Sometimes the lyrics of worship songs hit me between the eyes. This one did last week. We often sing about worshiping God Himself, but that morning I was struck by the importance of singing, “We Worship your Holy Name”.
The Bible has many, many names for God (you can find a useful list of names and their meanings here http://www.gotquestions.org/names-of-God.html), but it struck me that there are two very basic and powerful reasons for having a name at all. Firstly, a name identifies you. In an era of increasing problems with identity theft, the possession of a unique name is critical in business, and much time, effort and money can be spent on protecting names. God has one of the most foundational names in the Universe – He is ”I Am”. I loved the recent Invictus Games for the stories of incredible heroism and camaraderie, but one lasting impression is of their wonderful Logo, focussing on the words “I AM”. With God, this name reflects His supremacy over time itself, for He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He understands our past, is focussed on our present, and gives us hope that He has already been to the future and prepared the way ahead there for us.
But we also read that it was in the city of Antioch (Acts 11:26) that those who followed Jesus were first called “Christians”. Literally this means “Christ’s Ones”. We bear the name of Jesus Himself. Paul also declares that we are “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ “(Romans 8:17). God has given us His own name, and we belong to Him. When I married my husband, it was a huge privilege to change my surname to become one with him. I identified with him, and was given a new covenant relationship. I experience the immense joy of being under his protection and provision. In a far greater way, being “Christ’s Ones”, we are in an incredible covenant relationship with God, where all the rights of rank of an heir are ours to enjoy, including protection and provision – and so much more.
Alongside this is another great truth; with a name comes Authority.
God has given us the authority we need to exercise His ruling on earth. The name of Jesus brings healing – to people, to relationships, to situations beyond our control. It breaks down barriers and obstacles, and brings victory from the very jaws of defeat.
All too often, we are so scared that we might “get it wrong” when we might try to use heaven’s Authority, that we fail to understand the simplest of truths – that God trusts us with it. Unless we practise it, and use it, we will never learn to move in it. God has placed a seal on our lives, and that seal bears his name (2 Corinthians 1:22). That seal tells us that God is prepared for us to be marked as His, and to carry the entire Authority of His name. You don’t put a seal on something you are not happy with.
Finally, remember that using God’s authority is not the same as being dominant.
There is a world of difference between the arrogance of someone trying to “big themselves up”, and someone who walks into a room and changes the atmosphere simply by being there.
- When someone asks, “Are you a Christian?” – do you consider this to be tricky to answer?
- How would you react if you truly believed in the value of your name “Christ’s One”?
- How can you practise the Authority of God in your current situation?