One Word That Changes Everything
The book of Exodus describes a powerful conversation that God had with Moses. Moses was facing an opportunity that could bring freedom to everyone he cares about. He’s facing a mission that doesn’t make sense to him, with his human eyes he cannot see a logical outcome. “What is that in your hand?” The Lord asked Moses this simple question, but the answer had a profound impact on his life.
The answer was a staff, but not just any staff. The truth is, he’d been equipped with a tool for the mission ahead of him. A mission that felt too big, a mission he couldn’t do without God’s supernatural power! He’d been gifted the very presence of God. He only needed to embrace what he’d already been given.
Now listen to the words Jesus prayed to his Father while on the Earth, only moments before he was arrested. He prays for his friends that he’s nurtured and taught. In that prayer he says,
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.” John 17:11&12
This jumped off the page at me. “Protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me.” In his prayer he acknowledges and describes the power of His name. Maybe you’ve heard the worship song, “Break Every Chain?” It’s one my crew sings often. The lyrics boldly declare, there is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain!
Friends, are we embracing the name that’s been given to us? What’s in our hands? I’ve been so deeply challenged with this question. The answer is ultimately, one word. A word that has the power to change our lives forever. The presence and name of Jesus! It’s the name above all names. The name that breaks chains and brings freedom, the name that saves, delivers, redeems, restores and the only name that consistently releases unconditional love.
The year was 1999. I’d just experienced an incredible healing and victory in my life. One of those moments when I threw a stake in the ground and declared with boldness, “I am free and healed by the name of Jesus.” It was an encounter with the Lord, that was life changing. One would think to be on guard for testing after a moment like that - but I wasn’t.
I was young and living away from home for the very first time. I was attending a discipleship training school, experiencing the Lord’s presence in mighty ways and just beginning to fall in love with my Jed. Quickly my body was inflamed with outrageous and unexplainable pain that would bring me to tears. A doctor discovered lumps at the base of my skull and sent me for a CAT scan. I can picture that moment so clearly, even now so many years later. As I laid still, my head being scanned, fear overwhelmed me. My mind filled with doubts and thoughts spewed out such as, “I knew I’d never live to experience a healthy marriage and family.” “My life is just one crisis to the next.” “Can’t believe I thought I’d be a worldchanger.” They spiralled from there, but you get the picture - I felt hopeless and defeated. The enemy fed me lies and not only did I listen, in those moments I embraced them as truth. I was tested and I failed. Like Moses’ initial reaction, all I could see was the impossible and what-if’s. God wanted me to recognize and embrace what he’d already placed in my hand - His presence and ability to thrive in the impossible.
When I looked to see what was in my hand, I saw a broken young lady afraid to trust and pleading for approval from her Heavenly Father. Someone who longed to slay giants, but lacked self-discipline to take captive anxious thoughts. I desired freedom, but was trapped in old patterns.
The scan results showed knotted and chronic muscle tension (from stress) which clustered at my skull and throughout my body. It was time to fully surrender and trust in the name of Jesus, that breaks every chain.
Fast forward 6 years, my Jed and I are married and serving as a pastoral couple in a local church. We’re in love with each other and the church family we’re serving. After putting thought and creativity into sharing with family our big news, that baby Redcay was on the way - we celebrated. If I pause and close my eyes, I can feel all the feels of that first announcement. How we celebrated with my parents and the gifts they surprised us with at a weekend getaway they treated us to. Finally I’d be a mama. A lifelong dream, something I once doubted could ever happen for me. But then after months of dreaming, tragically all the feels changed one morning. I was miscarrying.
My eyes filled with tears, my chest started pounding and painful thoughts began to invade my mind. This time though, I was equipped. I knew it was a defining moment. I ran to my bedroom floor, knelt on my knees and sobbed. I mean the big ugly kinda cry, that most likely the neighbors could hear. Then I lifted my hands in the middle of my lamenting, straight into the air. With warm tears stinging my cheeks, I made a declaration. “You are faithful Jesus, even now I will declare, you are faithful, you will not let go of me.” “My faith is in you, no matter what, I will not be shaken.”
This time I was unwilling to accept defeat and a season of embracing lies and doubts. Was I experiencing loss? Absolutely. The pain had a sharp edge to it. But I refused to stumble down the path of bitterness as I grieved. I recognized the battle taking place around me, I’d seen it before. I knew there was a supernatural tool in my hand to declare victory. His name is Jesus, His presence would embrace me.
The enemy also knows the power in the name of Jesus. The Bible tells us that even the demons believe and they tremble. The enemy sees the power and authority we’ve been given and he’ll do every single thing in his might, to keep us bound up and powerless.
What happened when Moses really embraced the staff in his hand?
A whole nation was delivered!
What happens when we embrace the name of Jesus in each moment?
It changes everything.
When we take our thoughts captive and say no to fear.
When we step out even when it doesn’t make sense.
When we tell the enemy where to go with his lies, declaring truth, while our hearts lament with loss - it changes everything.
Friends, there is a world around us waiting for freedom and love. Let’s step into a new year embracing what’s in our hands - the one word that changes everything. The powerful name of Jesus.
-Does this message resonate with you? If so I’d love to hear what’s stirring in your heart as you read! Please send me a message and I’ll pray with you. Together, we can declare the name of Jesus over our lives!