Memo 1109: Using The Name
This series, PowerPoints for Living, is designed to examine David's life for lessons we can apply that will help us live the abundant life Jesus came to give us. For many of our lessons, we have looked at David's psalms and this week is no exception:
Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. Lord, give victory to the king. Answer us when we call! (Psalm 20:6-9).
In this psalm, David summarized a lesson he had learned and that lesson involved the victory in store for God's anointed. Let's dig into this a little more deeply to see what the Spirit was trying to tell us through David.
PIECE BY PIECE
What can we learn from these few verses?
- David wrote about he knew. He had experienced God's ways and was sure of their reliability.
- David also knew he was God's anointed, which simply means God was with him to accomplish his purpose.
- When David prayed, he expected God to answer.
- God's prayer response involved victory and power.
- David was a skilled, decorated military veteran, but he didn't trust in his military "hardware" to bring victory.
- David had access to use God's name and He did so effectively to accomplish victory after victory.
- Those who trusted in 'chariots and horses' were brought low. David expected to 'rise up and stand firm.'
We could devote an entire Memo to each one of these points, but that's not the direction we will pursue. Instead, let's focus on just one of those summary points: number six.
We have been taught that breaking the Third Commandment, "“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name" (Exodus 20:7) meant not using God's name in some kind of curse or casual way. While those aren't appropriate, that isn't what the Commandment is referring to. It means that those who carry God's name, who are identified as His people, aren't to use His name to no effect. For instance, Jesus taught, "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:13-14, emphasis added). To have the name and not utilize it in prayer to obtain what you need to do God's will is a waste of the name.
The disciples understood this, for we read in Acts, "'Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.' Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk" (Acts 3:6-8, emphasis added). They did something in the name of Jesus, using the power behind it to spread His glory and love.
David wrote in Psalm 20, "We trust in the name of the Lord our God." How did he prove his trust? What did he do with the name? When he confronted Goliath, he said, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied" (1 Samuel 17:45, emphasis added). Once again, we see someone not identifying with the Name in a doctrinal way but in an proactive manner.
And what about you? You have access to the same name that Peter and David had. What are you doing with the Name? Are you asking for frivolous things or no things at all in the Name? Are you trying to use the Name to get what you want or to find and fund what God wants you to do? Your PowerPoint for Living this week is as follows:
To live the abundant life, you must not take the name of the Lord and apply it in a frivolous or meaningless way. You are to pray powerful, effective prayers and do and build significant things that will serve others and prove God's love for His creation.
This week, ask yourself what you are doing or prepared to do with the Name, and then pray like David did: "Give victory to the king. Answer us when we call!" Have a blessed week!