Thursday, August 23, 2012

What's My Name

It's the first thing I filled out on every form I have ever been given for school, work, the doctor, even Church. It identifies me. I have a formal name - Trisha Ann Wilson. I have my genealogical name - Trisha Ann Barnes Wilson. Some of my friends and family call me Trish. Matt and my moms (all of them) almost always call me Trisha. I also have names like wife, sister, aunt, cousin, daughter, friend, and the one I hear most often, mom. Each of these names reflects a part of who I am in relation to the person using that particular name for me. In hearing the name that they use for me, I also hear what my relationship, interaction and connection to them truly is. There are also private names that I have; nicknames if you will, that have been given to me by the people I hold most dear - my husband, my family, and my closest friends. And I have given these names to people too - it's not casual - it's intimate. It's not commonly known - to know these names is to know me on a much more personal level.

Prayer is something that is close to my heart. As I seek to spend more and more time in the presence of my Creator, I have found that prayer is becoming not I thing that I do, but a way that I live. Jesus thought it was so important that He took time to walk us thru how it's done in Matthew 6, and the first few lines of that teaching outline have taken my heart into a new and exciting search. Matthew 6:9 says "Our Father in heaven, hollowed (praised) be your name." That got me thinking - what are the names of God, and what do they mean? How can I praise God's name if I don't know it?

I am not a theologian. I do not speak or read Hebrew, Arabic or Greek. I have never read any of the original translations of the Bible - and I don't believe that I ever will. Instead I have sought out - thru books mostly - the wisdom of men and women who can read the original texts. I am trying to learn thru their understanding the deeper meaning of the names of God that are sometimes lost in our modern day translations and interpretations. At this time I most frequently use the NIV 1984, the KJV and NKJV, the NASV, the NLT and the Message. If you find I have made an error, please let me know. No one knows better than I just how flawed I am - and I am always looking to learn more about my amazing God.

Jehovah & Yahweh - in every book I have read these are the first to names discussed. The most intimate and sacred names of God. When Moses wrote the name LORD in all capital letters, this was the name he meant. It is the personal name of God for His people - ancient Jews didn't speak it or even write it. Even now in Jewish text it is often written ~od. When Moses asked God who he should tell the people had sent him, God said tell the people "I Am".  These names remind me that my God is the God that has always been and will always be. When all else falls, fails and crumbles, God will still be God. He will still reign. He is consistent, unchanging and everlasting. Not created by man, and not dependant or defined by man. I can count on Him. He's not gonna change His mind, His personality, or His character. He is bigger and more complex than I will ever be able to fully or perhaps even partially understand, yet He chooses and desires to be intimately available to me if I choose to be with Him.

Just that thought takes my breath away.

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