In February 2010, Pastor Amie Dockery preached a message called A Name Change is a Game Change. She led us through a series of name changes of different men and women in the Bible and how those God-given names prophesied to their highest potential. She asked a question that I couldn’t answer: What name does God call you?
I didn’t know, but I asked and kept on asking until early one morning in March 2010; I finally heard it – the name that would change the game for me. God and I talked about this name- Ariel- for quite some time. In researching, I found its meaning, lioness of God, and I found the scripture to go with it- Isaiah 29. When verse one read, “Woe to Ariel!” I was a little ticked. Seriously, God? We’re having this moment. I’m all giddy and such and here you come with some, “Woe to Ariel.” I’m pretty sure I heard Him laugh and tell me to keep reading. I did and read, “Suddenly, in an instant, the Lord Almighty will come (v. 6a)…In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see. Once more, the humble will rejoice in the Lord; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down (v. 18-20)”. It sounded good; I just didn’t understand what it meant in regards to how the game was changing. So, I asked and He replied:
“Ariel, there is territory where I have claim, dominion, and right, but another has control. There are those, bought with a price, whom the enemy controls. Follow Me, and I will show you. Nurture, tend, disciple those I will show you. (Jer. 1:5-10). I set you apart and appointed you…to the nations.”
As I exclaimed my rebuttal, “But Sovereign Lord…,” he continued:
“Don’t say, “I am too…or not enough….”, for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you.”
Then, the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, “Look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today, I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others of you must build up and plant. Today, you have been appointed to speak the words that I put in your mouth.”
I am a Lioness of God no longer doing the bidding of the enemy – killing others with my words, but rather I am appointed to kill the enemy’s words sent to harm those in the family of God. We will take territory and maintain it!
Yes, the Game had indeed changed. Of course I wasn’t privy to all of the details of how, as I still had some growing to do; there was some dross He had to burn away, and I had a tongue that needed to be trained. All in His timing and through His process, Cambodia would soon be on my radar.
Shelli currently resides in Dallas, Texas where she teaches high school Spanish. She uses her diverse classroom experiences & knowledge of well-researched instructional strategies to train, coach, and support colleagues on her campus, in her school district, and across the state.
With a heart for education, her boundaries are edges of the world. Urged to "GO," Shelli has found herself profoundly impacted by various & sundry people, cultures, and languages.
Shelli is actively involved at Covenant Church, founded by Pastors Mike and Kathy Hayes in Carrollton, Texas.
Find Shelli on Twitter: @ariel_lioness