Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Living Under the Name

As a child I lived under names. My mom had painted the names of God over some of the doorways of our home. This week I'm painting God's name over the doorways of ours. His names aren't meant to be a talisman to ward off evil. In and of themselves the letters have no power. The meaning is found in a submitted heart, an attitude, in trust. God's many names reflect his flawless character. His names painted over our doorways are a reminder that it's his authority that our family lives under. It's a way to teach my children who God is and that we're serious about his leadership in our lives. Here are the meanings of the names of God that are gracing our home:

The Lord our Provider or the Lord will Provide. In Genesis 22 Abraham obeyed God and prepared to sacrifice his only son, God intervened and provided a ram. Abraham named the place of salvation Jehovah Jireh. This event was a foreshadowing of the Lamb, the only Son, that would be provided for our salvation. In scripture the name Jehovah Jireh is used only once; God is firmly establishing himself as the provider of our salvation. If God hasn't spared his only Son, is there anything he will withhold for the good of his own? I pray my children know God's nature as their generous provider. (Genesis22:14)

The Lord is There or the Lord is Present. In Ezekiel 48 the prophet describes the restoration of Jerusalem and the temple. He speaks of the time when God's glory will come to stay permanently, dwelling forever with his people. The Holy Spirit dwelling in us is our deposit, sealing us until the time of the fulfillment of God's promised earthly dwelling. I pray my children know God's presence with us now and look forward to the time he will live with us in perfect completion, for eternity. (Ezekiel  48:35)

The Lord is Peace. In Judges 6 The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon. An oppressed Jew, the weakest in his family, from the weakest clan in Manasseh. The Lord called this weak one out to save his people from ungodly oppressors. God made himself known as the God of peace, his strength overcoming weakness to bring honor to his name. I pray my children know that it's only under God's rule as Lord that his children have peace. (Judges 6:24)

The Lord of Hosts or the Lord of Powers. In 1 Samuel 1 Hannah is praying for a son, a blessing from God. She addresses him as Lord of Hosts, of all heaven's armies, of all powers. God grants her request. He honors her further by giving her not just a son, but a son who becomes a faithful follower and influential leader. God is powerful and has all authority to accomplish his purposes. I pray my children live submitted to his authority, knowing his power, and are devoted to his glory above everything else. (1 Samuel 1:3)

The Lord Who Makes You Holy or the Lord Who Sets You Apart. In Exodus 31 God is establishing the Israelites as his people. He puts in place laws, specifically the observance of the Sabbath. Meant to testify to all the earth his covenant with Israel, the people he is making his holy possession. The context may seem harsh, whoever broke the law of Sabbath was put to death, but it reveals how serious God is about his people's holiness. I pray my children see themselves as God's possession, set apart to glorify him alone. (Exodus 31:13)

The Lord My Banner. In Exodus 17 the Amalekites attacked Israel. Moses stood on the hilltop above the battle, arms upheld, while Joshua and the troops fought. The Israelites were victorious and the place was called the Lord is my Banner. God doesn't choose sides, and Moses knew it. God is truth and invites us to align ourselves with him, to come under his banner. I pray that my children will follow God in battle, knowing him as the one who fights for them and wins the victory. (Exodus 17:15)

The Lord My Shepherd. In Genesis 48 Jacob, now called Israel, is old and dieing. As he is blessing his grandson's he recalls God's faithful guidance of Abraham and Isaac. He calls on God, who has "been [his] shepherd all of [his] life", to bless and prosper them. God is not a distant, unknowable God. He walks gently and faithfully with his people. I pray my children are aware of God shepherding and guiding them until the end of their lives. (Genesis 48:15)

All-Sufficient One. In Genesis 17 God is establishing his covenant with Abram. The covenant God called Abram to was one that only God could fulfill. God set the terms of his covenant, his relationship with man, and he is mighty enough to carry those terms out on his own. It is up to us to come to God according to his requirements, it may seem harsh, but God knows our true satisfaction is found nowhere else. The one request? A circumcised heart, dieing to self and living by his Spirit. The benefit far out weighs the cost of laying down our own will. I pray God establishes his covenant of grace with my children, that they wholeheartedly submit to his terms, and live satisfied by his love.
(Genesis 17:1)

We only receive God's nature expressed to us if we bow, submitting to his lordship over us. God does not sprinkle the benefits of his nature over our lives like fairy dust at our whim. If God's zealousness for his own glory doesn't make you tremble a bit, then I wonder if the God you worship is the holy God of the bible or one made in your own image. Studying God's names has reignited reverent fear and worship in my heart and even more gratitude that a God so fierce in power and holiness, untamed by any man, would stoop in such humble affection.

Do you live under the name and character of God? How do you teach your children the nature of the God you worship? Confession and surrender are gifts God has given us to establish a right union with him and unlock unimaginable grace. Let's ask God to convict us for making him into our image, a safer more manageable God, and ask him to take his rightful place of reigning King in our lives once again!

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