By Rev. Fr. Dr. Mark Omorovie Ikeke

“And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave name to every cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field. . .”

(Genesis 2:19-20)

An observation of real life experience reveals the common practice among believers of naming the year at the beginning. You see Christian churches, groups, and other organizations printing stickers, handbills, and banners proclaiming a vision or expectation for the year. You have seen stickers in the past bearing names as: 2011 – My year of manifestation; 2011 – Our year of Upliftment; 2011 – Year of expansion, etc.  When people give names to things they are prophesying what they desire the year to bring forth for them. Their naming the year becomes their dream, vision, mission, goal, objective, etc for that particular year.

Scripture clearly affirms that: “Life and death are in the power of the tongue and you will reap the reward thereof” (Proverbs 18:21). There is power in your mouth and in your tongue. A careful reading of James 3 shows that the power of the tongue can both be used to build or to destroy. The use to which you can put your tongue will be decided by you. God expects that you put your tongue to good use. He says to you in Deuteronomy 30:15, “I place before you life and death, chose life in order that you may live.”

You have the power to name this New Year. You have the power to name every month that comes in the year. You have the power to name everyday of the year. The outcome of the year will depend on your outlook. Your attitude will determine the attitude that you reach the year. Your perspective will dictate your position. If you believe it, you will see it. The Lord said: “If you say to this mountain, be removed and fall into the sea and you don’t doubt it, you will have what you say” (Mark 11: 23-24). Your saying is important. Realize that the entire universe was created from God’s spoken word (Hebrews 11:2). The miracles of Jesus in many instances came from his spoken word and the faith of people.

You are a carrier of divine creative power. You are created in God’s own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). Naming or calling things into being or giving them a new identity is central to the biblical narrative. In the first chapter of Genesis, God creates and names each day of creation. God transfers his power and authority to name to Adam and thus to every human person. He brought all creation to Adam and asked Adam to name them. Whatever that Adam named them became the name. God renamed Abram to become Abraham. He renamed Sarai to become Sarah. He named the child to be born of the Virgin Mary, Jesus before Jesus was born. A name is a carrier of prophesy and destiny.

My question to you is: what are you naming this year? You should not enter this year and go through without naming or calling forth your expectations. 2012 is pregnant with meaning and significance. One of Israel’s greatest day is the day of Passover, the night of their national liberation and freedom from Egyptian bondage. The people of Israel had suffered in Egypt for 430 years. They had been mistreated and maltreated as slaves. They had been deprived of their rights as resident aliens. The Egyptians frustrated and tried to destroy Israel’s national identity, language, culture, and population. In the midst of their pain and suffering the people of Israel cried up to God. God heard their prayers and sent Moses to come and liberate them (Exodus 3). The month that God worked out the event of the liberation, he spoke to Moses thus: “And the Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the Land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2). Understand what God does in this passage. He renames the year and the month. He says, it shall be the first month unto you. This means it may not be the first month unto others, but because of the transformation work I have done in your life, it shall be the first month unto you. God rewrites their individual and collective past. The years of servitude are over. The years of slavery are over. The years of bondage are over. The years of hard labour without rest are over. It is a new year. It is a new month. It is a new day. It is a new season. It is a new opportunity. The Egyptians you see today, you shall see them no more.

I ask you this question: what shall this year be for you? You can name the year. You can key into what your church or Prayer meeting has named the year. I have named 2012, “My Year of Greater Possibilities” (John 14:12). I have equally made a sticker to that effect. Whenever I see that sticker, I am reminded of what I am aiming for in the year. Jesus said to all believers, “You will do the greater works.” That means there is still more land to conquer. That means we can achieve in this year more than last year. You can cross the River Jordan. You name the year based on your goals and aspirations. The outcome of the year will not simply be based on what other people or groups have named it. The outcome will come from within you. You must prophesize into the year from the depths of your being.

You should be so excited that God has given you power to name the year. You can rewrite your past. You can rewrite last year. You can call forth a new beginning from your mouth. The Shunamite woman in 2 Kings 4 exercised the power of her tongue and faith even in the face of death. She proclaimed to Gehazi and those she met on the way in search of the Prophet Elisha, “It is well.” She did not confess the negative. She confessed what she believed would be the outcome. The woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5 confessed, “If I can touch the hem of his garment I shall be made whole.” Your confession rooted in positive action is your possession. The holy book says, “If you confess with your month that Jesus is Lord, you will find Salvation” (Romans 10:9). The victory is in your mind. Develop a conqueror’s mentality. You are not a grasshopper. God said of the ten spies who gave an evil report, “What I heard you say, I will do to you” (Numbers 14:28). The ten spies said, “In our eyes we looked like grasshoppers before the Amalekites.” Joshua and Caleb challenged that evil report. They said, “We are well able to enter the land, for the Lord delights in us.”

Every year has its obstacles and challenges. You will be able to conquer them. Remember, “If God is for us who can be against us” (Romans 3:31.) Also, “In all of these things we are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37). Do not be afraid of the New Year. The Psalmist proclaimed: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4). Elsewhere he said, “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear” (Psalm 27:1). Psalm 46:1 asserts, “God is for us a refuge and a present help in the day of trouble.” You are too loaded to fail. This year is your season. This is your year to reach greater heights. You can enter a new dimension this year. It is well. I commend you to the power that can keep you from falling. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole Spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).