There are so many great things about America… donuts for breakfast, Starbucks on every corner, movies you can rent from a vending machine for just $1…, but one of my own personal favourites of America is a store called Target. Target is like every woman’s dream shop. It sells everything you could ever need under one roof and everything is nice!
My family know that Target is one of my weaknesses. They know that once I’m in this delightful shop I never leave without buying something, but they also know I can’t get past one particular aisle in it. The pick `n’ mix candy aisle! It is just wonderful! No longer do I have to suffer the black jelly beans that pollute a pre-packaged bag. Instead, with my children’s expert help, we can pick and choose the colours, flavours and types we really want.
I was reminded of this aisle when I was reading Psalm 91 recently, and was struck by verse 14. The verse quotes the Lord saying ‘I will protect those who know my name’. In my NLT version the verse says ‘I will protect those who trust in my name’. Know and trust go hand in hand. No matter what we say from our mouths we are barely going to trust someone we don’t know.
This got me thinking. Do I know God’s name? Do I trust in His name? Do I embrace all of who God is or do I pick and choose (pick `n’ mix) His character depending on the names I like or feel comfortable with? Maybe we feel safe ‘knowing’ Him as God Almighty and Creator but do we dare to get to know Him as Jehovah-Rohi (the Lord our Shepherd). I may say He is my King but do I truly in my heart know Him as Jehovah Jireh (my provider)? Alternatively, maybe we like the idea of Father God and Jehovah Shalom but do we over-focus on that side of His name and forget the One we call Abba is no `Sugar Daddy’ but is indeed a Holy God?.
If we want to really grow in relationship with the Lord and know His hand on our lives and His protection, then we need to grow in our understanding of who He is, and actually get to ‘know’ this One in whom we are going to trust! It’s not enough to just pick our favourite few names and define Him by those limitations. He wants us to know the whole of who He is. It may take us a lifelong journey of truly discovering all the aspects of His name and identity, but what an amazing, rewarding, secure and fulfilling journey that will be!
Prayer: Lord, What an amazing God You are! There’s so much to Your character and name that I need to learn and discover, to continue to grow in my relationship with You. I’m sorry for the times I’ve limited You and constrained You to my own experience, understanding or desire. Lord I want to know all of who You are and to worship You, in the truth of who You are, and not who I’ve made You or want You to be. Please continue to show Yourself to me as I walk in Your paths. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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