Last year I felt I was asked by God to do, and share with all of you, an entire Lenten study on the Names of God. As hard as it was at times, I honored my promise and commitment to Him, and in doing so, found that I personally grew in my own knowledge and faith throughout.
Very early on in that study we learned that ‘Knowledge + Faith = Confidence’, in other words, to know His Name and to call upon Him in faithful trust is to be confident in His promises to us. By the time Easter was upon us we had learned many beautiful names of God to call upon in our times of need.
Two special ones for me were Jehovah-rapha, The God Who Heals, and Jehovah-jireh, The LORD Will Provide. Both names were greatly needed by many across our weary world in Pandemic 2020, and were very special for me as I ministered to my beloved Beagle who was dying of cancer.
Hopefully, as we ventured forward into an uncertain 2021, many of us have found that there is always a Name of God representing one of His many characteristics, one of His great attributes, to be called upon, to boast in, to have confidence in, no matter the circumstance in our day of need.
If none of those beautiful names comes to mind the Name Above All Names is all that is needed. Jesus.
We are born into a world that seemingly has much to offer to those willing to partake. It flaunts glitter and glam before our eyes often mesmerizing and at times hypnotizing us. We unwittingly become desensitized to it. It becomes an acceptable norm, whether it be standards of living, unhealthy eating, or sinful ways of life. We think (are told) there is no harm in live and let live. We say we hate the sin but love the sinner. We convince ourselves that God has allowed these things so even He is okay with them. We close our eyes and our minds and go about our own merry way.
In time we find we have entered a self-absorbent cocoon. From it we come and go not realizing we are headed for a fall. This fall will come when we least expect it. It will come in the form of a major life changing event or a small nag from within that refuses to stop. Either way there will be an undeniable shift in our thinking, in our viewpoints, in our hardened heart. Whether we realize it or not, it is our soul crying out from within begging us to stop the madness and look within for real meaning and joy.
While we may continue on living in a world of self-indulgence and self-centeredness, there is now an awakened soul within longing to rise above it all straight into the loving arms of its Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many, however, will “live and die without reflecting at all upon the state of things in which they find themselves”. Being ruled mainly by physical pain and pleasure in a world that seems bright and sunny and made for enjoyment, they never seem to find real purpose or spiritual awareness in their lives. (Paraphrased From “The Tears Of Christ -Meditations for Lent” St John Henry Newman Edited by Christopher O. Blum)
And, until the soul learns to shut out the loud clamor of the world, to refrain from the temptations of the glitter and glamor, and to loosen Satan’s grip on its inclinations, its innate longing for all that is good and true will never be allowed to fully surface. For some this seems an insurmountable task and they choose to hide from the truth of their own being, the very reason why they exist in the first place. They choose to shut out that still small voice beckoning them to look within. Instead, they grab all the happiness the world has to offer, often both the good and the bad.
However, there are some who do hear that small longing voice, and heed its call diving in to find the knowledge and Truth their soul has been longing for, thirsting for. To the casual observer they seem to live an ordinary life, still coming and going from their self-absorbent cocoon, when all the while they are changing internally and living in secret communion with the Spirit of the Lord within them. Gradually they become more self-assured rather than self-absorbed. The inner glow begins to radiate outward as they become a person of Joy. Others begin to notice, to ask, to seek the the secret to their newfound Peace and Joy in this crazy snd battered world.
The Good News is that we don’t really have to go through the shock of a major life changing event to turn inward and seek the soul’s secrets to a fulfilled and happy life here on earth. He is always there within you, always calling out and seeking you from within your soul. If you could but stop even for a nano second and incline your ear inward. Whisper His Name, Jesus. You will hear Him then speak your name. The rest will happen, He promises, in His timing. Whisper His Name right now. JESUS.