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  • Renée Coventry

Stepping into Your Prophetic Destiny, Part 5: What's in a Name?

Jack the Ripper. Ivan the Terrible. Doctor Death. Jacob?

What's in a name? A lot. When God created man and placed him in the garden, Adam was assigned to naming the animals. "So the Lord God formed out of the ground each wild animal and each bird of the sky and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name" (Gen. 2:19). What we learn in this verse is essential to stepping into your prophetic destiny and laying the foundation for your children to step into theirs.

Through His divine power and activity, God fashioned the animals, and as Creator, He could have named everything Himself. Just look at all the products we have today named after their inventors! If we know anything about the Lord, we understand that He is a God of intention, and everything He does is with purpose. Yet we see God intentionally giving Adam the ability to partner with the Living Lord in His creation by naming what God so lovingly and beautifully created. Adam was to put into words the heart of God for every living thing. God formed, Adam named, and this cycle has continued throughout the ages. Whenever a new plant is discovered, people provide it with a Latin name that defines its characteristics, and then there is the name we laypeople call it.

For instance, we call it a snapdragon because its flowers resemble a dragon's face when it opens and closes its mouth. Its Latin name is "antirrhinum," which describes "an herbaceous plant of the genus Antirrhinum (order Lamiales, family Plantaginaceae; formerly in the family Scrophulariaceae), of which there are about 20 species native to western North America and the western Mediterranean region. The flowers are tubular, bilaterally symmetrical, and usually large with a closed, liplike mouth that excludes most insects but can be forced open by strong bees, the main pollinators." [1] Biologists are very detailed in the naming of living things. It will define the living thing and everything produced ad infinitum unless a new characteristic emerges, previously unknown that would cause a biologist to reclassify it.

The same is true in the spiritual world. People do not always reinforce God's intended plan and purpose. We've all heard stories of children who grew up to be reprobates, only to find that all of their lives they've been told they were "good for nothing," "children should be seen and not heard," "why can't you be like ____?" We speak without thinking when it comes to naming something, and despite our fallacies, God has not taken away our responsibility to name things. Such was the case with Jacob.

In Genesis 25:24-26, Rebekah gives birth to Isaac's twin sons and, though God had already spoken to her that two nations were in her womb, the boys are named for their appearance at birth. Esau, for his reddish complexion with hair, and Jacob, who came out holding onto Esau's heel. Jacob means "supplanter or layer of snares." [2] We are familiar with the effects on people who have been defined by the color of their skin. It has been happening for centuries, and it needs to change. But can you imagine the demoralizing effect of being called a liar and cheat your entire life? We know from that Jacob will live out what his parents' called him and who knows how far it set him back. Our names are associated with our reputation.

The good news is, though, that God will intercept us where we are. God would not abandon Jacob to the characteristics of what he was known by as a young man. In fact, God would change his name altogether. We will explore what it took for Jacob to get to the point where he stepped out into his prophetic destiny in coming posts. However, let me encourage you today that to align with yourself with God's purpose, you need to give considerable thought to God's intention in creating you and how you and others speak over you.

The Lord speaks to the nation of Israel (Jacob's prophetic name and destiny) in Is. 43:1, "But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine." Interestingly, in English, we would see the words created and formed as having similar meanings. However, in Hebrew, they are different. Created is bᾱrᾱ', which means your shape.[3] Formed is yᾱṣar, with the connotation of divine activity, and is the same word used in Genesis 2:19, as individuals at conception, pre-ordination.[4]

No matter what man may call you or say, God has never abandoned His intentions toward you! Your prophetic destiny is intact. Before we proceed any further, I would like you to agree with what God has to say about you. Just like Jacob, God has a name He calls you by defining His plans and purposes, and it is all good!

Let's Pray:

Father, I have to admit that I don't have a lot of confidence in myself. In a way, that is good because it causes me to rely entirely on you. However, I have been called many things in my lifetime, not always reasonable or fair and certainly not aligned with your plans and purposes for me. Lord, reveal to me all which You have called me. Work into me all the characteristics that You pre-ordained from the foundations of the world for me. Give me supernatural insight into how you see me and rebuke every fear that would take hold, saying that I am unworthy to walk into all You have for me. Thank You for redeeming my past and blessing my future. Thank You that I and every descendent of Mine are Yours! Thank You, Holy Spirit, for walking with me into everything the Father has destined for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

[1] The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. "Snapdragon, plant, genus Antirrhinum,", Encyclopedia Brittanica, Jan. 11, 2018, last accessed 3/26/2021,

[2] James Strong, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007. H3290.

[3] James Strong, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007. H1254.

[4] Ibid., H3335.

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