Read His Words Before Ours!
Hello. It’s nice to meet you. My name is ___________.
How many times have you experienced some variation of this conversation?
How many times have you walked away from an introduction and panicked when you couldn’t remember that person’s name?
Why is that a cringe worthy scenario to be in?
Names are significant.
Names create identity.
From birth we have carried our names.
Parents-to-be ponder names and inscribe them on birth certificates.
Sometimes those names have been chosen for years, while others are game-day decisions after holding that precious bundle in their arms for the first time.
Names communicate intimacy.
Nicknames, pet names, and family names convey the close relationship people have with one another. For instance, the person who says only his or her mother could get away with calling them that name or the office environment where names are shortened to informal nicknames among the staff members both acknowledge the connections names create. Terms of endearment in dating and married couples highlight the relationships between those individuals.
Names carry value and power.
Take a look at the fashion parading past you everyday.
How many brand names do you see?
Do dollar signs and quality levels come to mind when seeing those?
What about the influential people around the world?
Does a quote by Abraham Lincoln have a more significant impact than one from your third-grade teacher?
For Romeo and Juliet, names set boundary lines they dared to cross. The entire tragedy balanced precariously on the importance of a name. Throughout that work, Shakespeare highlighted the various important aspects of a name. He knew the value of a name and wrote a play demonstrating it that is still studied today.
Shakespeare, however, was not the first person to weave names into the very fiber of a masterpiece. The Lord had the Word written down far before Shakespeare even received his own name, and throughout Scripture, God emphasizes the use of names.
In Genesis, He directed Adam to name all the animals.
Can you imagine a world with no names for any of the creatures?
Throughout the following chapters, the Lord changes Abram’s, Sarai’s, and Jacob’s names to more accurately communicate their identities and the promises He had for them.
In Exodus, Moses asks the question, “Who shall I say sent me?”
In other words, Moses was asking Who it was with enough power to engulf a bush in flames yet not consume it. He wanted the name of the individual with enough strength to take on the Egyptian empire. What name held enough confidence in its person to empower Moses to step out in faith?
The Lord’s answer was “I AM.”
If I were Moses, I think I would have wanted a name with a little more street credibility or shudder factor in the Egyptian throne room.
However, the Lord did not pigeonhole Himself into any category.
He provided the all-encompassing answer, and highlighted various aspects of His identity through the names expressed throughout the Word.
El Roi: The God who sees
Jehovah Shalom: God is my peace
El Shaddai: God Almighty
So many more names are found throughout Scripture that highlight God’s character and identity.
He is the great “I AM” and He is worthy of all reverence.
While this is a realization I wish I would come to on my own far more often than I do, the Lord has graciously and astutely set some parameters regarding His name.
In the Old Testament, the Lord literally carved in stone His expectation regarding His name as part of the Ten Commandments.
“You shall not misuse the NAME of the Lord your God.” (Exodus 20:7)
In the New Testament, it is nestled in the Lord’s Prayer.
Both the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer are well known enough
that I sometimes fail to grasp the significance of their words.
“Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God.”
When was the last time you heard Jesus’ name used as a cuss word?
This is the first thought that comes to mind as a misuse, but it is not the last.
Are there ways we can misrepresent our thoughts as His, or pray for what we want using His name as the reason we should receive it?
Questions like these cause me to slow down and reflect on the status of my heart before Him.
“Our Father in heaven, Your NAME be honored as holy.”
Hallowed be thy name is the New King James version of this verse and one that many would quickly recognize as the start of the Lord’s Prayer.
What does it mean to honor His name as holy?
Through Christ paying the price for our sins, He made a way for us to interact with God the Father directly. It is a privilege I pray I do not take lightly.
Do I approach Him with respect, dignity, humble submission, and genuine love?
Do I acknowledge His thoughts are above mine?
Every now and then I read the last few chapters of Job and quickly remember
just how holy the Lord is.
Slow down with me, Sisters.
Think on the holiness of the Name of the Lord God.
Come before Him, longing to know Him better through His character and identity, then gloriously find your own identity within His!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!