The Bible is filled with stories of God’s people being named and blessed by God. God gives his people a new name in order to give them a mission. Our guest speaker, Brianna Millet, teaches what it means for us to be given a new name through stories such as Abraham, Sarah, Jacob and Peter.
Names are important and all of us have more than just one name. There are the names we are given at birth. The names we give to ourselves. The names Satan tries to convince us are ours. The names we try to ascribe to ourselves in a desire to fit in. Then there are the names we are given by Jesus. The names Jesus gives to us are those that declare we are a new creation; the names we ascribe to ourselves are the mud pies of names we are unwilling to let go of.
Our speaker uses some words from C.S. Lewis that best described what it is to become satisfied with a name that is unworthy of one who is in Christ. Lewis says, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
There is a biblical theme we find throughout Scripture that describes how God gives his people new names; names that are accompanied with a blessing and a mission. Abram is given the name Abraham, and is then blessed by being told he will be the father of many nations (Gen. 17:15). Likewise, Sarai was renamed by God as Sarah and promised a boy who would be heir to these nations (Gen. 17:15). Jacob wrestled with an angel throughout the night and wouldn’t relent until God gave him a blessing, which was accompanied with the new name of Israel (Gen. 32:22-32).
The significance of giving someone a new name continues in the New Testament as well. Peter is given a new name by Jesus. It is Peter that decides to relinquish his new name, after denying Christ three times. Peter makes the mistake of believing that Jesus’ love for us is a contractual agreement, rather than a covenantal loving relationship. The New Testament is filled with the new names given to us by Jesus at the cross: beloved, bride, new creation, holy, blameless, and so on and so on. As new creations we are also children of God, and as children of God we are all in this together. As brothers and sisters we are called to declare to our family members the names that Christ has given to them. The church is to work together to throw away the mud pies, so there can be more room for transformation.
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3 thoughts on “Trading In Our Mud Pies”
Brianna, thank you! This message has blessed me so, Praise God YOU are a blessing! Such passion, joy, and clarity in this message, I’ve not thought a lot about what’s in a name before, not like in the fashion that this message has opened my mind to. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with the “size of your jeans” – I too struggled with this at a young age after accepting Christ into my life, and this lie of Satan’s that I believed led me down a path that has burned years of the time God has given me on this earth to live for His kingdom. O Lord help us hear YOUR voice and the NAMES YOU have given us, and together help us live into those names, amen.
As a result of this message I can begin to recognize all the names that are lies that I have been living into and in the Lords power live into the names, all the new names, He has given me – thank you!
Another piece that was a blessing was to hear Peter’s story in this fashion, Jesus calling Simon back to being Peter after His resurrection.
Brianna, I *think* you were in this last ES class…?? And sat at our table when you were there, at least I *think* this was you? You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it with us!
Oh, and another thing, Brianna, I liked how you connected the names we sometimes give ourselves (like “perfectionist”) while correlating the name after the “pattern of this world” thus, portraying how we buy into the lie Satan tells us and then become hooked into the pattern of this world – rather than a covenant relationship we subscribe to the contract pattern of this world – that was a very helpful correlation, thanks, and shed a lot of light on the Romans scripture about not being “conformed to the patterns of this world” – good job, thanks again!
It is most powerful when a speaker can use his/her weakness as an example, for the glory of God. It was vulnerable and gutsy to expose your “names”. The story of Peter was so powerful shared, and your exposition the other “name” stories from scripture were poetic. This message helped me recapture my name and trade in my mud pies.