God Wants You to Know Him by Name // Exodus 3:1-15
In all of human history, only 3 people will ever call me dad. I have daughter in-laws; however, I only have 3 children by birth and now 1 grand-daughter. Names are significant and often refer to unique relationships (such as father/child). God wants you to know Him by name. I can say I know Chris Pratt. If I were to meet him, I'd start with calling him Mr. Pratt. It would be an entirely different scenario if I met him and he said, "Call me 'Chris.'" I would now be able to say, "I know Chris Pratt by name." God wants you to know Him by name.
The Bible depicts God as pursuing relationship with mankind. God is not distant and waiting for people to stumble upon Him. Back in Genesis, after the fall of mankind into sin, God is looking for Adam (Gen 3:20). In the New Testament, Jesus (the ultimate revelation of God to mankind) tells us if we seek, He will be found; if we knock, He will open up to us (Matt 7:7, Luke 11:9). Ultimately in the beginning of John's revelation message, Jesus states, "I stand at the door and knock; if anyone opens the door, I will come in and eat with them (Revelation 3:20)." This verse tells us that God/Jesus wants to come into our lives for relationship (eating implies intimate relationship not just religious activity).
Contrary to many images of God in pop culture—He desires meaningful and close relationship with His people. He is not a distant God watching and waiting to hand down punishment. God not only loves His people; He actually likes them.
God reveals Himself to Moses in the form of a burning bush (Exodus 3). From a fog of mystery, legend, tradition and idolatry He appears to commission Moses to lead His people (Israel) from slavery in Egypt. Moses asks, "Who do I tell people who is sending me?" God's reply, "Tell them I Am sent you." I Am is the personal Hebrew name Yahweh. The name Yahweh carries with it the idea that God is self-existent, non-contingent and always present; no beginning and no end. Yahweh is translated in most Bibles "LORD" as opposed to Adonai (meaning "my Lord") which is translated "Lord." Used over 8,000 time, Yahweh is God's most commonly used name in the Old Testament.
God tells Moses Yahweh is His memorial-name meaning. It is to be tied to the works of deliverance that He was about to perform. A memorial-name is one that is filled in with experiential meaning. I am a grand-father and will be filling in meaning to that name for my grand-children for the rest of my life. Actually, we are all filling our names in with meaning whether we're a son, daughter, father or mother. How can I make the memorial-name of God personal and meaningful in my daily experience? We can make God's name meaningful by taking Him at His Word and obediently trusting Him with our decisions, making His agenda our own and following Jesus in real time. When we surrender our lives to Christ, we trust Him to carry us through—granting us wisdom, power and strength to deal with whatever comes next. Question is: are we doing this? It's easy to say His name and wonder where the power is; it lies with us to trust and follow Him.
In our generation today, God continues to reveal Himself from the fog of myth, legend and religion to remind us Who He is and that He desires we know Him by Name.
Don't you want to know the name of God in your life; know and experience His power, presence and see real transformation? You can when you step out and follow His leading. Several Lakesiders answered God's leading when it was revealed that the City of Kirkland wanted people to come and do Jail Worship Services. Recently there was a near death experience for an in-mate in the presence of other in-mates that was particularly disturbing. As a Chaplain, I was called to visit with an in-mate affected by the event. The in-mate recalled the messages he had heard from the jail ministry speakers and how this event galvanized his desire to give his life to Jesus. The jail ministry is reaching the hearts of men and women with the Gospel. This is one example of how trusting God impacts lives.
Take this opportunity to embrace the relationship God offers you by Name and trust Him by following His leading in your life. I Am—a name you can trust.