She took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” (Ex. 2:10)

Nobody chooses what they’re called. Names—both legal and ones assigned by reputation—are given. Some inherit names like “leader” and “capable.” Others are given names like “hopeless” or “incompetent.”

Look beneath a name, and you’ll find a person living it down or living up to it. Moses’ name implies deliverance, preservation for mission, and the fruit of serendipitous obedience. What Pharaoh’s daughter did for Moses, Moses did for the nation of Israel: he “drew them out” of slavery into an identity as a people.

Like Moses, most of us forget our names at some point. We used to feel confident and secure in hearing God’s voice, but then we begin to wonder whether we have what it takes when we’re called to courageous obedience. We used to love spending time with God, but now it seems like work.

When we forget our names, we look for identity from things like how much Scripture we read, how much we tithe, or who we vote for. What used to be a relationship turns into a set of values that has very little to do with gospel. It’s not that the values are intrinsically bad, but they’re a poor substitute for the kind of love God calls us to share. God calls us his beloved, and with that name, he draws us out toward spreading belovedness to people in our relational world.

Grab a notepad; write how God is “drawing you out” toward love.

Ethan Linder is the college, young adult, and connections pastor at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, where he resides with his wife and son. Ethan enjoys running, reading, and roasting coffee.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.