My wife and I are very excited. We just had our second child, Anastasia Grace. We believe in making sure our children’s name have meaning behind them. We’re not flaky bunny Christians, we just believe that names can be great reminders of promises and truths over the years and we believe that the season a child is born into is significant as well. There have been many times over the last 20 months that I’ve remembered what our first daughter’s name, Lily Elise, means.
So why are we naming her Anastasia Grace? Before I talk about why we chose this name, I want to describe the season that she is being born into.
Four and a half years ago, my friend had a very prophetic dream. I won’t go into the dream’s details but when he awoke, he heard the Lord say “In 5 years, I will drive My Word like a wedge into my church and this nation.” The Lord gave five key areas where this dividing wedge would fall:
- The infallibility of the Bible
- The sanctity of life (abortion)
- Gay marriage and gay ministers in the church
- Universalism and Unitarianism
- The false grace movement
When it comes to dreams, I’m very careful. Just because a godly person (or even a prophet) has one, doesn’t mean it’s from God, even if it looks spiritual. This friend and I were committed deep in prayer together and when he told me it, my spirit was immediately sobered and I knew it was true. The thing that I find crazy is how prophetic the dream/word was. This dream wasn’t given a month ago. It was almost five years ago. Back then, there was no great gay marriage debate or serious problems with universalism in the church. Upon hearing the dream/word, it was an act of faith to believe that these, at the time, small issues would progress to be nationwide issues, particularly in the church. Who would of thought 5-10 years ago that we would be debating whether practicing homosexuals should be ministers and leaders in the church?
The one that I feel is the sneakiest in the church is the false grace movement. This is the belief that because of grace, we’re free to sin rather than being free to live a holy life. It denies the doctrine of repentance, works, and sanctification. While we are not saved by works, our salvation produces works and are the fruit of a truly changed life. Paul would mention this “form of godliness” happening:
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
It looks good. It looks godly. But it produces evil fruit.
I’ve had several conflicts with people in the false grace movement. The doctrine is slick and tricky. I’ve watched it destroy people’s lives. People who embrace this false doctrine are more easily prone to compromise on the other four issues. It was for this issue that we named our daughter for.
Anastasia means “resurrection” and Grace means, obviously, “grace”. But another translation for Anastasia is “grace”. So when I call her name, I’ll be saying “grace grace”, reminding her and us of God’s redeeming grace that resurrects our dead lives and makes them live in holiness to Him. Scripture also mentions this combined grace:
And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:16)
We pray that she is an encouragement to many that we were saved to live lives pleasing to the Lord because that’s what Jesus is worthy of: a pure and spotless bride.