Many voices vie for control of your mind,
especially when you sit in silence. . . .
Refuse to let other voices tie you up in knots.
My sheep know My voice and follow Me wherever I lead.
Jesus Calling, March 3
The weekend following my engagement, one of my families came to town to visit—the Meyerand family, with whom I lived as I was completing my senior year of high school. We had a full day of touring my fiancé’s hometown and introducing our families to one another. Their presence was so meaningful during our engagement bliss.
My sister Cindy Meyerand planned a day full of bridal appointments, and I was bracing myself for the possibility that wedding dress shopping might feel a little bit like bathing suit shopping—dreadful. I expected to be insecure about the extra pounds I wanted to lose and was nervous about how I would afford a dress after just paying my tuition fees.
The names we hear from others
The morning of our appointment, my fiancé called me. As soon as I answered the phone, he said, “How is my beautiful bride today?” The name “Bride” kept catching me off guard.
I used to hear things like, “You will never be married.” “No one will ever want you.” “You are not desirable.” And if we pause to think about these statements, we realize they are accusations. “You this, you that.” When we hear dreadful accusations, we can be sure it is the enemy and not God, trying to proclaim identities over us that have never been true.
The enemy will never affirm who you are becoming; instead, he tries to distract you or make you think your new name is earned and not given. The truth is, none of us can live “good enough” to earn a new name from God. God names us because of who He is and out of His love!
Discerning God’s voice
So how can we discern the difference between these voices?
God’s voice is gentle and kind. God’s voice provides guidance. Even when God corrects us, He does so out of love (Hebrews 12:6). God’s kindness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), and God’s words will always match Scripture. God’s words are full of truth and show an everlasting kindness toward us (Jeremiah 31:3). God’s words sound like:
You matter to someone (Psalm 139:17).
You are not a mistake (Ephesians 4:1).
You are loved (Psalm 86:5).
When life is hard, sometimes our old names and identities resurface. As wedding planning became stressful and bills piled up, it was easy for me to believe my name was “Poor” or “Undeserving.” But these were accusations. They evoked the old labels and not the new names God had given me. And slowly I began to learn to challenge them, clinging to what God says about me instead.
I am not poor; I am provided for. I am not unworthy; I am lovely. I am not orphaned; I am chosen, and you are too.
Ask God to Renew Your Mind
The true words God speaks about us have the power to extinguish any influence our old labels may have once had.
On a regular basis, I ask God to help me renew my mind (Romans 12:2) and help me believe what He says about me. Ask God to help you hear for yourself how He sees you. Jesus Calling is a great devotional that helps me to hear God’s kind voice over the accusations of the enemy.
A renewed mind is Presence-focused.
Train your mind to seek Me
in every moment, every situation.
Jesus Calling, February 2
Tell God you need a reminder of who you are and who you belong to. It’s as easy as praying, “God, I am believing this about me, but how do You see me?” Or praying, “God, I am hearing this lie about who I am. Who do You say I am?” And after you ask, look for ways He may be speaking to you. God wants to speak beautiful names over you—names better than you can see for yourself—and He will go to great lengths to do so!
Esther Fleece Allen is the author of
Your New Name (Zondervan) and
No More Faking Fine (Zondervan). CNN has called Allen one of “Five Women to Watch in Religion,” USA Today has named her one of the “New Faces of Evangelicalism” and Christianity Today has called her “one of the 50 women shaping the church and culture.” Allen is a graduate of the Oxford Center of Christian Apologetics and is currently in seminary. Her favorite new names are “wife” and “mama” as she is thankful to have a new home with them. For more information visit www.EstherFleeceAllen.com.