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Archive for the ‘Names of God’ Category

Open Sesame

Since I was a wee lass (AKA little girl) I’ve wondered why God directed us to pray “in Jesus’ Name.” Doesn’t it kind of sound like a secret password for prayer? Like instead of “Open Sesame!” we just say “in Jesus’ Name!” and shazam! We have what we ask for.

Except that it doesn’t work that way.

As I wrap up the names of God posts I’ve been working on, I’d like to pose the following question:

If God’s names are more than just a title and are actually a description of His character, is it possible that when Jesus said in John 14:14, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it,” He meant if we ask in His character?

Was He saying that if the things that we request line up with His purposes and His mind and His nature, He will do what we ask?

Hmmm….it makes a lot more sense to me than using those three words as a secret password. And it might just allow me to pray with the kind of faith that moves mountains.

What do you think?

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Can Anyone See Me?

There are many circumstances that can make a woman feel used, unloved, cast aside or unchosen. The woman called Hagar in the Old Testament experienced her fair share of them. She was a victim of Sarai’s impatience and doubt over God’s plan. When Sarai wasn’t sure if He would actually come through on His promise for a son, she took matters into her own hands and attempted to conceive a child by having Abram sleep with Hagar, her maidservant. It worked. Hagar got pregnant and then got angry. It sounds like she started to act a little high and mighty and Sarai didn’t like it. So, Abram gave Sarai permission to treat her badly and Hagar ran away into the desert. Obviously, this is another disturbing story with many examples of unhealthy behavior, but there is a gem in it that I don’t want any of us to miss. The gem of the entire thing is the experience Hagar had with the Lord when she was literally and figuratively in the desert.

The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” Genesis 16:7-8

Have you ever run away physically or emotionally from someone just hoping they would chase you down and beg you to come back? I wish I could say I haven’t but that would be a lie.

I picture Hagar doing this same thing. Running from Sarai, hoping Abram would come after her and tell her he would protect her. But he didn’t. There was no one to protect her. She was alone and abandoned. Used and abused.

But God found her. He came after her and he comforted her and ultimately gave her direction for her future. The answers weren’t easy, but He was there. And this is what followed:

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

She called Him El Roi: The God Who Sees Me.

Oh, the joy of being seen. The great gift of knowing that we aren’t alone or forgotten or invisible.

We cannot forget that this is one of the very precious names of God and is therefore a part of His character. When we are scared and desperate and walking in the dark, He says that we can trust in the name of the Lord—one of which is El Roi: The God Who Sees Me.

In some of my darkest times God lifted my spirit incredibly just by showing me that He sees me. One time he responded directly to my cry of “My life is so bitter, Lord!” with an email from a friend which included Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” I was filled with courage to press on after that, not just because of the message of the scripture, but because His clear response gave me hope that I wasn’t floundering outside of His caring watch.

I’m praying for each of you today, my friends, that God will show you the same thing and that you will be filled to overflowing with hope because of it. Trust His name—He is El Roi.

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Arms Lifted High

We know some friends of some friends who named their son Banner. I’m normally not one to love unconventional names because I’m a follow-the-rules kind of girl. Yes, I know this can be just as much of a detriment as it can be an asset, but that’s a discussion for another day. My point is that while I don’t normally love out-of-the-box names, I do love this one. I love that they named their little boy after the Lord—and that every time they look at him they can think of Jehovah Nissi, the Lord is my Banner.

In Exodus 17:8-16, the Israelites were preparing to go into a battle against the Amalekites and Moses told Joshua that while Joshua and his men were fighting, he would go up on the hill above them and raise his arms to the Lord. Moses did just that and while his arms were raised, the Israelites were winning the battle. But when his arms got tired and he lowered them the Israelites began to lose. So, Aaron and Hur got him a rock to sit on and they stood on each of his sides and helped him hold his arms up to the Lord.

So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. Exodus 17:13-15

The Lord wanted Joshua, the one who was on the field doing the fighting and the one who would lead the Israelites after Moses was gone, to know exactly what happened. It was God Himself who fought the battle for him. The victory didn’t depend on Joshua’s strength or his army’s preparation, but on the strength of the Lord alone. 

The Lord was the Israelite’s banner or battle flag that day and every day after. He is the same for you and me. He can’t help it. It’s His name—His very character.

Are you fighting a battle right now? Are you feeling overwhelmed and beaten down by it? It is time to lift your arms high and wave your Banner. Pray like it matters and trust His name—He is Jehovah Nissi.

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