The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and men and have overcome” (Genesis 32:27, 28 NIV).
In Biblical times, a man’s name indicated his character. So the question, “What is your name?” is also a reminder about that person’s character. Jacob meant deceiver. His name after his encounter with God became Israel meaning one who struggles with God.
Today, when you have an encounter with God, He does not try to change your name. But His work occurs in your heart. There He strives to put a new character within you. But this is not an automatic process. There is a struggle involved in it. And all throughout the struggle, the question remains: “What is your name?”
Don’t let that question surprise you. It is a reminder that you are now a child of God; a child of the Light. You have to remind yourself of this fact constantly. And struggle to maintain that character always.
God wishes that others will know you by your character–A character which bears the name and imprint of God. He wishes that people will ask your name not out of eagerness to know what it is; but out of eagerness to know the name which has such a godly character.
Finally, through the question, “What is your name?” God would like to suggest to you that the past is gone. A new name He has given you. You now belong to the Light. He wants you to live with the newness of the new name always vibrant in your inner being. It is this conscious recognition that you carry a new name that shall help you walk with God!