While I was mowing my grass this morning, I found myself meditating on the Name of Jesus. I asked myself, “Why do we end our prayers with ‘In Jesus’ name’?” I know why, but I ask these kinds of questions often, constantly keeping my mind sharp in case someone asks me, because we are supposed to be ready in season and out of season to answer people’s questions. As I mowed this morning, I really thought about His name- Jesus.
There are a few passages in scripture that tell us about the importance of His name. To begin with, the prophecies about the Messiah never mentioned His actual name, yet gave Him names such as “Prince of Peace” and “Wonderful Counselor”, and Isaiah also wrote that His name would be “Emmanuel” which means God is with us. God values names. He knows you by name. He even changed people’s names when they did something really important- such as Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, Saul became Paul, and Simon became Peter. If you ever feel up to it, I would encourage you to do a study of all the names of people in the bible who had their name changed and why it happened. God truly loves our names.
God hand-picked Jesus’ name in Luke 1:31, when the angel told Mary, “and you are to call him Jesus.”
There are actually quite a few scriptures that address the Power that is in His name, and we could really start with any of them, but let’s start with what Jesus said about His own name:
John 3:18- I think we are all fairly familiar with this passage of scripture. I have even met nonbelievers who can quote John 3:16. But verses 3:17 and 3:18 are often ignored. In verse 18, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” So believing in His name will bring salvation. Romans 10:13 and Acts 4:12 both support that statement. Romans 10:13, “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” And Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Clearly, the name of Jesus has power to save people. I have actually led people to Christ by simply saying His name. I told some kids one time that if they would just say His name they would be filled with peace. They didn’t believe in Jesus and were all talking about the violence in their lives and how the “real world” worked. So I had them close their eyes, hold out their hands as if they were about to be given a box or something, and say, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” slowly. They did… and the power of God fell on them and they began to feel peace inside, and then I told them that He is real, and asked them if they wanted to give their lives to Him because He loved them and wanted to have a relationship with them. They all said yes. There is such great power in His name.
There is so much power in the name of Jesus that His name alone can heal people. Acts 4:30 says, “Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” I have seen so many people get healed when I have prayed, as well as when I have seen others pray. I love to coach people to pray. Just 2 nights ago, I taught a group of believers in another town to pray with the authority given by the name of Jesus. We saw a lot of healing and miracles, it was awesome.
Another scripture that tells us about the power of His name is found in Mark 16:17 (really, read 17 and 18), “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;” We see here, from Jesus Himself, that speaking His name as the one who has given us authority will drive demons out of people, praying with the authority of Jesus’ name will allow Holy Spirit to fill people to the point of speaking in new tongues (of every kind- languages and tongues). I know I have been given the ability to speak in a few languages for a short time because I prayed for it when I was in places that didn’t speak English. I needed God to equip me, and He does. A few people here at UBC have actually witnessed me speak beyond my natural ability, and then when we come home the ability is gone. Jesus says in this passage here that many miracles will be possible for those who believe and use His name as a seal of authority.
I don’t believe “…in Jesus’ name” should be used like abracadabra or some magical phrase. It isn’t a phrase that simply makes things happen. It’s the name of authority. And when we pray in that authority, using that authority, demonstrating that we actually believe in the power of His name, mountains move, trees uproot and walk into the sea, and nothing is impossible for us.
In Luke 10:17-19, the 72 come back and say that even devils flee when they use Jesus’ name as their seal of authority. Jesus says in John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Wow, that’s pretty clear. If you believe… His name is your seal of authority. He wants to move, He withholds nothing. He is for you… If you believe, nothing will be impossible for you. If you believe, His name is your seal of authority.
Don’t believe me yet? Let’s recall what Peter did: “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” This is found in Acts 3. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth… There is Peter’s seal of authority. His name isn’t magic. Peter didn’t have special abilities. He didn’t have a special calling for healing. He knew Jesus. He believed in Jesus. He loved Jesus. Period.
Like Peter, you can see mighty signs and wonders, if you will believe. Believe in Jesus’ name. Don’t use it for your gain; it’s not magic, and Jesus is not your genie. But if you will believe, His name is your seal of authority. In ages past, if you had a seal of authority (typically a ring or even a wax impression of the King’s ring) you had privileges that were not normally afforded to people. Like that, when you have faith in Jesus, God gives you privileges not normally afforded to mankind. Holy Spirit actually partners with you. And when you pray from that place, many things happen such as tumors dissolve in your hand, skin cancers fall off like scabs, blind eyes suddenly see, deaf ears open, limbs grow out, backs get healed, finances get corrected, relationships get healed, and people meet God.
So this week, I encourage you to believe. Believe with all you can. Believe in His name, His wonderful, beautiful, powerful name of authority. Bless you…
I re-read 1 Corinthians 2 today. Wow is it good! That’s one scripture we all need to read often.
I honestly just love how Paul wrote it. I’ve heard a lot of sermons based off of this chapter:
Verse 4: “My Message and my preaching were not with elegant and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit, and there power in Him, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but would rest on God’s power.”
So often, I find people using eloquent speech to persuade people… I’m pretty sure the Bible calls such people False… as a matter of fact in Colossians 2:8, Paul wrote, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy…” Remember, it is Satan that uses persuasion to convince people to follow him.
Back to 1 Corinthians 2- Right after Paul talked about demonstrating the Power of Holy Spirit, he says he did teach them a very strong teaching- one of the deep secrets of God, something God had hid for a long time. Elsewhere in the Bible, it says that God had hidden these mysteries in His parables, spoken through the prophets, since the very beginning, and that when the Messiah came He would reveal the meanings. Then Jesus, himself, explained this further, that He spoke in parables to separate the people that were not meant to follow Him, and that He would reveal the meaning of the parables to them. And now, in 1 Corinthians 2:6-8, Paul writes that He is teaching these hidden secrets which had been hidden since the beginning of time.
My question to you is: How did Paul learn these hidden secrets? You see, Paul wasn’t with Jesus. Where did he learn these things? He never sat under the apostles to be taught, yet he was appointed an apostle!
Verse 9 is something I have heard many people quote: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Most of my life, I heard people say we don’t know what God thinks, or what His will is. We can’t know. We can’t comprehend. God works in mysterious ways, etc. This seems so good. This logic makes sense, but it’s just that: logic. God is not logical. It is illogical for an invisible being to desire to be seen, and yet not reveal itself. It is illogical for God to reveal Himself through the lowly Jesus- He came as a poor baby, born in a manger, nothing to look at, sickly, and weak. So don’t fall victim to logic. Yes, no eye has seen God, no ear has heard His voice, no mind can conceive of Heaven and all of its glory…
And yet, we then read verse 10, which explains exactly how Paul learned the deep secrets of God, all that He had hidden since the beginning of time: “But God has revealed it to us be His Spirit.” God wants to reveal everything to us. He wants us to know all His secrets. He is not hiding anything from us. It is His good pleasure to lead us into all truth. I don’t need any person to teach me. I appreciate other’s knowledge and insight, but Holy Spirit is better. I read a lot of books. I have 8 books on my desk I am reading right now. Even still, the Word is the best book, and when I read it with Holy Spirit, it is incredible what happens. Our spirit connects to God’s Holy Spirit. Your spirit has the ability to grasp the things of God because Holy Spirit reveals it there.
When I read verse 12, I realized one of the purposes of Holy Spirit is to help us understand (in our spirit) what God has freely given us: He teaches us the things that come from the Spirit of God, and helps us to grasp and comprehend the mind of Christ. We actually have the mind of Christ in our spirits!
So can we know the deepest things of God? Absolutely yes. Do I need someone to teach me these things? Absolutely not. Can man teach me the deep things of Holy Spirit? Never. Man can demonstrate the things of Holy Spirit, and man can guide you so that you can obtain them from Holy Spirit, and man can encourage you through sharing what he has learned from Holy Spirit, but only Holy Spirit can truly reveal them to you. But again, it cannot happen my learning or comprehending them. I cannot use my soul to do the things only my spirit can do.
I wrote all of this to encourage you to continue to get still, to sit with the Lord, to ask Him your questions, and to learn from Him. Take your Bible with you when you meet with Him, and as you read, ask Him what it means. Don’t just spend a few minutes with Him, but stay there, continuing to seek His wisdom. Read a passage again and again, continually seeking understanding. There is more there than you realize. I think we run into dangerous ground when we assume we have figured it out or we finally have gotten to a place where we can teach something as “the final revelation.” Hopefully this encourages you to spend time with Him, because I know that He desperately wants to spend the time with you, to teach you things.
Connecting this blog to the past few weeks, get still, forget what you did in your past, remember what God has done in your past, and realize He has positioned you in a place for deep revelation. He wants to show you wondrous things, deep and hidden things, and He wants to reveal to you all the mysteries that we think are just too big for us to comprehend. God doesn’t want to be a mystery any more. He wants to teach your spirit, and if you can learn to be led by your spirit, wow what amazing revelations will come your way! Bless you…
In the very first blog I wrote, I talked about how we are anchored in Hope. The scripture was from Hebrews 6:19. It is really important that each of us know that Christ is our anchor, as well as our invitation to enter the presence of God. My hope for you is not to simply get you to behave or be better. I am honestly not concerned with how much you have changed, or even how much I have taught you. I am absolutely concerned with whether or not you are building your relationship with God, and allowing Him to shift things in your life. In that first blog, written over a year ago, I encouraged all of us to allow Jesus to teach new things. I encouraged us to grow closer to Him, and to allow Him to set the anchor in our souls so that we would all then get out of the boat and enjoy life outside of it. We only set an anchor when it’s time to get out of the boat and explore.
If you have been reading since the beginning of this blog, then you know that I love the ocean. It is my absolute favorite place to be. I dream about swimming, snorkeling, kite surfing, and sailing around the world. Just let me island hop myself across the ocean for the rest of my life. That is my dream. In that first blog, I posed a question: Why do we ever set the anchor? We set it to get out of the boat, whether that is walking on a beautiful beach, exploring an island, docking for supplies, or diving into the ocean. Jesus is the anchor of our soul, so that we can get out and explore.
Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,”
It isn’t enough though to agree that Jesus is our anchor (He is our hope, our hope is our anchor), we have to realize that agreeing Jesus is our anchor is only the first part of the verse… the second part is equally important: Our hope enters the inner sanctuary. So what does that mean? In simple terms, the inner sanctuary is where the Presence of God is- not in theory, but in true, manifesting reality. I have seen way to many people who seem to stumble into the inner sanctuary, almost on accident. They don’t understand how easy it is to enter in. I’m not talking about simply praising or giving thanks- neither of those are the inner sanctuary. We enter the gate with thanksgiving, we enter the courts with praise, but we enter the inner sanctuary by waiting.
Most importantly, we need to learn how to wait, and what wait means. Waiting doesn’t mean sitting still, or doing nothing. Jesus clarified a little more by using the word “tarry.” We are supposed to wait in hope. To those on the outside, they would see our waiting as a waste of time, but to us waiting is actually a very active position.
Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret…”
Isaiah 30:15 says, “…In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”
Isaiah 40:31 says, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…”
With all of this in mind, I want to recall you to last week’s blog. In it, I wrote about the struggle we have with our past, and how God has given us direction on how to get free. He told us to forget our past, and to instead remember His past. God has redeemed our past, and we should not remember it any longer (2 Corinthians 5:17). Last week, I wrote that when I learned that Jesus came to erase my past and start a new future with me, I immediately found myself free. It simply took a revelation of truth to set my mind free from all things that kept it bound up. I used to battle things like ADHD and Bi-Polar Disorder, as well as depression. On April 7, I will celebrate 7 years of being free from all of it. I will celebrate 7 years of constant peace, without a single day that I would consider bad. I don’t clinch my teeth and try to smile so that no one can see how I really feel. I am truly at peace, and it’s been constant for 7 years. My wife will tell you that I actually enjoy when people get in my face and yell and scream, because it reminds me of who I used to be and how far Jesus has taken me.
How has Jesus taken me so far? In short, because I realized He had anchored my boat, and invited me to get out and explore with Him. Every day I invite Jesus to take my hand and lead me further, deeper. Jesus has taken me out into deep waters. For some of you, He has taken you out into really deep water, and for some of you it has only been a little while, or maybe even today could be your first day. Wherever you are, I hope you realize that right now, without you even realizing it, Jesus has already anchored your soul, and He is holding your hand saying, “Let’s go. I want to show you something.” Let the peace of God fill your heart and mind. In the quietness of your soul you will find rest, strength, and Joy. Joy will overflow.
So let's stop with all the news and distractions that keep us from the Presence of God. Stop worrying about tomorrow. Realize Jesus is with you right now saying, “I love you. Come with me…” And rest in him. You are positioned in Him, and He is ready, waiting to show you His wonders. Bless you…
I was reading Isaiah recently, and I found something that definitely caught my attention and caused me to really get still and seek the Lord for clarification and understanding.
I read Isaiah 43:18 & 19, which says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!...”
In this passage, I was saying to myself, “Yes! This is so good!” This passage calls to mind Romans 8:38, which is where Paul wrote that he was convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of God. But there is something specifically omitted from the list in this verse: right in the middle of the verse it says, “…neither the present nor the future…”, and right there Paul specifically omitted our past because that is the one thing the enemy can use to separate us from God’s love. Granted, Jesus paid for our pasts, so in truth, even our past can’t separate us from God’s love. Not to mention Paul wrote in Colossians 1:21, we are only alienated from God in our minds, not in reality. This is why I got excited when I was reading Isaiah 43. God is telling us to forget the past, to focus on what God is doing NOW.
I kept reading, and found myself in Isaiah 46. The part that caught my attention and forced me to seek wisdom is found in 46:9, “Remember the former things, those of long ago…” Wait, I thought He said we SHOULD forget them, and now He is saying we SHOULD NOT forget them? I literally turned 2 pages in my bible, and now God is contradicting Himself? Which is it?? Should I forget or not forget? What had just been a moment of joy and excitement had quickly turned into a moment of confusion.
I definitely felt shaken inside. I remembered Hebrews 12:27, which basically says everything that can be shaken will be shaken so that only that which can’t be shaken will remain. I felt a bit off center, as if I didn’t know whether I should stand up or sit down. That is when I decided to re-read the 2 chapters and gain better understanding through context.
Chapter 43, God is talking to Israel, telling them that He is not going to repeat Himself when it comes to their captivity. He is telling Israel that they will go into Babylon as slaves, but that He won’t rescue them as He did before. He is doing something different this time because when He provided last time, they didn’t honor Him and instead they sinned against Him. So He is telling them to forget the past, because He is going to do something new.
Chapter 46, God is talking to Israel that is captive in Babylon, telling them that He will carry them, sustain them, and rescue them. It is here God cries out to His children, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” He is referring to the prophecies of Messiah. From the very beginning, God had been telling His people about a coming Messiah who would change everything, set them free, and save the world from sin. The very first word in the bible (in Hebrew) is bereshit. When you read it out from letter to letter in Hebrew, it reads, “The Son of the house of God will be destroyed by His own hand on a cross.” That is the word, “In the beginning…” and right here in Isaiah 46:9, God is telling His children to remember this fact. He is calling His children to realize that He is doing something new. He is not going to save His children the way He did in Egypt, but instead He is going to save them by sending Jesus to die on the cross and TRULY set us all free. Complete freedom. Jesus even said He came to set us truly free.
In gaining understanding through the context, I was at peace. When I remembered God did a truly new thing when Jesus came helped me to understand everything, and that caused me to be filled with peace. I spent the next few minutes just reflecting on the peace Jesus promised, and how much my life has changed over the years as I have learned more and more from Him. God didn’t just remove a government that oppressed His children, or even rescue them from a tyrant, when He sent Jesus. God changed everything. Before Jesus, sin had complete say/authority over everyone. Since Jesus, grace overwhelms sin. The Law of Sin and Death has been replaced with the Law of Spirit and Life (Romans 8:2). God blessed us with spiritual freedom, and you and I have the ability to walk in that freedom. Rust can’t destroy it, nothing can corrupt it, and even my past has no voice to steal it.
All of this is critical for us to understand. Satan will always remind you of your past… of what you did wrong. The wild thing is God has done something about your past: He became it. “He who had no sin became sin so that you might become the righteousness of God.” So yes, forget the former things- the things you did wrong, the things you regret. And yes, don’t forget the former things- that Jesus paid for the things you did wrong, the things you regret.
In short, remember this: “Remember what God did for you, not what you’ve done.” Be blessed…