From Praying the Names of Jesus Week One, Day Four
Elohim is the Hebrew word for God that appears in the very first sentence of the Bible. When we pray to Elohim, we remember that he is the one who began it all, creating the heavens and the earth and separating light from darkness, water from dry land, night from day. This ancient name for God contains the idea of God's creative power as well as his authority and sovereignty. Jesus used a form of the name in his agonized prayer from the cross. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
PRAYING THE NAME
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same. (Psalm 102:25-27a)
Reflect On: Psalm 102
Praise God: For his unchanging nature—no matter what hap¬pens to us or to the world around us, God remains the same.
Offer Thanks: That our Creator is perfect—nothing could be added to or subtracted from him to improve his nature.
Confess: Any tendency to place God on your own level, as though he is subject to the same laws and limitations of creation as you are.
Ask God: To help you perceive his greatness more fully so that you will stop projecting your own feelings and judgments on him.
Imagine for a moment that you live in a world that never changes. In this world civilizations never rise and fall, the weather is constant, children don't grow up, and people never change jobs. In this world, the same old television shows run year after year.
Wouldn't it bore you to death? Without the right kind of change, there would be no growth or development, no hope, nothing whatever to aim for. No one would ever talk about discerning
God's plan for their lives nor would anyone strive to fulfill their God-given potential because there wouldn't even be a word for "potential." We know that to be human is to be subject to change.
As human beings we need constructive change because both we and the world we live in are imperfect. We are not yet everything God intends us to be. But God himself is already perfect, already everything he needs to be: all-powerful, loving, wise, beautiful, and good. Change could not possibly improve him. Furthermore, he is not subject to a changing universe because he exists outside of time and space. He always was and he always will be. This means that the God who loves you will never stop being who he is. His attitude won't change depending on his mood, depending on your mood.
Perhaps you face unwelcome changes right now: the loss of a loved one, a child leaving home, a dwindling paycheck—the future you counted on suddenly in jeopardy. Or maybe you suffer from a mood disorder, up one day and way down the next.
Let the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever steady your world today. Whatever challenge or change confronts you, let it drive you toward the God who never changes, a God so stable and strong you can lean on him forever.
Two of Ann Spangler's most-loved books have been released in paperback: Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus.
These books help us understand the biblical context in which these names and titles were revealed, and help us gain a more intimate knowledge of the Father and of the Son.