45And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
What's Your Name?
We discussed the chapter noted above in our Sunday School Lesson this weekend. We were talking about success as it pertained to Joseph's life. For those unfamiliar, I encourage you to read it, but the short version is here is a cherished son, who offended his older brothers, was sold into slavery and announced dead to his father, falsely accused of rape and thrown into a foreign prison unjustly. Joseph had a talent...a gift from God. He could interpret dreams with profound accuracy. His gift got him in trouble with his brothers. It also brought him before the king, and made him more valuable in the king's eyes.
So, on that day that Joseph went from forgotten prisoner to the second in command of Egypt, one of the many gifts given to him was a new name. And Egyptian name that conferred citizenship. In our Sunday school class, our teacher made the distinction that he was no longer, Joseph the Hebrew, but Zaphnathpaaneah, the Pharaoh's second in command. He was also given an Egyptian wife, the daughter of a high priest
Changing names isn't unusual in the Bible. God Himself changed the names of several people...Saul to Paul, Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel. We know of name changes. Hadassah became Esther (Esther 2:7). Most people can rattle off Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah as easily as they can Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 1:7).
What's as interesting as when God changes a name is when He doesn't. We don't know Joseph as Zaphnathpaaneah. We don't know Daniel as Belteshazzar. Naomi wasn't able to change her name to Mara despite her best effort. What God endorses cannot be changed, not matter how vigorous the effort.
It's because God calls us who we are. It doesn't matter what the world tries to label us with. In Joseph's case, not only did Pharaoh want to change his name, but his lineage. The motivation was positive, but the desired result would have been the same; complete assimilation into Egyptian culture. Just as the world does for us today.
But we aren't called to assimilate. We are called out as a peculiar people, separated unto God. A royal priesthood. There are different expectations of royalty. We have different expectations for our President than we do for our neighbor. Oh, of course there are some expectations in common...but you might not flinch to see your neighbor pick up the newspaper in his or her robe....when was the last time you saw a sitting US President, or any member of their families in a robe out in public?
its not easy being different from the crowd. It takes courage to stand out, to accept being held to high standards. But this is our calling. This is our inheritance.
When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, we are grafted into this lineage, this priesthood, this royal family. We are who God calls us to be, no more and no less. We have a destiny in this walk and we are expected to fulfill it according to God's will.
What's your name? When God calls your name, what does He say? You're not a joke. You're not a mistake. You are here on purpose, with a purpose. Its a purpose that's bigger than you. It's a purpose that is as important in the Kingdom of God as everyone else's purpose. Someone somewhere is waiting on your obedience. They are blessed because of it. They bless someone else when they experience it.
Its a new year. Now is as good a time as any to know your name. If you are a part of a ministry, press in and hear they name God calls you...and move with it. If you are not a part of a ministry, we have room for you at Fellowship.
If you have never confessed Christ as Savior, just believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you shall be saved (Romans 10:9). Then join us at Fellowship where will join with you in calling out your name...as God calls you.
1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.fcchosengeneration.com) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages. Evangelist Robinson also posts her entries on Facebook and Twitter. To subscribe to the mailing, or for questions and comments, tweet (@evangeliststeff) or send email email@example.com. Fellowship Church can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where Passions Become Reality
Because You Are a Chosen Generation
Alton Watkins, Pastor