May 29, 2013

“Hallowed be Thy Name” means…?

Today’s devotional reading convicts me. Even though I’ve prayed the “Lord’s Prayer” hundreds of times in public and in private, I’ve failed so often to do the very first thing that Jesus instructs in this model prayer.
And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name...” (Luke 11:2)

Hallowing God’s name stands above all else. It comes first, before asking about daily bread, forgiveness, and deliverance. It is asking that God is given the glory due to His name, that the character of God made known in Jesus Christ is honored, respected, exalted. Today’s devotional rounds this out.

I hallow God’s name when I cherish worthy ideas of God. That is, if I think He is harsh or uncaring, rather than having true thoughts about Him, I am sinning against His name. The more that I know about God, the more I see of His grace and mercy and the more I realize that He is worthy of honor.

I also honor His name by trusting Him. If I complain about life or how God deals with me — as if He no longer loves me — I am dishonoring His character and forgetting that His nature is love and His name is Father. If I think He is unkind, I am forgetting Calvary and insulting His love. But if I trust Him no matter what is happening in my life, I am honoring His name. Yet so often, I grumble and act without relying on Him, failing to hallow His name.

The bottom line is that God’s name is hallowed by obedience. Profession without practice dishonors God. Prompt, total, and willing obedience honors Him. Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34). For Him, obedience was His daily sustenance. Can I say the same thing?  

A big part of obedience is making God’s name known to those God puts across my path. Jesus set the example of hallowing the name of the Lord by making disciples and teaching them to do His will.

I (Jesus) have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. (John 17:6)

I believe that God is worthy of honor, but this must be expressed by far more than outward respect, or praying, or singing praises. It means daily obedience in all of life, in my studio, at my desk, in the grocery story, with relatives and friends by my words and deeds. It means honoring Him even when I’m alone by having God-pleasing thoughts and plans. To hallow His name means making His will my food and drink, my very life. 

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