Knowing God is one of the most important goals of our lives. We’ve talked about how important it is to know God for ourselves here.
In this post, I want to give you a very practical way of knowing God by name. A name is very important. Having a specific name distinguishes a person or a place from all others. It gives identity and uniqueness. And sometimes a name or a title even tells us what the person does, like Dr. Jones or Rev. Martin or Officer Carter.
But in the Eastern Hebrew mindset of the Bible, a name was even more significant than it is in our culture. A name was the essence of someone’s character. And out of a person’s character would his or her actions be revealed.
First a Foundation
In the book, His Name is One, author Jeff Benner helps us to understand the Hebrew mindset of a name by looking at a form of Hebrew poetry called parallelism. Using this technique, a Biblical author would state one idea in 2 different ways by the way he “paralleled one with another”. Mr. Benner uses this verse to clarify his point:
Your name, O LORD, endures forever; your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
Psalm 135:13 ESV
In this verse, the Hebrew word for “name” is paralleled with the word “renown”. In Hebrew, the word translated “renown” actually means “remembrance”.
Jeff Benner explains that the renown or fame of the Lord are the things He does that will be remembered through the ages. Using this poetic imagery, it helps us to understand that the psalmist saw the name of the LORD as synonymous with His actions.
In another verse, Ps. 135:13, Benner points out the parallel with the words “name” and “strength”. He says the psalmist is again saying the Lord’s name is the same as His strength, an attribute of His character.
All of this Hebrew study is just to point out that God’s name is more than just a way to identify Him apart from someone else. His names tell us volumes about His character and therefore His actions.
And if we really want to know God, we need to know more than just what to call Him. We need to understand His character, His heart, and His actions. His names will help us do just that.
(Note: If you are interested in studying more about the Hebrew mindset of God’s names, I highly recommend Jeff Benner’s book. You can find it here on Amazon: His Name is One
Next, How To Find God’s Names
Now that we know how much God’s names reveal who He really is and what He does, we need to be able to find those names so we can get to know Him! How do we do that, especially if we don’t know Hebrew or Greek?
I suggest you start by getting a simple journal or notebook. Here are some I found on Amazon that might work nicely for this purpose:
[Hope Dwellers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com].
Whatever type of journal you choose, keep it handy. Every time you read a passage in the Bible and notice a name of God, write it down in your journal. Keep a running list.
Maybe take your journal with you to church and jot down the names you hear in a sermon. Keep it in the car and notice when you hear His name mentioned in a song on the radio. Look for the names not only of God the Father, but the names for Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well.
You don’t have to do a Hebrew or Greek word study to do this. Just look (or listen) when a verse talks about who God is. For example, we know one of the names for Jesus is “Son of God”. But He also tells us that He is the Light of the world. So that is a name, too – the Light of the world. Look for “I am” statements and “He is” phrases.
I think when you start being intentional about looking, you’ll be amazed at how many names you’ll find! God is far beyond knowing everything there is to know about Him, but He has really given us a great start in His word!
Resources to Help
If you still feel like you need more help in finding the names of God, here’s some resources you can try.
Here’s a wonderful article from The Father’s Business about praying the names of God (something I highly recommend!) that will give you many good suggestions. And also from The Father’s Business is this fantastic little booklet called He is the I Am. I used this booklet during a real struggle when I was trying to get my beliefs from my head into my heart. I’ve given this booklet to others, so I believe it’s a great resource!! It lists 365 names, titles, and attributes of God that will help you know Him better.
You can only buy this little booklet in a package of 10, but it’s worth it. Give them to friends and family or share them in a Bible study group. You can find them here. (I am not an affiliate for The Father’s Business. I just love the ladies who run it and love their message.)
Now for Application
Okay, so now we know how important God’s names are to us, and we know how to find His names and start our list with those names. But then what? How does this affect us? How will a list of names change our lives or help us overcome all that holds us back?
This is where I want to help you make it practical, so this won’t just be head knowledge, but it can become life-changing truth.
I’m going to give you access to a free printable down below to help you do this study: “Knowing God By Name Study Sheet”
I suggest you pick one name of God from your list. Maybe a name that you’ve heard all your life but you don’t really understand it. Maybe a name that you really need right now to help you deal with a trying circumstance. Pick one that really speaks to you right this moment.
Then, you’re going to think of 3 adjectives that will describe God’s character based on this name. Let’s say you chose the name “Rock“. The adjectives that come to mind might be stable, immovable, and dependable.
Then think of 3 verbs based on God’s actions related to this name. Think of these verbs in terms of what God has promised He will do. If He is a Rock, the verbs that come to mind might be: holds up, supports, and steadies.
Once you’ve got your adjectives and verbs, then you can fill out this sentence.
If You are my ……….., then I am ……………
So for our example, you could say: If You are my Rock, then I am supported, steadied, held up by the One who is always stable and immovable. Finally, you make it a truth you can meditate on until it becomes a reality.
Therefore, this is Your promise of truth I will now choose to believe: ______________________________________
You might choose to say this is your truth: Because God promises that He is a Rock who holds me up and supports me, I will choose to believe that I am stable, steady, and secure.
Take this truth and ponder it, write it, sing it, pray it, visualize it, draw it, whatever it takes to move it from your head to your heart.
When you spend time with the Lord, talk to Him about this part of His character. Ask Him what else He wants you to know about it. You might want to learn one name per day.
But don’t feel like you need to rush through this study. You may spend an entire week just on one name. This is not an assignment for school! You are in the process of renewing your mind in a life-giving way, so take as long as you need.
One more thing – write it all down!! Keeping a record of what we learn and what the Lord shows us is vital. You can go back to it on days when it’s easy to forget and see who God really is for you. (Our freebie below will help with this!)
And when you see God, I think you will more easily see yourself as He sees you.
Getting to know Him with you,
In the comments below, please share one name of God that has made a difference in your life. Share the truth “If God is _____, then I am _____”. We can all be encouraged!
PS. Remember how I said earlier in this post that I had a freebie for you? I’ve created a study sheet to give you a very practical way to know God using His names. You can apply these truths right away for yourself!
Sign up here to get the free printable “Knowing God By Name Study Sheet”. You’ll get the password so you’ll have access to all the freebies located in our free resource library.
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