“To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” (John 10:3 KJV)
By name? The sheep actually know their name when it is called? Not only do they recognize their name, they recognize the voice of the one who calls it. Even further, they know that the one who calls it is the one who gave them their name. They are more than just a number that is to be counted to make sure none of them are missing. They have an individual name and they know the one who gave them that name. There is something rather profound here. We spend an enormous amount of time and effort making a name for ourselves. We spend even more time and effort to protect that name. Whether it be filing papers at the patent office or staying above even the potential riff raff of a scandal; people go to great lengths to establish and defend the name that they make for themselves.
So what is involved in taking on the Lord’s name? Granted, we should never take it in vain (see Exodus 20:7), but more in the sense of a woman taking on her husband’s name. To go beyond simply realizing that God’s name is not just not vanity, but a real covering. To accept His name, we must give up ours. When He calls us by name, there is a mixture of names; like a first and last name. We have individuality and yet we are a member of His family. We do not establish our own family. He does (see Psalm 127:1). So whether we think ourselves to be nameless and only a unit in a herd or whether we have gone to great lengths to establish our own name, we equally surrender ourselves and accept His name and know the name that He has given us. You know when your parents call you by name. Listen closely to what Jesus is calling you for.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)