Various cultures have distinctive names that they give to their children—names that have special meanings. Some of these names are easy to pronounce while others are more difficult. In biblical cultures, names also represented aspects of the character of those to whom the names were given. That said, however, many people today who bear good biblical names have no concept of the Father, while others, who knew of Him once have walked away from Him. Either way, these people follow after their souls to perform the deeds of the flesh and get into trouble. Some of them are murderers, liars, thieves, hypocrites, etc. They follow after evil! But a name associated with knowledge of the Father can become the foundation of great things.
Scripture records several instances where the Father changed a person’s name. There is Abram (exalted father) whose name the Father changed to Abraham (father of many nations). His name change was right on par with the prophetic mandate upon his life. Today, we are the seed of Abraham. Then there is Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, whose name means “one who deceives.” His story is a powerful one. Jacob’s name exactly suited his character. He stole his brother’s birthright, then lied to his father and stole his brother’s blessing. After he encountered the Father, however, his name was changed to Israel (he strives against God). Out of this man would come 12 boys, who each fathered a tribe to form together an entire nation: Israel! A third example is Daniel (Judge of God). After he was taken into Babylon, he was given the name Belteshazzar (protect the king). Here was the conflict: his God-given name vs a name given to him by the world. There came a time when this affected him until Michael the archangel reminded him of who he was in the Father.
We all can enjoy a legitimate level of pride regarding our name, which represents our heritage. However, when we come to know our Father, our reality changes! We take on His name in our lives, and that becomes our new reality. His name is imprinted on our hearts. We move from a place of darkness to a place of light. As we take on the name of our Father, we embrace His character, His nature, and His heritage. We understand that we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. Adam in Genesis did not have a last name; he is known only as Adam, son of God (Gen. 5). Our disposition is that of the Father. As the Father circumcises our hearts, we experience a name change. Everything changes in our lives from that point forward. A battle royal ensues as the natural order of our character and nature try to oppose the new spiritual order that has been set into our lives.