what’s in a name?

This year I sensed Jesus saying that I need to “Go Deeper.”  I haven’t been sure what this exactly means, but I’ve sensed it’s something like His presence will influence me more than any other. Or I will be more influenced by who Jesus is and what He thinks, rather than who others are and what they think. Recently, Jesus has been reinforcing this as he’s revealed to me something about my name, Daniel.

Back in the day (say, thousands of years ago ;), names seemed to mean a lot more.  In the Hebrew culture, it actually pointed to and described someone’s character and possibly their personality. It was kind of a revelation of who they were. It’s very interesting to read the Biblical accounts and see how their name described them and what their role was.

I’ve known for a while that my name, Daniel, is a Hebrew name which means, God is my Judge.  That may seem harsh to some, but actually as Jesus has been showing me, this is really cool; especially if you realize how amazing, merciful, gracious, and loving God really is.  My name means that I don’t need to worry what others think outside of what God thinks.  If I am judged or ridiculed by others, I can still respond with love because God is my Judge, not them.  My identity is not what they say about me, but it’s about what He says about me because God is my Judge.  It’s like my name is marking or stamping me, God is my Judge.  I like that.

To further reinforce this, my name has a little bit of history with it.  Some of you may already know this, but my first name is Robert (which means famed, bright, shining).  I was called Robert for most of my life, but back in 2000/2001, I made a switch to my middle name, Daniel.  This was mainly for performing reasons since there was already a famous person named Robert Goulet.  I was actually pursuing a singing career in Opera/Musical Theater.  The irony in all of this is this was also BC, Before Christ, for me.  😉 Shortly after this name change to Daniel, I began to encounter Jesus and eventually in 2002, I started to follow him pretty intensely.  Crazy huh?  So it’s like I changed my name to Daniel, which means God is my Judge, and then, He became my Judge.

For me, it has reinforced the power behind our names and even how powerful it can be when God calls us by name.  It’s almost as if he’s been using my name to call me into my destiny, what I was made for.  That’s pretty cool.  It seems fitting to end with Isaiah 43:1-7:

1 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
4 Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.

5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
I will gather you and your children from east and west.
6 I will say to the north and south,
‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel
from the distant corners of the earth.
7 Bring all who claim me as their God,
for I have made them for my glory.
It was I who created them.’”


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