I had a revelatory experience that has greatly impacted my life and that I also recognized to be applicable to the larger body of Christ.
In this experience, the Lord Jesus was standing before me and we were making wedding vows to one another. Strangely, the Lord was also performing the ceremony because He is the High Priest of our faith (Hebrews 1: 17, 2: 1). He asked if I would take Him to be my husband (Isaiah 54:5). (Of course, He meant this in the metaphorical sense. On the other hand, maybe its our human marriages that are metaphorical!) To this invitation I replied, “Yes.” Secondly, He asked if I would take His name. Then turning and looking into my eyes, He more pointedly asked if I would give up my name in order to take His. In this very serious moment, I had a vision within this prophetic experience of posters and other forms of advertisements with people’s faces and names and the names of various ministries on them. The Lord said to me that if I would carry His name, then I must give up my own. There was no option in the invitation. I asked the Lord what was in a name, to which He simply answered, “Your identity.”
After this experience, I contemplated this awesome invitation being offered to redeemed, yet weak, humans by our beautiful Lord. Philippians 2: 9-11, tells us that, “God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, those who are in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” What could be more wonderful than to go forth carrying His name, and then to have all the glory that surrounds this lavished completely back upon our Lord Jesus and His Father? What pleasure it would bring to our souls to see His name exalted above all others!
The Lord has continued to speak and challenge me through this experience. For me it has been an intensive time of examining my ways, motives and desires. He has been searching me out by asking some very penetrating questions. He has also been illuminating some areas of compromise with which His church is presently being tempted. These are deep issues of the heart that He is testing.
Whose name are we truly exalting? The Lord has spoken to me concerning the pride and carnality within the worldly system of advertising that has been specifically designed to promote people, gifts and talents for the production of financial gain. Do we automatically utilize these methods or systems as individuals and ministries without prayerful consideration and exercising our spiritual discernment? Have we been brought into a deception that any and all of these methods of promotion are acceptable practices in His kingdom? Maybe the Lord wishes to expel and overturn some things in His church today as He did in the temple of His day! I believe that the whip still fits into his hand. Are we touching the glory that belongs only to Him? Sadly, I believe that we sometimes do-whether we know it or not-by allowing the world’s ways of selfpromotion to rule in the body of Christ. Isaiah 42: 8 tells us that God “will not give His glory to another,” and so we must guard our hearts and actions closely.
Why do we write the books and other publications, produce the CDs, the tapes, etc.? Is it all being driven because there is financial need, or has He made his will specifically clear to us regarding their production? I am not saying that these things themselves are evil-they are not. But it is our human reasoning, motives and assumptions that we must test and of which we must beware. I have been greatly blessed by anointed CDs, tapes, and books and I believe that the Lord has inspired and used them to greatly encourage, strengthen and build up His body. However, we must not allow our discernment to be dulled by believing that we have the right to take everything He gives to us and make personal gain or promote our personal fame by such gifts of grace. Some things are meant for the secret place and for no other realm.
In 1 Thes. 2:5-6, Paul speaks about “not seeking glory from men as a pretext for greed.” May we guard our lives against these avenues of satanic and/or merely human activity and present our bodies, gifts, talents and ministries as living and holy sacrifices, acceptable God as our spiritual service of worship. May we fully embrace this invitation to take His name and may we become a part of an “almost nameless and faceless generation” whose highest calling and burning desire is to see His name exalted and glorified in all the earth. Isaiah 30: 27 declares that the name of the Lord comes from remote place.” May His name ring forth from His body, His bride, and His church in this day!