Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Names - They Matter

Have you ever had someone mispronounce your name? My first name, Jill, is pretty simple, but the other day a far away friend said my last name, Beran, wrong. I'll be honest and the first thought that came to mind was, "Clearly your friendship's not at the level you thought it was." Thankfully, I took this thought captive and recognized it as Satan's attempt to mess with my mind.

Instantly new thoughts came to mind...I'm pretty sure she's never heard my last name, so why wouldn't she pronounce it "Beran" instead of "Bear-an"? Then I remembered all of my basketball games growing up...my German name, "Biwer" was never announced correctly. I was Jill BIwer, Buwer and on and on, but never the correct "Beaver". So clearly this struggle is not new, but the lesson I'm learning is...

Like I've mentioned I'm currently working though Wendy Blight's Bible Study called "I Know His Name" and we are digging deep into the names of God. I don't want to give God human emotions and feelings, but I had to wonder if God ever feels the same. When we don't know His name or pronounce it the wrong way, does that affect Him? What does it say about my relationship with Him? 

I have to believe it's an obvious sign that I could know Him better and more. Friends, our names are important and personal. They identify who we are. God's names do that and so much more. Did you notice a key word there? Names...Like you and me, God doesn't just have a first and last name with maybe a middle one added in. He has countless names and each one describes who He is. He is Elohim - our Creator, El Roi - the God who sees, Jehovah Nissi - the One who's banner is over us, Jehovah Rapha - the God who heals. I could go on and on, but you get the idea - He has many names.

Let me ask you a question - How many of them do you know? How many of them do you use when you pray to Him or tell others about Him? 

This little mix-up with my name has caused me to do some reflecting on God's names. I can already hear my friend as I think about her responding to this...she clearly didn't know and had never heard and I'm guessing she'll change her pronounciation once she does. 

Typically this is not a big deal for me, often I don't even recognize the mix-up, but this time God wanted to teach me a lesson. Names matter...mine and especially His. I need to keep learning more about His and then once I know them, I need to use them. Could you say the same?

God didn't stop His instruction with this, no, He added to it. In the same way I gave my friend grace and quickly shrugged it off, God reminded me He is the champion grace giver! He created me, knows me and loves me. He understands where I fall short and forgives me when I do. At the same time, He cares so much about me, He wants to strengthen His relationship with me. 

As a loving Father, He's aware I have a lot of learning to do, but as a powerful God, He will teach me what I need to know! 

A few verses to encourage you as you seek to know God by name!!
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him." Ephesians 1:17

"And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:19

A powerful piece of wisdom from Wendy as well..."God calls us to trust in Him no matter our circumstances. He gives us His names, so that we can know Him. Friend, we only trust those we know, and we cannot trust God if we don't know God."

God isn't the only One with many names...Jesus has numerous ones as well! Friends, knowing Him and His names is critical...may this song remind you of the importance!


  1. I haven't been able to start that book yet but this makes me even more excited to start reading! I love your perspective here!

    1. I just finished the book and trust it will be a blessing to you!!