Welcome to His Name, My Purpose, a site dedicated to showcasing the incredible names of our Maker. Each name of God in the Old Testament is a revelation of God's attributes. As we are exposed to them, they broaden our kingdom view and modify our thinking and behavior. Even a small glimpse of God’s character can wash our ordinary routines with new motivation, and bathe our agendas with fresh vision. Enjoy your walk through the names of God.

November 2, 2013

Part of the Family

My stomach flip-flopped and churned as we waited at my new in-law’s house. Did I really think this would be easy? One by one, my husband's siblings arrived and chatted excitedly. We met to carpool to a wedding—something we had all enjoyed before. But this occasion was different. We had been invited to the wedding of my husband’s wonderful former sweetheart—someone His whole family adored. How could anyone help but like her? She was pretty and sweet and bubbly and fun, and despite how hard I fought against it, insecurity agitated inside like sour milk.
Yes, my husband had deliberately chosen to break up with her, and had purposefully chosen to pursue and marry me. But that kind of logic did little to chase away my intimidation. We were about to celebrate an incredible person who had been special to my husband and his family in an earlier episode of life. Would they secretly wish she was still part of their family instead of me? Would I ever measure up in their eyes to this beloved former girlfriend? 
My mother-in-law was a woman of few words, but much love. She studied us, especially eying me, before sending us off. With a simple comment, “It just might get cold tonight,” she turned and left the room. A moment later, she returned with her best garment, the most prized possession in her closet, a stunning mink coat. She strode purposefully past her oldest daughter, past her youngest daughter, past her other daughter-in-law and stopped in front of me. Opening the mink, she wrapped the coat around my shoulders. Her eyes bore into mine with a knowing twinkle. As she adjusted the lapel around my neck, she leaned in close and whispered, “You just show everyone at the wedding who’s family you belong to now.” Then, with a smile and sweet hug, she pushed me out the door.
In one simple act, she claimed me as her own. She wanted me as family. I was not an outsider.
It was not until years later, that I came to see the beautiful picture of Christ she so aptly portrayed that day. Like my dear mother-in-law, Jesus also took something of His own and wrapped it around my shoulders—something utterly stunning, something that would identify me forever with His own family. He bundled me up in nothing less than His righteousness. He is Jehovah-tsidkenu, The Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6, 33:14-16).
Having carried my filthy garments to the cross, He re-clothed me with garments of salvation, wrapping me in His own holy robe (Isaiah 64:6, 61:10). His just nature can now accept me as family, as an heir (Romans 8:16-17). My clothes are white and clean because they are his pure garments, the precise clothing necessary to go into the very presence of my King (Revelation 19:14).
In one deliberate and costly act, Christ embraced me as family. He wants me. I am not an outsider.
 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

July 6, 2013

A Bigger Someone

Oh no. Not “the look.” This was serious.
That threatening face had surfaced on many a parent as they silently willed their child into obedience. Brows furrowed, mouth crimped, eyes narrowed. And like some stealth Ninja code, it communicated the message loud and clear.
That is until now.
Two-year-old Jude had donned his best parental face to no avail. His most dramatic efforts could not cow his eight-month-old brother into obedience. He had maneuvered his head six inches in front of Daniel’s so the little tyke could not miss the hardened grimace fixed on his mug. But Daniel’s determined crawl had simply detoured sideways, not in the least ruffled, not even slowing.
The rug rat had trekked into the danger zone of Tweety’s cage. Jude had to stop him or someone would surely die. Whether Jude worked to protect Tweety or Daniel remained unclear.
In a panic, Jude jerked back to draw a new line in the sand. This time he would use a body block. He squared into position, soundly crouching on small knees with arms outstretched. But Daniel’s little body energetically shifted as easily as a sports car weaving in and out of traffic, never deterred.
Jude’s horror at the second evasion erupted into a high-pitched scream. “Nana, he’s almost at Tweety!” Traveling two steps, I placed Tweety’s cage onto the counter—rescue complete, problem solved.  
Why couldn’t my hassles be fixed that easily?
Reactions to my own problems have frequently resembled Jude’s. All too often, they overwhelm me, panicking me into sleepless nights, before they even occur. I expend great energy on tactic after tactic to ensure their demise. In the end, my strivings fail.
Luckily, I am learning that I, too, have a Bigger Someone nearby, even closer than two steps away. My Almighty God stands so near that I actually partake of His Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) He resides in my heart and mind, granting me access to His very character. What an amazing truth! Each attribute or name that describes God is personal to me.
El Elyon, the Most High God, is sovereign, not just over the nations, but over my freaky circumstances. Jehovah-raah, the Lord my Shepherd, leads me through the messes in life. The calming presence of Jehovah-shalom, Lord of Peace, chases away the fear in my own hyperventilating experiences.
In like manner, El Shaddai, the all-sufficient, Almighty God, pours strength onto my pitiful weaknesses. Jehovah-rapha, my Healer, removes the bitter sting from suffering. El Roi, the God who compassionately sees, keeps an eye on every situation I get myself into.
I have full access to the Living God. He has planted Himself within my very soul. Reliance on Him beats a “look” or body block to my problems any day.

January 5, 2013

Iron Will

We arrived home from summer vacation, back into the oven of Arizona’s 114 degree temperature. I desired nothing more than to head back out of town. My marathon-running daughter, however, wanted to jog and took off down the molten asphalt in her track shoes at four in the afternoon. She needed to tackle seventeen miles according to her training schedule.
I also run, in the loosest sense of the word. Unlike my daughter, I never commit to distance or pace. I go by feel. If the temperature and my joints feel right, I run. At the first tinge of discomfort, when I no longer feel like running, I quit. Her iron will puts mine to shame.
I look at the discrepancy between us and rejoice that God’s own commitment to His plans resembles my daughter’s faithfulness more than mine. Although imperfect, her steadfast commitment provides a glimpse into His perfect faithfulness toward His own will. He promises us, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand” (Isaiah 14:24).
God is the present tense I AM, who always and continuously exists to fulfill His purposes. Whether or not we realize it, we count on His steadfastness to His will. In the face of death, we cling to the promise of heaven. As we listen to horrors on the evening news, we draw comfort from His pledge to bring justice. We dare to live for Christ now, knowing that one day every knee will bend to His supreme rule. If these truths varied simply because God changed His mind or didn’t feel like it, it would deeply affect our peace and kingdom efforts.
But God’s determination to accomplish His plan remains as constant and lasting as He is. His wonders were planned long ago and have perfect faithfulness attached to them (Isaiah 25:1). The cross stands as our most compelling proof of this faithfulness. Christ never quit.
Though He was fully human—hungering, crying for a dead friend, becoming weary, feeling every blow from the whip, fully experiencing the pain of the cross—He stayed.
Though He was fully God—working miracles, commanding nature, banishing demons, possessing complete power to stop the crucifixion—He stayed.  His will was to redeem us, so He continued, as scheduled.
My daughter’s willingness to suffer through seventeen miles in 114 degree temperatures indicates that she will probably not sleep in on race day. She invests in her plans because she intends to complete them. Likewise, Christ’s faithfulness on the cross proves He will be faithful to the rest of His will. If He remained committed to His purposes in the most difficult circumstance possible, He will stay true to the completion of His mission.
           “The Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it?” (Isaiah 14:27).