God Changed People’s Names
- Abram became Abraham
- Sarai became Sarah
- Jacob became Israel
- Simon became Peter
Abraham – “father of many”
Sarah – “princess, mother of nations.”
Jacob – “supplanter,” The second born, tricked his father Isaac into giving him Esau’s blessing.
Gideon – the angel showed up and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:12
Why did God change people’s names?
“Because he knew who they truly were, who they would become, and what they needed to do.”
Abram and Sarai were going to have children and become the father and mother of the nation of Israel.
Jacob’s children would become the original twelve tribes of Israel.
Gideon would become the mighty warrior who led God’s people into battle against the Midianites.
Peter would become a foundation, a stabilizing influence for the early church.
“God changed their names because change starts with your identity. You do what you do because of what you think of you. For them to do what they needed to do, they first had to think the right thing about themselves.”
“For you to do what you need to do, for you to change, you first need to think the right thing about yourself. You need to know your true identity, understand your true identity, and start with your identity. You start with who, not do. Why? Because your identity drives your behavior. If you don’t start with your identity, any behavior change you make won’t last.”
Complete this open-ended sentence with true aspects of your life: If today, I lost [blank], I would feel totally lost and not know what to do.
Examples: a job, money, social status, a talent or skill
Describe how each aspect of life you wrote down is connected to who you are- -your identity and not just what you do.
How can you turn each one from do to who? How can you surrender that aspect of your life to the point where, if God took it away, you’d still be okay?
Example: I feel like my career has become who lam, not just what I do. But if I got let go or could no longer do that work, I would still be a child of God, still have my life, calling, and family. I would still have the most important things in my life.
To change, you need to think the right thing about yourself, know your true identity, and start your identity with who, not do.
I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
-Philippians 1:6 NLT
Groeschel, C. (2023). The Power to Change: Mastering the Habits That Matter Most. Zondervan.