I usually get to do that every day of my life and when I do there are always a few things that in the course of conversation that I like to find out.
I like to find out their name. A person's name speaks their destiny and that is an amazing thing to me. I like finding out if and when they met Christ. If they have, I like to hear the events that surrounded the first time that they heard the voice of God in their life. I also enjoy finding out the person's "life message".
Yeah I know it sounds strange and if it strange to you I am OK with that. Most Christians can readily give you a "Life verse", which is the equivalent of a passage of scripture that they love and feel describes their feelings toward the Lord, but I have met very few Christians that can tell you their "Life Message".
A "Life Message" is the thing that you were put on this earth to speak with your life. It is the aspect of God that you were to express to the world around you. In the blog post, "Weapons of Mass Destruction or Extremely Heavy Paper Weights" I posted about why we were created and The word "Formed" used in the scripture was explained in greater detail than I want to explain here.
My name is Dan. Dan means, "God is my Judge". I have found that when I am walking in the Spirit it is like a second nature for me to help people and myself understand that God has the power and right to judge our lives. God's purpose and not His fairness dictate the circumstances of our lives. Reversely, when i walk in the flesh it is extremely easy for me to be judgmental of others. I have no trouble judging others by their actions and myself by my intentions.
In the post, "You Had It All The Time", I wrote about how that message has been the message that God has intended for me to speak to others since the day I was born! It is my "Life Message" and life became so much simpler when I discovered the message and how to use it to point people to Christ.
Now it is exciting to meet people because I have the privilege to help them see Christ and anyone I meet was allowed to meet me by God and it is someone that He wants to use me to reveal Himself to that person.
Instead of living my life FOR God's affirmation I discovered how to live my life FROM God's affirmation. It was no longer "Living for Jesus" but now "Living from Jesus" and I found that Christ IS LIFE!!! He is the purpose and I cannot stop talking about how incredible He is!
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." ~John 10:10
I used to struggle to make myself "have a burden" or "Manufacture a moment" but one day I was finally able to discover something that God had been trying to tell me all along, "Dan, my Spirit is within you and you being yourself and me expressing myself are one and the same" and that my friends has changed my life!"
When Jesus, whose name meant God with us, was speaking of His impending death He made mention of this nugget.
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." ~John 16:7
Comforter? This is the Holy Spirit of God!
"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations (What Mystery is he talking about?), but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (Mature) in Christ Jesus:" ~Colossians 1:25-28
Paul was saying that Jesus, God with us, was crucified so that the eternal Holy Spirit of God could become God IN us! The old Testament saints did not have that and this is why Hebrews refers to this new covenant as a better promise! God indwells the believer. If you are a saved Child of the King, He is in you!
It was never supposed to be about me trying to do anything. It was about me daily making the choice to surrender everything about me to Him. Could it really be that simple? When I am surrendered to Him it is then Him working out through me. He allows me to demonstrate Him to those that He strategically places around me. Be it the guy on the corner asking for spare change, the waitress at a Waffle House, or a co worker. It is then through that demonstration of Him to the world around me that I fulfill my purpose and my life produces the very "Message" God designed me to produce.
I believe that we were given a message to speak to the world around us and that message can only be spoken fully when we are "In Christ". Only Christ can give us the power to do that to our fullest potential.
"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,"
Last night I had the opportunity to sit down with a friend and true believer in Christ and have an incredible time of discussion (And a great cup of Waffle House coffee) about what the Lord is doing and how He is working. I loved it and I am always challenged when I hear about the things that God is doing in peoples lives.
Our waitress dropped in and out of our conversation and for the most part stood close by and listened.
Jesus said, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me." for a reason. He wanted it to be clear that programs may attract a crowd but that is all they will do, because there will always be a more attractive program out there and the crowds will then be attracted to those programs. It is not about our programs we offer but it is about the Christ we present! Christ will draw men because Christ is LIFE and people are hungry and thirsty for life.
We were getting ready to leave the waffle House and out of the blue something amazing happened. I was paying at the register when I saw the waitresses name was Mercedes.
"Do you know what your name means Mercedes?" I asked.
"Well, there is a story behind it about a German family..." and she launched into a story about a first daughter in a German family that died and so on.
"That is an interesting story" I said, "But do you know what the name itself means?"
"No, I really do not", she replied but quickly added, "I will be sure to look it up!"
"Your name means Mercy" I said and then I followed up with a question that changed the entire conversation. "Are you a merciful person Mercedes?"
I could see her entire face change when I asked that. It went from casual conversation to truly shocked. Her confident smile turned into a serious firm line as she looked me dead in the eye and said, "I am merciful...to people that seem to hurt me over and over. I have tried to not be, but I can't seem to stop." Her eyes showed an interest in this conversation so I continued with the next step.
"Mercedes, you can't seem to stop because your name means Mercy. You were given a name by God to reflect Him to those around you, and the aspect of Himself that He has asked you to reflect is His mercy. That is incredible!!!"
It did not mean that she was supposed to be anyone's door mat, but that she was given an incredible gift of Mercy! "You can only reflect that aspect when your life is IN CHRIST".
To say that the wheels were turning would be an understatement. My friend and I walked out of the Waffle House leaving Mercedes looking to the people around her and say, "That was really powerful! I have asked myself so many times why do I keep helping people when they don't appreciate me and to hear that makes me really want to look into this thing that guy was saying. I am going to look into this."
Your name is very powerful and I believe that your name is directly tied in with your purpose on earth and the "Life Message" that God has given you to speak.
God makes no mistakes right? So is it possible that the name you were given was not by accident? Could God be big enough to allow a name to rest on the mind of your parents?
Your name is your identity and the day that you discover your identity in Christ is the day you draw your first breath of this thing called "Abundant Life"!
Climbing with you,