As I’ve been researching the various names of God for the Dyed4you Art piece called “Holy is His Name,” God has been highlighting to me the power a name holds. Each time someone says a name, they are declaring something over that person. Though we may not recognize that culturally, it doesn’t make the principle any less true.
Years ago, Papa transitioned me from the regular use of a nickname (Meg meaning “a crash, brash woman”) to my full given name (Meghan meaning “great mighty one”). He used this change to close a door on a season of my life that was past and to reemphasize the true call He has for me (I share the story in my post “Meghan vs Meg: What’s in a name?”). This was a powerful reminder to me that I am different than I was. It drew a line that marked the old season passed, and none of the baggage need be dragged on.
In scripture we see this same principle in action. To name a few, Abram was changed to Abraham (Genesis 17:5), Sarai was changed to Sarah (Genesis 17:15), and Jacob was renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28). In each of these instances, God is declaring something new over these individuals. And He does the same with us today if we’ll listen.
In addition to names reminding their bearer about the inherent truth, they also remind those using the name of those truths. This is one of the reasons why knowing the various names of God is a blessing for us and draws us into deeper intimacy with Him. Our understanding and use of each name helps us better understand who He is and what He’s like.
For example, if I know His name is Elohim Yakol (God most able), I don’t need to wonder if He will do what He says because I know He’s fully able, and if I know His name is El Aman (Faithful God), I know He keeps His word. And if I find myself in trouble I know I can look to YHVH Misgab (the Lord my strong tower) and find comfort from Olam Zerowa (the Everlasting Arms). Each of His names reveals a facet of who He is.
Knowing God’s names helps me know Him. It gives me a firm foundation. It helps strengthen my faith. And in moments that faith is tested, I call upon His name knowing He is faithful to respond. Thus is the power of a name. So I encourage you to take the time to learn His names. Learn the nuances of each one and how they apply to your relationship with Him. He’s worth the time and worthy of the pursuit.