Misusing His Name


Knowing God Through His Names

Key Bible Verse: “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols.” (Isaiah 42:8)

Dig Deeper: Isaiah 42:1-9

Taking God’s name in vain goes much further than a sailor swearing or a teenager saying “Oh my God” every few moments.

To take God’s name in vain is to apply revisionist history methods to the definition of who God is. It is to define God by our own wishes and desires rather than to know him as he defines himself.

We want a God we can easily understand – a God we can neatly display on a bumper sticker or a coffee mug. But God will not be confined to our little genie bottles. His names reflect his power, and his power is accessed only by knowing who he truly is, not by affirming who we want him to be. To know God’s names is to know his power. But you only get his power when you know the great I Am Who I am.

A lot of people use God’s name today the same way the Devil did in the Garden – in vain. If we don’t attach his name to his character, we will only perpetuate the chaos that the Devil ushered in when he made his first attack on humanity. Like Satan, we will be trying to redefine God by misusing his names.

– Tony Evans in The Power of God’s Names

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