My life was radically transformed in high school; after I gave my heart to the Lord. I was never the same after that day. I began seeing everything differently. I specifically remember one day during soccer practice I was up to shoot and I suppose my passion doubled into my soccer game, because this kick had speed and accuracy like I have never shot before. “Bam!” This kick was a real “she shoots, she scores” moment. I will never forget the goalies face and her response. “Jesus! Are you trying to kill me?!” Shocked, I paused and looked at her. I had a heightened awareness now of His name. It was no longer a fairytale story I had heard. He was real to me. I remember saying to her, “why did you take the Lord's name in vain?” She was probably as confused as I was at this phrase, but that moment stuck with me. The ringing in my ears for days repeated, “why would she use His name like that? If only she knew who he really is?”
I know we have all heard from the time we were kids not to take the Lord's name in vain. I did not by any means grow up in a Christian home and I still knew not to take the Lord's name “in vain.” Although, I still don’t say “Oh my God” or “Jesus” as a word to curse something; Jesus is the exact opposite of a curse, he is the curse breaker: I believe that scripture in Exodus where Moses says not to take the Lord's name in vain is more than just saying OMG.
Let's read Ex 20 :7 Amp “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the Lord will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who [a]takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power].
Now read that again! I love how the Amplified Bible words this, “irreverently, in false affirmation, or in ways that impugn the character of God.” Wow, could it be that taking the Lord's name in vain could be more than just saying OMG? Have you ever ended a prayer with “in Jesus name” yet doubted or didn't trust Him with it? Could it be in vain by using God's name to justify complacency or sin? Is it in vain when someone praises God with their lips but their hearts are far from him? What about being idle in our pursuit after him yet acting like we're passionate to others? Have you ever asked “why would they use His name like that; if they only knew who he really is” not because of what was said but because of what was done!
Here is the truth: when we come to Him and give our lives to Him, we take on His name. We are grafted in to be co-heirs with Jesus. We bear His name, just like when we are born we take on the name of our parents. We now take on our Fathers name. We carry Him with us wherever we go and we have the opportunity to magnify the character of God by the way we are living our lives. What a humbling privilege and honor to have bare His name.
I would like us to seek out and ask God and ourselves “how we are carrying His name?” Are we bringing honor and glory to His name? The question I want to ask you today is: Are we giving honor to the name we carry? Or are we taking his name in vain? As David said, “examine me and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:24.
I feel like it always comes down to Love God and to Love people. Let's be those who won't bear his name in vain because we know who He really is.
In His Name,
Pastor Jenn Cupicha