“Those who know your name trust you, O LORD, because you have never deserted those who seek your help.” Psalm 9:10 (GW)
I’d heard great things about him, but it wasn’t until we served together in ministry that I really got to know him. And I only discovered some of his unique personality traits by “doing life” with J.J. — like his dry sense of humor and the way he naturally encourages people without even trying.
As our friendship deepened, J.J. became someone I could depend on. When I needed him, he came through.
Like the time my mom was diagnosed with cancer and scheduled for immediate surgery, JJ offered to drive six hours to join me at the hospital so I wouldn’t be alone. I didn’t think he was serious and was hesitant to let him come when I was in such a vulnerable place of need. But he showed up, and I realized this guy was reliable.
Over the years, I’ve seen how my relationship with God has grown closer in the same way. And I’ve noticed the same for others.
At some point in our lives we hear things about God, but we don’t really get to know Him until we spend time with Him — talking, listening and observing who He is and depending on Him.
We learn to trust God’s heart by interacting with Him and experiencing His character in personal ways, just like I did with J.J.
In the book of Judges, chapter 6, an angel of the Lord appeared before Gideon and told him he would become a mighty warrior and defeat a huge army of his enemies. But Gideon didn’t believe him.
You see, Gideon only knew about God. He had heard of His faithfulness in others’ lives, but he didn’t know God personally.
It’s hard to trust someone you don’t know.
Gideon told the angel of the Lord, “‘If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.’ And the LORD said, ‘I will wait until you return’” (Judges 6:17-18, NIV).
When Gideon brought his offering, the angel of the Lord touched it with the tip of his staff and fire flared from the rock, consuming it. Then Gideon realized it was in fact the angel of the Lord and exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!” (v. 22b, NIV).
Up to this point, Gideon had called Him “LORD.” But now he added the word “Sovereign” to describe his Lord because he had experienced God’s sovereignty.
Confidence and trust increased when Gideon witnessed God’s power.
Gideon must have looked terrified, because immediately, “the LORD said to him, ‘Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die’” (v. 23, NIV). I love what Gideon did next: “Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD Is Peace” (v. 24a, NIV).
God had revealed His character by demonstrating His power and by giving Gideon peace to help him overcome his doubts and fears.
Gideon not only knew about God, but now he was getting to know Him personally. He would learn that it’s much easier to trust someone you know — someone you have experienced life with in a personal way.
Just like my relationship with J.J, whom I ended up marrying, my relationship with Jesus has grown closer over time. I’ve come to love Him as I have experienced His love for me. I’ve learned to depend on Him and trust Him deeply as I’ve come to know His heart and His character.
We will not know God as Jehovah Rapha, our Healer, until we experience and recognize His healing in our lives — whether spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically.
We cannot know Him as Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, if we are not in need.
We will not know Him as Jehovah Nissi, our Banner, unless we need Him for victory.
When we take time to deepen and grow our relationship with Jesus, our confidence in Him deepens too. And we will live in the promise of today’s key verse: “Those who know your name trust you, O LORD, because you have never deserted those who seek your help” (Psalm 9:10).
Dear Lord, I want to know You for who You really are. I desire to trust and follow You more and more each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” (NLT)
This Easter, declare with us that the dead places in your life are risen because Jesus is risen! He is higher. He is capable. And He can resurrect any situation. Use our new Easter products as a reminder that the same power that raised Him from the grave lives in you, your family and your home. Click here to find out more.
If you want to learn how to rely on and live in the security of who God is and who you are in Him, don’t miss Renee Swope’s book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God’s Promises.
Visit Renee’s blog for a FREE printable of God’s names, and enter to win a copy of Wendy Blight’s new book, I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Take a few minutes to say these names of God out loud and thank Him for being each of these things for you. “Lord, thank You that You are …”
Emmanuel: My God with Me (Matthew 1:22-23)
El Roi: The God Who Sees Me (Genesis 16:13-14)
El Sali: God of My Strength (Psalm 28:7)
Jehovah Rohi: The LORD My Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
Jehovah Shammah: The LORD Is There for Me (Ezekiel 48:35b)
© 2016 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.