John 1:40-42: “One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone).”
Life is a tidal wave of definitions. We spend much of our early years trying to learn the names of the things we see around us. First its “Momma” and “Daddy.” After that, we learn to identify the things we encounter on a daily basis: dog, cat, milk, bed, etc.
At some point in time, we begin to learn to identify ourselves. It all begins with a name. What is your name? After learning our name, we then begin to learn significant information about ourselves. Much, if not most of this significant information comes from other people or from significant interactions.
Here’s some definitions that people can learn about themselves:
“Fat” – “Lazy” – “Stupid” – “Unlovable” – “Incompetent” – “Ugly” – “Poor”…..and others like these to name a few.
Here’s a few others that we can learn:
“Entitled” – “Superior” – “Preferred” – “Exquisite” – “Seductive”…these are just as destructive as the others!
In time, these definitions come to mean more to us than our name. They are what define us. Our name is our address – our definition is who we really are!
It is important to receive a definition which truly fits who God has ordained for us to be. Many definitions need to be forsaken by us because they don’t fit the purpose for which we were created. Let’s go back to the scripture in John, chapter 1 as an example.
When the apostle Peter first encountered Jesus, his (Peter’s ) entire identity was laid out before him.
“You are Simon”
Now, can you imagine the thoughts that went through Peter’s head when Jesus identified him? When Jesus said, “You are Simon,” then every definition which had been pronounced over Simon all his life returned to his mind. “Oh, boy, if Jesus knows that I’m Simon, then He also knows that I’m stupid and incompetent!” Now, I don’t know if this is what Peter though of himself. This is an example but you know what I mean. When you hear your name what identities come to your mind? Are you “unlovable” or “seductive” or “superior to everyone else?”
Who are you?
“Son of Jonah”
When Jesus said “son of Jonah,” He identified the entire history that made up the man then known as Simon Peter.In essence, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “I know your past. I know the context from which you came. I know the strengths and weaknesses of your being.”
What context are you living life from?
“You shall be called Cephas”
Then, something very important happened. Jesus said, “No matter who you are and where you came from, from now on, you shall be known as Cephas.” The word, “Cephas” meant “a stone.” Jesus was saying to Peter, “You are not a product of your past or your family lifestyle. You are not going to live out what people have spoken over you. Your real name; your destiny name is “The Rock.”
Peter knew exactly what Jesus was saying. Later in the letter of 1 Peter 2:4-6 he wrote:
“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.'”
Jesus was telling Peter that he was made of the same stuff Jesus was made of. Jesus was the Living Stone, so Peter was a living stone, a part of God’s house, a holy priest. Jesus told Peter that he was chosen by Him, that He was precious to Him.
And, when Peter rejected all other human definitions and received this spiritual revelation of who he was, all shame derived from ungodly definitions left his life!!!
Who does God say you are?
To successfully walk in the Spirit requires an accurate definition! Whatever you think you are is how you will live! If you think you’re junk, you’ll act like junk and live on junk. If you allow Jesus to confront ungodly definitions and speak into your life His destiny for you, then you will live according to that definition.
Tell “Fat” – “Unlovable” – “Entitled” and whoever else is there to “move out of the house of your life!” Allow the creative power of Christ to create a “Genesis” moment in your life by saying, “Let there be!”
Who is Jesus saying you are?