And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai [Ai] on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD and called upon the name of the LORDGenesis 12:8
As I read this passage this morning, and came ot the commentary beneath the text, in my readthrough, it occurred to me that “calling upon the name of the LORD” was what happened in the days of Seth, and was what frequently set apart those who were delivered from those who were not.
Reading this through a New Testament lens, “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21). Saved from what? Destruction, death, and a life of futility? Yes, and more besides. Saved to what? Eternity, transformation, birthright. Not merely changed in mindset.
Taking μετάνοια and extending it to mean “changing the way you think”, well, doing word studies with a Biblical language robs a word of the richness of its context. If anyone is in Christ, their mind isn’t the only thing that is changed. Everything about them is changed (2 Cor. 5:17-21). This isn’t merely about recovering what we have forgotten about ourselves. This is us being completely changed into something different. Not just a recovery of some conscsiousness, but the recovery, or better yet, the stepping of our whole being into a new reality. All the old ways get unzipped and demolished, and we begin the process of, not becoming and newer version of the old self, but a completely new thing. The old does in fact begin the process of passing away.
We step out of the slavery and the destruction of the darkness of both sin and bondage to the enemy, and into freedom and the transformation of every thing into what He originally designed for us.
When we say we are recovering what we forgot, we are minimizing the level of transformation that G-d puts into us. He is not merely interested in making us to think differently, but to respond differently.
All as a result of calling upon His name.
Abram, here, called upon the name of the only one that could deliver him and set him aright.
And though we get the idea of changing the way we think from the Koine word μετάνοια, it is so much more deep and comprehensive than thought.
If the Lord delivers you from the old, He is not merely going to deliver you from old thought patterns. He intends you to walk in something with dramatically greater depth than mere thought. He is going to set His name upon you (referencing Numbers 6:27, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Deuteronomy 12:11, 1 Kings 5:5, Ezra 6:12, and 1 Corinthians 6:19), and where His name will be, His presence will be. And as you run into the presence of His name, you will be safe in accordance with how He defines safety.
Gang, I bless you to find safety in His name, and to dwell in His name, and to be called by His named, and transformed through His name.
Be at peace as you are called by His name. For as you are called by his name and turn from whatever is destroying you, he will hear, forgive, and heal not just you, but also the land where you are, spiritually, emotionally, and physcially.
And in the presence of that Name, you will be able to learn and weave together the principles that will not just transform those around you, but you completely.