You know that moment when you’re hoping the ground will swallow you up with embarrassment? Trevor, the vicar had come to see my husband, and as he was waiting for him to come through, one of the kids (about age 7), trying to make conversation, merrily informed him, “My daddy calls you Trev the Rev.” He nonchalantly ignored the comment, and to be fair, it could have been a whole lot worse!
People really don’t like jokes on their name. Chances are, however innovative you think you are, they’ve heard it toooooo many times before to be funny. Is that why God commanded us not to use his name inappropriately? (Exodus 20:7) On the surface it seems an odd thing to prioritise. Of course we hear it all the time, people using ‘Jesus’ or ‘Oh God’, and so many variations, even reduced to ‘OMG’; just a cheap throwaway exclamation.
In the bible, there are countless times when God’s name is honoured, exalted, blessed. In the Old Testament, there is power and blessing for those who go ‘in his name’ : “My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted.” (Psalm 89:24) “; “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.” (Psalm 91:14); “I will strengthen them in the LORD and in his name they will live securely…” (Zechariah 10:12). Then in the New Testament, it gets even better. “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13). Oh, there is power, so much power in the precious name of Jesus!
No wonder God wants us to treat it carefully!
And no wonder the enemy wants us to treat it with disdain. No wonder he want us to be so familiar with its misuse, we lose sight of the power we have through it! His name is dynamite, yet we throw it about like confetti.
Result? We forget what a mighty weapon the Name of God is, and so we are dispossessed of the power God has given us, in permitting us to use it. We tack it on to the end of our prayers, but do we really get hold of its power? Use it well, and we can change the world. I didn’t say that, God did.