In The Midst of the Fray: Psalm 91:14, and Share Your Story

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

Phyllis Nissila

For the complete booklet of Psalm 91 devotionals, click here

It’s in The Name

ABXSJRZCA426IBQCA6AJPK7CAYLUJBICAK1AN0XCAF45UW6CAFSQO7SCAUID9B0CAYODJWJCAPGW58NCA6ASB8MCARSK2XSCAMRLJGZCA4DX4ULCA71I301CAA83UBHCAZXU4BJCA3HDNDECAC937F5As opposed to names in many Western cultures which are often given to honor a relative or selected from trending baby names, in traditional Jewish culture a name is much more than a moniker, a tag, a title, or a label; it is “the intrinsic nature, indispensable quality of the person that determines […] character: his/her soul, spirit, nature” [1].

The name of God in the Bible defines Him as The Most High, our Lord and Master, our “Banner” (victory in battle), our Shepherd, our Healer, our Righteousness, our Sanctification, our Provision, and our Peace [2].

Now, that’s a “nameful”!

(As opposed to “Phyllis,” for example, which means, from the Greek, a “green bough” or from the Latin, a condition involving intense burning and itching.)

God’s name in the light of the original intent is also a “blessingful!”

And to “acknowledge” [3] the length, depth, and breadth of God’s nature thus defined is to love Him.

Particularly if one has learned or assumed another kind of god.

It’s NOT in The Numbers

confessional

confessional

In the legalistic, largely man-made religious system of my youth, I had no such idea of God. I imagined Him, rather, as He Who Scowls and sits on the throne with a pen poised over a list of my “naughties” and my “nices” like some kind of macabre Santa Claus—because that god didn’t give just a lump of coal to the naughty.

He dispensed sulfur and brimstone.

For an undetermined amount of time in the afterlife–or for eternity.

Although sometimes I tried to at least even the score with Him, I knew deep down I wasn’t winning this.

I couldn’t escape the notion that one day I was saved, the next, not, depending on how I behaved. I felt, spiritually, like a Yo-yo with a frayed string, one minute uncoiling over Hell’s pit, the next, coiling back up to safety. But always, the flames nearby.

Phew!

And I carried this, if sub-consciously, into my new life in Christ which I began some years later.

Until one day.

As I went about my chores the day of note I pondered the idea of loving God (a dominant theme in Scripture).

I stopped what I was doing (specifically, making the bed), and said, out loud, sheet wafting downward, “If I am supposed to love You, God, why is it so hard?”

What immediately came to mind was this: “Because from the time you were a small child, you thought I was out to hurt you.”

Whoa.

Yes!

I understood.

The old notions of “sins of omission, commission, venial, and mortal” and the hundreds of behavior-based rules and regs I had learned in days of yore that were essential to obey, to avoid the flames, flashed to mind as did the frustrating struggles against sin, anxious examinations of conscience, and hovering dread.

“You are absolutely right!” I said. Out loud. To no one visible.

And something lifted off my soul…

Since then it has been a source of great and abiding joy to find out God’s real intent for those who acknowledge Him and receive His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through Whom all the benefits and blessings of this Christian life are made possible.

Everything from my next breath to life eternal.

Invitation

Share a story of your own of a time when you, too, realized that God is FOR you, not against you (see Romans 8:31).

***

[1] https://www.google.com/search?q=synonyms+for+name&rlz=1C1AFAB_enUS483US483&oq=synonyms+for+name&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.2515j0j4&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8#es_sm=93&espv=210&q=synonyms+for+essence

[2] http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/name_god.cfm

[3] To know, be aware of, comprehend, consider, detect, discern, among many other synonyms—Strong’s, 3045: yada.

Images from the public domain.

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4 Responses to In The Midst of the Fray: Psalm 91:14, and Share Your Story

  1. Cathy says:

    My name is Catherine(Pure):)
    The Righteousness of Christ, Imputed to me, has washed way my Sins and Purified me, to SOMEDAY, be Present with God (Eternal life!)
    I don’t have to go through a Sad, Rigorous, life, of not Knowing Salvation, through a Church System, of Sacraments and Purgatory!
    Thankful God, sent His Son to Cover me, with His Precious Blood!
    God is a kind and Merciful God, NOT an Accuser of the Brethren, Like Satan!
    Praise and Glorify, the One True God!

    Like

    • pnissila says:

      Hi, Catherine (nice name as opposed to…;))

      Well said, sort of the Gospel in a nutshell.

      May you and yours have a blessed Christmas. And in the new year? Who knows what wonders are in store for the Bride of Christ!

      Phyllis

      Like

  2. Carl Gordon says:

    Also what a charming header on your blog today! 😀

    Like

  3. Carl Gordon says:

    Ha! I laughed right out loud about the “itching” definition of your name in Latin….and cried because I could relate all too nearly to, “Because from the time you were a small child, you thought I was out to hurt you.”

    Like

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