah 1:5
What’s in a name? Is it only a word which we respond to? Does it carry more weight than we think? An identity? What makes up an identity?
Names are powerful. If you have ever heard the saying “give a dog a bad name and hang it” you will know that names go a long way to influence the bearer. We, as humans give names when we give birth, and the primary reason is to give the child an identity.
In the above scripture, God told Jeremiah that before He formed him He already knew him. That is a powerful statement! Before he was even a speck, yet to be conceived, God knew him. And before he came out of the womb he had already been set apart to become a prophet unto nations. That is an interesting conversation to have for days, but one question comes to mind; what did God know him as? Jeremiah?
If God said He knew him, he definitely did not know Him as only Jeremiah. He knew him on a different level. Mind you, the name was given to him after he was born. Yes, God knew he would be called Jeremiah, but He identified him beyond his ‘name’. He identified him by what He had set Jeremiah apart for; prophecy.
In the book of Judges chapter 6, the Midianites had taken over Israel and were their masters. This had been so for 7 years. The Midianites took over the produce of Israel and plundered their land. In order to get something small for themselves, the Israelites had secret business, and Gideon had a hidden wine press. He was at work one day when an angel appeared and called him a mighty man of valor. That was the funniest thing Gideon had heard. So he replied as such: “My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house”. That is he telling the angel that I am the least of the least. I do not have any strength in me.
Yet God knew what He had placed in Gideon, and what He wanted to do with him. So he addressed him as such. He called Sarah a mother of many nations when she did not even have a child. He called Mary a mother of God when she was not even married and is calling you by your real identity.
God calls people by the potential He has placed in them. He calls people by their ‘settings’. He formed us, he knows our abilities. As humans, we are able to tell someone’s interests by observing the person for a while. Fact, God doesn’t need to observe you for a while, he fixed you.
Listen, God knows you more than you even know yourself. Do not use your human limitations to interfere in the awesome gift he has placed in you. Respond to your name and be the best of you there can be. Indeed, there is only one best of you.