Does Your Name Have Hidden Meaning?


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Is there a hidden meaning to your name? Does it hold the key to unlock some of the mystery in your life? Is God making a statement with your name? Each time someone speaks your name, is it possible they are agreeing with who God says you are? If God is indeed saying who you are and what He made you to be, could there also be an enemy who doesn’t want you to fulfill the meaning of your name? And what about those names that have a less than desirable meaning? A lot of questions? Yes, but with some very simple answers.

The Struggle

How many times have you heard people say, “I hate my name”? Too numerous to count, I imagine. There was a time in my life, somewhere around my sophomore year of high school, when I decided I wanted to be called by my middle name. I’m not sure why, other than I went through a cycle where I hated my name. By my junior year I was back to using Brenda again.

Most people struggle with their name at one time or another. Often as children we just wanted to pretend; we didn’t really dislike our names. If you hate or have ever disliked your name, I hope the following information imparts some revelation, leaving you with a new appreciation for the name God intended for you. God? Yes, God! God puts great stock in your name, and so should you.

God Named Adam

God named Adam, “earth, created by God.” Adam named all the other living creatures. Each and every one presented to Adam received its own unique name. Even to this day when we think of certain traits and behaviors, we often relate them to certain animals: strong as an ox, smart as a bear, sneaky like a fox, etc. Adam even named the woman God presented to him. He called her Eve, “life-giving.”

Purpose

Down through the ages we can see in Scripture where names were given to describe God’s plans and purposes. The meaning of a person’s name often described their personality, character traits, or God’s plans for their future. Take for instance Joshua, “God is salvation.” He led the children of God out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land. God used him for the salvation of his people. Moses, “saved, taken from the water,” became the promised deliver and led the children of Israel to the Red Sea and parted the water that they might be saved. Are you getting the picture?

A Change In Identity

Many times God changed a person’s name to signify a change in identity. Off with the old and on with the new purpose of God. Abram, “high father,” became Abraham, “father of a multitude” (Genesis 17:5). Jacob, “supplanter,” became Israel, “having power with God” (Genesis 32:28). In the New Testament, Jesus changed Simon, “God has heard,” to Peter, “rock” (John 1:42). We may never know the exact prayers Simon prayed but we do know God heard the longings of his heart and answered. After his experience on the road to Damascus, Saul, “asked,” became Paul, a variation of the name Saul (Acts 13:9). His name wasn’t changed per say; he just became known as Paul.

Sometimes it’s OK to change your name, if it’s at the direction and behest of God. I know a young man whose name meant something evil and, after coming to Christ, he changed his name to reflect his new nature in Christ. Our Father in Heaven is not a legalistic god, and He desires the very best for you. He desires your name to declare His purpose.

Do You Wonder?

Are you wondering, “How does this apply to me? And did God truly pick my name?”

The Bible says, “For this reason [seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named [that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name]. May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]” (Ephesians 3:14-15 Amplified).

Each and every time your name is spoken, the meaning and purpose planned by God is stated for the visible and invisible realms to hear. I believe with each repetition of your name your inner man is strengthened, aligning you and your personality with God’s nature. Which brings me to this point: The enemy of your soul knows this too. Most times you can find out what your name means and see the very opposite evident in your life. The devil is a liar and a schemer, and he schemes (a secret and cunning plan, especially one designed to cause damage or harm – Encarta Dictionary) against God’s purpose for your life.

Personal Example

For example: My name is Brenda, and it means “highly esteemed, fiery minister of God.” As long as I can remember, even back as far as the first grade, I struggled with inadequacy. I was adopted and even though my parents loved me, I suffered a fate of ridicule and lack of acceptance. This plagued me through many years and into my adulthood until I found out who God said I was. I realized there was a scheme against the very meaning of my name. Jesus was manifest to destroy the works of the evil one, and I needed my wrong concepts and beliefs about myself destroyed (1 John 3:8).

Did this fix all my problems? No, but it gave me insight and hope. It gave me the start I needed. I chose to disagree with the devil and agree with who God called me to be. Now when I talk to God, I thank Him for making me His “highly esteemed, fiery minister.” I have come into agreement with Him, and that has an effect on how I think and view myself. Ultimately, it affects how I act and how I perceive others’ thoughts toward me. I no longer assume the negative. I figure if they don’t see who God has made me to be, they lose out, not me.

In Marriage


This comes into doubleplay, so to speak. As husband and wife we are meant to complete each other and make up for the weaknesses in the other person. My husband’s name is Duane and means “out of the dark or the cleft of the rock, a safe place to dwell.” As mentioned above, my name means “fiery minister” or just “fiery.” By personality, I am outgoing, energetic, creative, artistic and somewhat exuberant. Duane is stable, secure, calm, quiet, and steady. We complete each other in this way: I am like a hot air balloon and Duane is like the tie downs, the anchor. Sometimes I need to be anchored down and wait, and sometimes he needs to let go and fly. The essences of our names complement one another. When he needs light, I am fiery. When I need security, he is my safe place to dwell. The joining of our names helps make us one.

For Children

Take this amazing truth, and apply it to your children, to your friends. Find the meaning, and see if an opposite scheme is at work. My son Daniel, “God is my judge,” Aaron, “bright, messenger,” at eight years old, found himself being picked on at school. They picked on his character and what he believed, and they judged his behavior. This dimmed his bright and shining personality. They intimidated him, keeping him from sharing God’s message. God alone is Daniel’s judge. Now if he was being disobedient to his teachers that would be a whole different matter. This was not the case. Their judgments revolved around him as a person. We realized this and counteracted the scheme of the enemy by implanting the truth in his heart. The schemes of the devil are wily and hidden until the Light of Christ shines in the darkness and exposes his plans. Consider the meaning of your own children’s name, and latch onto God’s view. Speak their names in agreement with Him.

Hidden Meaning?

So, is there a hidden meaning to your name? Yes, God’s meaning. Once you discover it, you can embrace its significance and purpose, enabling you to have a whole new appreciation for the name God gave you. Once you unlock some of the mystery and wonder of who God says you are, proclaim it. Don’t buy into the lie of the devil who, according to the Word, comes only to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Don’t let him devalue the wonders of who you are called to be. As for changing your name, that is between you and God. Obviously, He isn’t opposed to it. Examine the motives of your heart, give your concerns to Him, and He will surely answer.

On another front, I for one insist on calling those I speak to by their full name. Just a soapbox of mine. I want to agree with God and speak who He says they are in all fullness.

Reconcile and Embrace

Ask God to forgive you for hating your name, and, if you don’t know the meaning of your name, I encourage you to find out. Take the positive aspect of your name and proclaim it. Let the devil, the enemy of your soul, know you no longer buy into his lies about your name. Embrace who God called you to be, and revel in the wonderful mystery of who He says you are.

Duplication and sharing of this writing is welcomed provided that complete source and website information for Brenda Craig and Journals of the Heart is included. Thank You Copyright √ā¬© 2006

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About the Author

Brenda

Brenda Craig is a published author, prophetic teacher and Seer whose desire is to know the Lord in all His fullness. Her writings and teachings reflect a deep intimacy with the Lord. As a worshiper, Brenda has received revelation on how to take the simple act of ‚ÄúSoaking in His Presence‚ÄĚ to a new level and developed a teaching called Soaking with a Purpose.

3 Responses to “Does Your Name Have Hidden Meaning?”

  1. I loved this. Just this morning I was looking up what names meant. I used to hate my name, but it occured to me that maybe God chose my name. Now tonight here I am reading the importance of names. This reading has come at a time in my life when I am struggling to be who God really called me to be.
    Veryl-New York

  2. Veryl,

    I know what it is to hate your name. One year in high school I insisted on being called my middle name, Jean. To this day some people know me only as Jean. Now I love my name and what it means.

    Your name means loyal for loyal like a lion. Reminds me of another lion, The Lion of Judah who is loyal and true.

    Blessings to you “loyal one”
    Brenda

  3. My real name is Eustacia. Unique, but I used to hate it. But I have a beautiful nickname. My real name is one of my frustrations because way back in high school they made fun of my name. The antidote to the teasing: I made real good in high school. What’s in a name? What I know is God knows and loves Eustacia as much as He does Tess.

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