“It’s at the this point of confession and repentance that God gives us a new name. . . . Many of us forget this important step in our walk with God. We want our past to be over and done with, but God wants to give us a new name to live out of as we move forward. We don’t just confess and repent and move on. Instead, we watch and listen for ways God makes us new.”- Esther Fleece Allen
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”- 1 John 1:9 (KJV)
In Chapter 9 (“How to Live Out of Your New Names”) of Your New Name, Esther Fleece Allen observes that it’s impossible to hold on to our old names and identities forever. Because they’re too heavy to cling to. Above all, God never taunts you with your past. And your new name gives you the ability to see yourself made new in God’s eyes.
Furthermore, Esther exhorts, the next step involves sharing with others that God can make them new as well. Esther writes:
“It is a ‘both/and’ walk with Christ. We repent and are forgiven and we are given a new name. We are not forgiven to stay stuck in our old names, old ways of thinking, and old patterns of behavior. It is because of Christ’s death and resurrection that God can see the best of Christ inside us and not count the worst of our sins against us.”
Most significantly, Esther underscores, there’s no doubt about this — people watch the way we live and take notice of the names we live out of. In a Short Meditation published on 10/15/2011 (https://www.crownofcompassion.org/2011/10/15/turning-darkness-into-light/ ), I wrote about three tough brothers with a rough family life. They lived about two houses down and across the street from my family home. So, when I rode my bike, I stayed on my side of the street. However, years later I found out the brothers had been watching me all along. After I graduated from college, one of them told my parents, “I always knew David would amount to something.”
Today’s question: How do you see confession and repentance as a pivotal point in your walk with God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Knowing and maintaining our new name”