Monday, 6 May 2013

The Namesis

A few nights ago, God gave me a dream. My friends and I made a machine which we called the Namesis. We called it that both because it was a naming machine; it spoke how God saw people, and also it was something the enemy couldn't withstand, ie his nemesis.

In our Western culture, we have lost some of the significance that names have, however in the Jewish culture of the Old Testament the meaning of names was very important.

Firstly, names were a sign of authority over things. After God created everything, He brought all the animals to Adam who named each one (Genesis 2:20).

Names were also given as a testimony of what God did. In 1 Samuel 1 Hannah is in the temple crying out to God for a child. Eli the priest blesses her and sends her on her way. When she eventually gives birth to the child, she calls him Samuel because it sounds like the Hebrew word for 'heard from God'.

Names were also a prophetic statement defining who people were and who they would become. Before Jesus was born, Joseph was told in Matthew 1:21 "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins", the name Jesus meaning 'God saves'.

God sometimes renamed people in the Old Testament as a statement of what He would do through them. Abram, means 'exalted father', which was already a great name. Abram had an encounter with God, received a promise, and as part of the covenant they made he got a new name: Abraham, 'father of the multitude'.

Names can help define who someone is. They can help form someone's identity and their destiny. This is why it's so important for us to be careful what we speak over and how we name people. If we speak words of love and encouragement, calling out their true identity, then we can help shape who they become. We have a choice to partner with God's view of how he sees us and others, or we can parter with Satan who deceives and lies. He wants to damage our relationships, and this can threaten and limit our destinies. However, when true destiny is spoken over someone, it can change their identity.

In Judges 6, Israel had sinned against God, and as a consequence ended up in the hands of the Midianites. This nation was very oppressive. Whenever the Israelites planted crops, they (and others) would come and raid them. This is where the Bible shows us Gideon hiding in a winepress threshing wheat. The Angel of the Lord turns up and sits under a tree and says to Gideon "the Lord is with you, mighty warrior". At this point, Gideon is anything but a mighty warrior. He's cowardly, as he's hiding in a winepress, afraid of being raided. However, 'mighty warrior' is God's perspective; how He sees him, and who He made Gideon to be. Gideon went on to bravely defeat the Midianites with only 300 soldiers, some trumpets and some jars.

So, going back to my dream... We called our machine the Namesis not just because it named things, but also because it's the enemy's nemesis, something he cannot conquer. He was very scared of our machine in the dream, so he sent something to destroy it. The enemy sent a dark black creature that was part spider and part crab. We all felt fear at the sight of this creature. It then tried to destroy our machine. When I saw it, I picked up the manual to the Namesis (just a thin A4 booklet in a blue folder) and hit it as hard as I could. It went flying off into the air and we all laughed.

Satan will try and bring fear into a situation in order that you will forgot who you are. Let's take a look at the first king of Israel, Saul. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 10:1) who spoke over him
"Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince over his heritage."
Saul was to be king and he would save the Israelites from anyone who came against them. In 1 Samuel 17:8-11, who Saul is to become is put to the test as he comes against the Phillistine army
He [Goliath] stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us." And the Philistine said, "I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together." When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
Saul saw the giant warrior Goliath and heard his ultimatum, and he forgot his name and calling and got scared. It's important to say, being scared is a natural feeling, but we have a choice. Do we partner with that fear, or do we choose to partner with God's perspective. God had called Saul to "save them (Israel) from their surrounding enemies", however Saul chose the giant's perspective, which was 'I will crush you' over God's calling. He could have stepped up and believed God's word to be true, that God would have enabled Israel to triumph. Instead of saying "We can take you because we have God", he chose fear. It took David to come along, completely confident in his identity, to defeat Goliath. In fact he was so confident that he didn't use any armour, sword or spear, just a stone and a slingshot.

We live in a world that loves communicating, messages are brought to us every minute and some of these can draw us to question who we are. We have a choice. Do we listen to Satan, whose lies and deceptions draw us into fear and try to damage our relationship with God and others? Or do we listen to and live by the Namesis, who truly sees you for who you are... a "mighty warrior".

Monday, 12 March 2012

One man can't change the world

I listened to a great sermon recently, but this one phrase really caught my attention. He asked the question "how many people does it take to change the world?" In unison, the audience said "one", to which he agreed.

But this got me thinking, firstly is this true, and secondly is this how God wants it to be? Often you'll hear "well, Jesus changed the world". Whilst this is true, He wasn't alone. He never started His ministry until the Holy Spirit came on Him. Then in John 5:19, it says He only does what He sees the Father doing. So, throughout Jesus' ministry the whole Godhead was involved.

If we take a look back even further than Jesus to the garden of Eden, we see this even more clearly. In Genesis 1:1 it says "in the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth." The Hebrew word for God here, Elohim, is a plural and so even in creation, the whole of the trinity was involved.

The garden of Eden is Gods original intention for mankind. Here God laid out exactly man's mission and purpose. Though I think I'll write another blog later to explain this more fully, what is really key here is what God said after He created man. In Genesis 2:18 it says 'Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."' It's not good for man to be alone. He will never be happy or fulfilled or able to acheive as much on his own as he can in a team.

Seeing as this is my first blog, I'm not quite sure how to end it as there's tons more that could be said on the subject of team. But I think that I will end with this; whilst it might be possible for one man to change the world, it was never Gods intention and will be much harder by yourself.