So many people today feel like God is an impersonal, far away, self-righteous judge. If this is the way you are feeling today, boy are you wrong. There are five names of God that we have studied this past week that have led the ladies of Pitts Baptist into a closer, more personal, more intimate relationship with God. They are:
El Ro-I: God Sees Me
Immanu El: God With Us
Elohey Avoteynu: God of Our Fathers
Avi – Father
El Qanna – Jealous God
God sees me and God sees you too. This is a wonderful thought. In Genesis 16, we see the name El Ro-I. Hagar has run away and is desperate to know that someone sees what she is going through. Are you in the pit of despair right now? Or are you somewhere between the pit and the mountain top? Wherever you are and whatever your life situation take comfort or conviction in knowing that God sees. In Psalm 139, David shares just how intimately he is known by God. Know that God also sees you and has incredible insight and depth of knowledge into your life as well.
Immanuel is a name that Christians use often at Christmas time, but as Tammi pointed out in our time this morning. “God with us” is a fact that we can rejoice in every day, not just at the holidays. Let the thought of God coming down in human form, as Jesus, settle in your mind for a moment. God always had a plan to be with us. From the very beginning in the garden, He walked with Adam and Eve. His desire today is to walk with you and me. He wants to have fellowship with us and He has provided the way. God sent His son Jesus to earth to live and die a cruel death on the cross. He did this in order for you and I to receive forgiveness of sins. You see we all sin. We all choose to do the wrong thing at one time or another. Therefore, in order to have a relationship with God, who is perfect, we must be sanctified. Sanctify is just a fancy word for “cleaned up”. You see God is holy. He is perfect and in order to be in His presence a person would have to be perfect too. However, we can’t do this, so God made a way for us to be sanctified. We can confess our sin to Jesus and ask him to make us clean. Then we ask Jesus to be our Savior and Lord. After that, we can begin to call out to God as Father.
Father is perhaps the most personal name for God that we can use. I want to encourage you to read the following excerpt from Knowing God by Name and look up the corresponding passages of scripture.
- He lavishes us with love (I John 3:1).
- He is always near (Josh. 1:5).
- He protects us (Ps. 5:11-12)
- He provides for us (Phil. 4:19).
- He gives us good gifts (Matt. 7:8-11).
- He guides us (Rom. 8:14).
- He corrects us (2 Tim. 3:16).
- He comforts us ( 2 Thess. 2:16-17)
- He encourages us (Rom. 15:4-5).
- He gives us a spectacular inheritance (Eph. 1:18; I Pet. 1:4).
That is the kind of Father God is.
Finally, He is a jealous God. Because God longs for you to have a relationship with Him first and foremost, He has a holy jealousy for you. When we put other people of things in God’s right place in our lives, we are saying that we value them more than God. This should not be. God loves us and has done the very most for us. We should long to be His first and foremost. Yet, over and over again we put our families, our friends, and our work before Him and His desires for us. We are constantly selling ourselves short by not listening and obeying God first. He has a holy jealousy for us.
God wants an intimate relationship with you and with me? “The relationship God wants to have with us is closer and more intimate than the closest, most intimate of human relationships.” (Knowing God by Name, p. 138). Will you join Him today in that pursuit?