Do You Know Him?

We offer prayers to God, but sometimes, we lose touch with who He really is.  One way to freshen our prayer life and our spirits is to rehearse the names of God.  There are several throughout the Bible– too many to list them all here, though I will leave some at the end of today’s blog and links to sites that list more.

prayermotherdaughter

The pursuit of prayer isn’t just about the act of praying– it is about knowing God better; getting to know who He is, and who we are in Him.  God is so much bigger than any one name or title, and the more we rehearse and remember His attributes, the more we discover Him to be beyond all that we can think or imagine.

That’s My King–Dr. S. M. Lockridge  In just over four minutes, Dr. Lockridge builds an amazing word picture of Jesus Christ– one that I have turned to often over the years.  If this pocket of a sermon doesn’t give you goosebumps, I don’t know what will.  Here’s the PDF version if you can’t get the video.

green grass field during sunset
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

It is also a wonderful idea to keep a running list (or start one) of your personal names for God– in fact, many of the names we use come from names given by others after a personal encounter with God.  “The God Who Sees,” “The God Who Hears.” “God My Provider,” “The God Who Heals,” and many more are scattered throughout the Bible as God revealed Himself in a personal way to various people.  There are also names and titles God has used to introduce Himself– “The God of Abraham,” “Yahweh (I AM),” “King of Kings,” “Almighty,” and many more.

God is spirit– we may feel His presence, but we do not see Him as He really is– not yet!  And when we don’t see Him, we can lose sight of His Glory and Honor and Power.  So let’s take some time today to “see” Him with new eyes– eyes of wonder and awe as we get just a bigger glimpse of Who HE Is!

brown wooden cross
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I wonder…
Do you know Him?

A 30-Day Prayer Guide for the Names of God (Navigators. org)

Q and A about the Names of God (Bibleinfo.com)

A few of the Names and Titles of God:

Yahweh/ Jehovah
Abba/Father
Adonai
Almighty
Alpha and Omega
Ancient of Days
Author and Finisher of Our Faith
Beginning and the End
Beloved
Bread of Life
Breath of Life/Breath of Heaven
Christ
Comforter
Cornerstone
Counselor
Creator
Deliverer
Divine
Dwelling Place
Elohim
El Shaddai
Eternal
Everlasting Father
Exalted
Example
Father
Fisher of Men
Foundation
Glorified
God
Good
Gracious
Guardian
Help
High Priest
Holy
Hope
I AM THAT I AM
Immanuel
Immortal
Incarnate (Jesus)
Infinite
Intercessor
Invincible
Jesus
Just Judge
Kind
King
Lamb of God (Jesus)
Law-giver
Living Water
Lord of Lords
Majestic
Maker of Heaven and Earth
Merciful
Messiah
Mighty God
Most Holy/Most High
Name Above All Names
Noble
Omnipotent (all-powerful)
Omnipresent (ever present)
Omniscient (all-knowing)
Perfect/Perfector
Prince of Peace
Promised One (Jesus)
Provider
Quick to Hear
Ransom
Redeemer
Refuge
Resurrection (and the Life)
Righteous One
Ruler
Sacrifice
Sanctuary
Savior
Shelter
Shield and Defender
Strong Tower
Teacher
Truth
Unchanging
Victory
Well-Spring
Wise
Worthy
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (The Same)…

The Lifter of My Head…

Listen to the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

I’ve been reading in the Psalms lately, and one that has really spoken to me this week has been Psalm 3

Psalm 3 English Standard Version (ESV)

Save Me, O My God

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
    “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah[a]

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
    I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
    who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord!
    Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
    you break the teeth of the wicked.

Salvation belongs to the Lord;
    your blessing be on your people! Selah

Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 3:2 The meaning of the Hebrew word Selah, used frequently in the Psalms, is uncertain. It may be a musical or liturgical direction

Everyone has foes– no matter how hard we try to get along with everyone or do right by everyone.  And if those foes are people who should be or used to be close to you, it hurts deeper and more profoundly.  King David’s own son tried to take the throne and have him murdered.  David, who had slain Goliath, feigned madness to escape from his own father-in-law’s murderous plots, and united a kingdom, still fled in terror from his arrogant and foolish son.  Even when God rescued him from this foe, David wept and mourned for his rebellious son– to the point of discouraging the very men who had come to his aid!

But, as David did so well and so often, in the midst of his trouble, he turned first to the Lord who ruled his heart.  I love the names he gives God in this Psalm—You (Thou), O Lord are a Shield about me, My Glory, and the Lifter of My Head (v. 3– emphasis mine).

David’s God is powerful, majestic, awesome– but He is not distant or unfeeling.  Thou (used in the King James and other older English translations) is a term unfamiliar to many modern speakers of English, but it is the familiar form of the second person singular.  Many other languages still use this form.  It connotes an intimate relationship, such as a family member or beloved friend.  David knew his God better than he knew his own son.  He loved God whole-heartedly, devotedly, and without reservation.

Lord recognizes God’s position of authority and omnipotence.  As close as David was to God, he never lost the awe and wonder of God’s holiness, His majesty, His power, and His wisdom.  God raised David from shepherd boy to king.  David wasn’t perfect in his obedience, but he was quick repent of his failures, and quick to give God the credit for his successes.

stock-photo-knight-with-sword-and-shield-762608242.jpg

A Shield— God fights alongside David, protecting him, not patronizing him or removing him from the struggle.  God doesn’t remove us from our battles; but neither does He leave us alone and unprotected, waiting on the sidelines for us to be slaughtered.*  Yesterday, I felt clobbered by circumstances.  I felt crushed and battered emotionally, and I wanted a couch, far from the noise of battle.  But God knows that no one wins a battle from the couch; no one grows stronger, learns to persevere, builds character, or gains compassion from a couch.  God didn’t take me out of the battle, but He was (and continues to be) a shield, protecting me from the real arrows of the enemy– despair, rage, isolation, arrogance, self-destruction–I still feel the force of the blows, and sometimes, I get wounded, but I’m still in the fight, and He’s there with me.  *(One caveat– God is a shield to those who trust in Him.  He does not promise that we won’t be hurt, won’t fail sometimes, or won’t face death because of our faith.  However, He promises a comforter and counselor–the Holy Spirit.  There are many who lead so-called “charmed” lives– lives untouched by trials or spiritual battles…Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the same thing as being “shielded”– shields are meant for battle– charms are meant to bring luck)

clouds idyllic lake majestic
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My Glory— I get chills trying to wrap myself around that thought.  That God, the almighty, the all-glorious light of a million galaxies worth of stars, would notice me– let alone that He would number the hairs on my head, provide for my needs, heed my call for help, and fight alongside me–would create me in His image, so that I am an exact reflection of even the teeniest part of His Glory…that He invites me to know Him in all His Glory after all my failures, and broken promises, and shortcomings, and bad moods, and thoughtless words and actions, my bad hair days and dandruff days and runny nose days, and other inglorious ugliness that I cannot hide… But the best of all, I think is the last…

new born baby greyscale image
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Lifter of My Head–What a picture of God’s compassion!  Think of picking up a newborn baby; how carefully we lift up and support that tiny head– how longingly we cup and shield that fragile face.  That’s our God!  Imagine on the battlefield, a soldier, wounded, parched, having his head lifted gently by a comrade who comes to tend to his wounds and share a drink of water.  Or the prodigal son, who cannot meet his father’s eyes, but finds his chin gently tilted to meet undeserved but merciful smile of his loving Dad.  God lifts our head so that we can see beyond the battle; beyond the pain; beyond the grief, and gaze at the Glory only He can share.

adult backpack beanie beard
Photo by Spencer Selover on Pexels.com

If you don’t know this God–He is only a prayer away.  If you feel distant from God– call out and ask Him to lift up your head.  If you are struggling (as I have been lately), let this be a reminder to seek God by all His glorious names— He will reveal Himself to you for who He is as you call out to Him.

“Hallowed Be Thy Name…”

Christians have a lot of confusing “jargon”.  If you grew up in the church, there are certain words and phrases that are supposed to be intuitively understood.  If you didn’t grew up in the Bible Belt, or in an old-time church, you may feel like you’ve been dropped into a parallel universe where people speak the King’s English– but it’s King James’ English!  Words that would fit neatly into a Shakespearean monologue are flung at you:  “Thou shalt not,” “graven images”, “begat”, “beseecheth”, “whosoever believeth,” “Hallowed be Thy Name.”

As a child, I used to think the phrase was “hollow-ed be thy name”– it was confusing.  Why would God want his name emptied and hollow?  Why would I do that?  Of course, it was explained to me that “hallowed” meant holy, or honored, or revered.  That made more sense, but I think in some ways we have done more “hollow-ing” and less “hallow-ing” of God’s name in our churches lately.

church-bank-wood-benches-161060.jpeg

And it’s not just the argument I hear a lot about actual language usage.  I hear some people complain about those who pray to “Daddy God” or “Papa God” or those who use “OMG” when they text, or “Jeesh!”  To me, these are “splinter” arguments (another Christian jargon term, referring to Jesus’ example of someone trying to pick a splinter out of someone else’s eye when they have a plank in their own!).  The real trend I see is that we are losing our attitude of AWE in God’s presence.  We use words, and carry attitudes that devalue the one who is most worthy of our absolute best.  Or, we try to put ourselves, our own efforts, and our own attitudes in His place.

arrogant

God wants a relationship with us; he loves us with an extravagant, boundless, and everlasting love.  He doesn’t want us to run from him in fear or hide from him behind big, empty, but important-sounding words.  In fact, in his time on Earth, Jesus walked side by side with his disciples, he ate with people, embraced his friends and family, danced, burped, wiped his nose,  held children on his lap, laughed, and lived among us.  But he is eternally GOD.  Yahweh– the LORD–I AM.  Almighty, all-powerful, omniscient and completely HOLY.  And his Name is to be revered.

When we say that we follow Christ;  when we call ourselves Christians, we bear that name– we take on that name–we strive to be ambassadors and representatives of that name which is above all names.  This isn’t just about saying his name, “Jesus”, “Father”, “Savior”, “Heavenly Father” in a less-than-honorable fashion.  It’s about how we represent His Name as his ambassadors.

girl-praying-hands-eyelashes-41942.jpeg

 

 

We’re not perfect; we will not always live up to the Name we carry– that’s part of the Gospel message–Jesus came to show us how we ought to live, and to give us victory over the reality that we can’t do it in our own flawed state.  But in praying “Hallowed be thy Name,” we are not asking for God’s name to become more honorable.  We are asking God to give us the wisdom, the power, and the desire to bring him the honor and worship he so rightly deserves.  And that only happens when we live transparently, humbly, and in a manner worthy of His Name.

“Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name…”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑