First, I have a confession to make. On the one hand, I know that I am loved by God. I know that He values me, has a plan and purpose for me. On the other hand, I still run into doubts in my heart. Places where I suddenly suspect, no matter how many times I have sung Jesus Loves Me, that I am more of an afterthought to God than precious in His sight. I stumbled into one of those darkened chambers in my heart as I wondered if I was a word from God.
So, I began to think about the fact that God formed me in the womb (Isaiah 44:2), and that I was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I love the phrase David used, “you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). This was helpful. It reminded me that I did not end up here randomly. I am not an accident. I am part of God’s purpose. However, I still wondered if God formed me as a mere piece to His beautiful puzzle. Don’t get me wrong. Being a piece in God’s puzzle is an incredible honor, more than I deserve. But is that all that I am? Or am I something more? Not just something God will plug into the picture, but someone God speaks about?
This got me thinking about God speaking. We see how He spoke things into existence at creation. Does He still speak things into existence? Or did He only need to get the ball rolling? Did He actually speak me into existence? You into existence? Or does He just like to quietly knit things together?
I started looking for references to God speaking individual people into existence. I was reminded that He “brought us forth by the word of truth” (James 1:18). I thought about how we are called “epistles of Christ” (2 Cor 3:3). And of course Jesus Himself is called the Word of God (John 1:1). Thinking about the first chapter of John reminded me of the third chapter of John, where we learn that we are not just born once, but twice (John 3:3). Our second birth is birthed by the Spirit, which blows like the wind (John 3:5-8). So, God breathed me into my new birth, and breathing is a whole lot like speaking. Yet, in all of this I still felt unsettled.
So, I began to wonder, IF God spoke me into existence what word did He use? I began to think about my name. And I remembered that God actually has my name written on the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16). I also remembered that to the one who overcomes God will give a white stone with a new name written on it that no one understands except the one who receives it (Revelation 2:17). And that the new name that I will receive will not only be written on the white stone, but on me as well (Revelation 3:12).
My faith was growing throughout this process. But I was still unsure about God actually speaking my name, saying it out loud. Then I was reminded that God not only speaks over me, but actually sings over me (Zephaniah 3:17). I began to get a little scared thinking about God actually speaking out loud, calling my name. But then I was reminded of this: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
That last verse sort of settled the matter in my mind. I began to wonder what it sounds like to hear God say my name. And just the thought of it sent the love of the Father down to the bottom of that hole in my heart. I accepted that my name is a word, which means that I am a word. I am a word spoken from Heaven, spoken by God. Once I had accepted that I was a word from God, that He had spoken me into existence, that I had left His lips, I was filled with such an awesome sense of the presence of God that I thought I might audibly hear Him speak my name. I did not hear my name, but what I heard in my heart was a promise about what God does with words like me, words like you. And it wrecked me. I was undone. This is what I heard:
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You are a word from God, spoken from heaven. All of your days were written in His book before your body was ever formed (Psalm 139:16). Your name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20). When you left the lips of God your purpose was guaranteed. You will not return to Him empty, but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent you. Receive yourself with thanksgiving today. “For everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it, but receive it with thanks” (1 Timothy 4:4). You are more than body, soul and spirit. You have been named in Heaven. And you are more than a name. You are a word spoken by God.
Adapted form author Jonathan Stone, 3/19/12, at http://bit.ly/NjFFOI