The names of God draw out a desire in us to know Him. The Bible lists so many names because there are so many ways to think of God. How can He show us who He is? He cannot push us into falling in love with Him, so He is described by all these words in order to touch our hearts. Moses and Peter had a heart for Him and they heard God and could speak of knowing His name. Hebrews 11:6

Speaker: Peter Westera, Steve Andrulonis
Sermon # 12665
Sun 6:30 PM

P. Steve Andrulonis –

All right. Good evening. Here’s a thought for an introduction. Thinking about the name of the Lord.
(Prayer). I’m going to take a dive. I’m going to use the iPad. I’ve always wanted to. Yeah, I know.
I know. It know it’s a risk. I may never come up here again. But I’m going to. You’ll see. It’ll
work. I think it’ll work. Okay.

So, let’s start with this passage from David in the Psalms. Psalm 17:15, this is the Christian
Standard Version I’m reading. There’s a couple of places in the Old Testament, Jacob and in Genesis
32 and also another man, Manoah, who is the father of Samson in Judges 13. Both of them
asked for the name of the Lord and the Lord didn’t answer them. Why? Why do you ask for my
name? With Manoah, he said, why do you ask for my name? It’s too wonderful for you.
And I’m thinking like what is the heart attitude in order to get to know the reality of the person
of God and the character of God and the nature of God to know his name? How is it that we
should be – how is this triggered in God if that’s the right word. Maybe that’s the wrong word.
God I think wants us to seek him. It’s part of the meaning I think of why in Ecclesiastes it says he
has set eternity in our hearts. There is something in every person.

I’m reading an interesting little book that’s called – how’s it go? It’s something about expulsion.
Like I mean your heart needs to expel something by grabbing hold of something. Your heart
needs to have something in it. God has set eternity in your heart. There’s like a thing that’s
longing for God and we know from the story of Moses that Moses was different.

When Moses was on the back side of the desert and when Peter was at Caesarea Philippi, we
know that these heart attitudes were maybe different from Jacob’s and the father of Samson.
Their hearts were different. God couldn’t say to this man this is my name because he couldn’t
be sure of how he was going to use that name. And he couldn’t tell. He could give Jacob a new
name, but he didn’t tell his name to Jacob.

The Scriptures tell us this but when it came to Peter and they’re at Caesarea Philippi and there’s
this whole region of pagan shrines and everything, you know. Jesus declares who he is. But he
doesn’t declare it himself. It’s revealed from the Father to Peter and Peter expresses it. Who do
you say that I am? And they’re thinking. They’re thinking and then it comes out of Peter.

And when we look to the story of Moses, we know that the story of Moses is that he’s on the
back side of the wilderness. He’s caring for his father-in-law’s flocks and then there’s a fiery
bush. And at first, he doesn’t really pay attention so much to it because he’s seen, you know,
ragweed and stuff like that go up in flames before. But they go up in flames and then there’s a
pile of ashes.

But this wasn’t going up in flames. And then it says when Moses turned aside, when Moses
turned aside to examine the situation to see what was in this bush that wasn’t in there before,
God spoke to him and talked to him.

That’s why I started with this thing, this verse from Psalm 17. It’s about facing God. It’s about
seeing his eternity, seeing who he is. So, we know that there’s this name. Now, P. Schaller
talked about this tetragrammaton, this name Yahweh. So, this is a little bit of Hebrew writing.
It’s very primitive, primitive Hebrew writing that I’m doing but you got to know that it goes
from right to left. So, there’s a Yod or Yod. It’s just a smudge. And then there’s the He. That’s a
letter. It has a little crownlet and then another little smudge here. And then there’s the Vav
that’s like a connecting letter. And then there’s another He here. A little crownlet and the little
smudge there. All these smudges are supposed to be the same. The Yod, Yod, Yod. There of
them.

It’s kind of interesting the name of God begins with the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
It’s Yah he, Vav he. And there’s three of them and when you see three of these things, I can’t
help but think in the middle of that video this morning it was coming to us from Isaiah 6, holy,
holy, holy. And to know the name of God and to see him face to face and to see him in his
righteousness means to me that we’re welcomed into his presence.

And if our heart is seeking to know who he is, then he brings us into this relationship, this face-
to-face relationship and he gives us his name, Yahweh. Yahweh. I am holy, holy, holy. Yeah. I’m
in all things. I’m in the smallest letter on the page. That’s who I am. If you’re looking for me in
all of the sentences, and this is really like something that Jesus tried to communicate to the
religious leaders and the scribes and the Pharisees. He’s saying you think you’re finding me in
the way that you’re copying out the Scriptures and examining the letters again and again and
again. Yes, those letters say something about me, but behind the letters is my presence and I’m
inviting you into my eternity. I’m inviting you into what I’ve made you for.

And what is your heart? Is your heart awake to it? It says when I awake, I will be fulfilled. When
I awake, and I’m thinking like I could know a lot of the names of God on a page like that and I
could watch those names progress, but am I moved by them? Am I moved by who He is? Do I
understand that these little letters, these little letters, the three little Yods that go together
speak of Jesus being in all and all and that’s really the essence of righteousness and holiness.
It’s like God is on a great mission to bring all things into wholeness once again.

Everything that he made alive with his Word and his breath, he’s looking to bring into holiness and
righteousness. And when it’s in our hearts and when we’re awake to it and when we turn aside
to look at something that he’s doing, then he can say something. He can give us his name and
he can trust us with his name on our lips because we praise him with it and we live in its character and we awake every morning fulfilled knowing that the mercies are there new every
morning for us. And that’s the righteousness he’s called us to.

So, look at that. Imagine that. God in the smallest detail, in the smallest detail God is there and
not just in a part of himself. In all of himself. Holy, holy, holy. God is in all of it and he’s in all of
what we’re doing and he’s longing for us to wake up every morning and to face him.
It’s there – there’s a verse I know. There’s a verse in Jeremiah about you have given me your
back. That’s the real departure. You have given me your back and you’re not facing me
anymore. You’re facing this idol and you’re facing that creation of mine. And you’re making
something with your own hands. But I am like calling you back to who I am. Will you know me?
Will you know me? I AM. He is. I AM. Will you know me? Will you know me. You’ll recognize
who I am. From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same, the name of the Lord is to be
praised. Amen.

P. Pete Westera –

Wow. We’re just having quite the weekend here. Who needs a Super Bowl?
Yeah. We had an incredible marriage seminar. Maybe I’ll just say a few words about that. Let’s
see. Jamie Zucker said some amazing things. They are just a fun crazy, fun couple but then
deeply spiritual.

They said, she said something. She said. I’ll let her tell you but from insecurity to vulnerability to
relationships. Like that’s, you know, that’s Christ. Christ went from vulnerability to a
relationship and that was just a beautiful statement she made. Going through trials and going
through difficult times and the different dynamics that happened, that happened in a marriage.
It was beautiful.

The Regans were beautiful. Different seasons. Different times. Difficult days. Really honest, you
know. I love how honest we can be with each other. No one is trying to pretend. It’s just pure
honesty, you know. I screwed up. I made a mistake. I was this way. My wife straightened me
out. Like, you know, that’s allowed. We don’t have to pretend.

And then the next morning was another great morning. Let’s see. What do I want to say? But
that Neal said that there’s a lentil field and there’s a battle in our marriage and we fight. We
fight the battle. But here’s how we fight the battle. I’m abbreviating this and again, you can go
to them. I’m not trying to speak for them. But it touched us. It really touched us.
Some battles you fight for. You talk it out. You figure it out. You get to the bottom of it. You fix
it, but then there are some battles that you can’t fix. You know, it’s God is wounding you and
you have to accept the wound and God is trying to teach you and God is trying to get you to
pick up your cross in a marriage.

And, you know, it can’t be solved. It cannot be solved. You just got to go to God with it. And it
was beautiful. I said it was like the language of Calvary, you know. Just very touching. Very
beautiful time to be there and to be with each other celebrating our marriages. A lot of young
people there. It was awesome. Great to be there.

But this morning, I was crying during that video. I cannot have been the only one. That video –
did you see it this morning? Wasn’t that beautiful? It made me cry. Honestly. It made me cry. I
was trying to hold it together. In the beginning, you know, you just think oh, yeah. I remember
that poster in the 90s. You remember that poster with the big I AM in the middle of it. I know
all these names of God. I’ve studies that. I got a list on my laptop. You’re familiar. You start
listening and then it goes on and on and on and it just broke me. it just broke me.

I couldn’t even – I didn’t even make it back to the highway. I already found a video on YouTube
and I could just see myself driving down the highway just playing that again and again. It’s going
to be so edifying but what was it about the video?

A couple things. #1. Of course, the broadness, you know, the broadness of God. Just how big
and how beautiful he is and overwhelmingly big, incomprehensibly big. To describe him is
intense. It’s too much, you know. Just that meditation on it’s own. Just to think about that. God
describing God. How many names does it take? How many titles? What a massive attempt to
try and describe God. That’s beautiful.

I had another thought. I was just broken by the idea of God trying to reveal himself to me.
Through the entire book. Over and over again. God in heaven trying to show me who he is by
names of himself. And me not seeing it. What a massive effort on his behalf. What incredible
vocabulary. What beautiful words. To what extent. From the Lion all the way to the Lamb and
everything in between. God saying this is who I am.

Don’t you get it? A God in heaven using human language, you know, God inspired human
language. The limitations of human words and human word pictures to describe himself and
falling short in one sense. There’s no way as long – I don’t care how long a video you will make
on this planet, it will fall short. But it’s just a beautiful thought, God revealing himself to us.
That’s what he’s been trying to do. That’s what he’s been trying to do.

And you know, all the time we hear people saying why? Why? I can’t see God. Why is he not
here? You know, why is he not showing himself? Why is he just not showing up? Why? Why
can’t I see him? Why is it so hard?

Teenagers asked me last night. I love this question by the way. It’s a great question. Like what if
I don’t really feel him or I don’t see him? I don’t really know him. That’s a great question. God is
like saying I’m trying so hard. I’ve done so much. I am trying to reveal myself to you.

The problem is not on my end. And you think, you think that if I showed up, physically showed up in
this room right now, if we could stand it. If we could stand to look at him. You think that would
help. I don’t think it would help. If we could see God, – otherwise he would have done it. It
wouldn’t work on us.

You know what we would do with him? We would say oh yeah. There he is. Okay. Let’s stick
him in the corner over there. Let’s make a little temple. Stick him inside there and we’ll swing
by once in a while. Throw some fruit or some flowers. A sacrifice, you know. It wouldn’t work.
Not in this state. Not in our fallen state.

Like, you know, if he forced us, it wouldn’t work. If he became like some kind of abstract idea or
some kind of, you know, some kind like Buddhism. It wouldn’t work. It would just become all
about us. If he would become the law, if he would become strict, if he would make us love him
and see him, he would be like an Islamic God to us. He would, he would never work. The only
way that it can work is this way, the way that he has set it up.

Why? I was just reading this book by Peter Kreeft about the three philosophies of life and about
Song of Solomon, that the Creator of the universe, the Almighty God, the all-powerful God, can
create anything. Can do anything except love. He cannot force love on us. He cannot do it. And
that’s what he wants. That’s what he wants between us and him.

And for that reason, this is the way it is. I will woo you. I will give you reasons to fall in love with
me. I will not show up. I will not force myself. I will not create laws and I will not physically be
there. I will not manipulate you in any way whatsoever cuz that will not work. You will not fall in
love with me. Your flesh will not allow it. You’ll just manage me.

I want you to love me and the way you’re going to love me is through faith and a little bit at a
time. A little word. A little title. A book. A chapter. A verse. A church service at a time. One by
one. Inch by inch you will fall in love with me. And he created me with so many things that
make no sense to me that I don’t really need. That are only here for one purpose, to
comprehend him.

I made a little list on the highway coming down here. He implanted in us curiosity and foresight
and creativity and imagination and intellect and memory. Beautiful memories. And vocabulary
and abstract thinking and many more things. Many, many, many things that I contain, that I
have for no other reason than to grasp him.

And he’s in heaven and he is trying to make me love him. And he started in Genesis and he
continued through every single book and then I’m teaching the wisdom books and I’m thinking
to myself, you know, in the Song of Solomon he uses love so that we will fall in love with him.
These beautiful pictures over and over again. Verse after verse.

This idea of a man or a woman falling in love with a man just so we can get it and in Job, he uses
his number one tool, his best weapon to get me to see him. Suffering. And people say, you
know, why is there – I don’t believe in God because of all the suffering in this world. And I say,
oh my gosh. Can you imagine what it would be like if there was no suffering in this world? We
would never know him. We would never know him.

The suffering that we have in our life is his greatest tool so that we might see him. That we might get a little glimpse of who he is. It’s – Ecclesiastes he uses emptiness so that he can get through to me. In Hosea, he uses a
harlot. He shocks us with a harlot just to try to explain this relationship that he’s trying to force
this voluntary love that he wants us to have for him. And it works. It is working. In John, all
those titles, all those descriptions of himself. The living water. The Shepherd. All these beautiful
names that we heard this morning over and over again.

I just see a God in heaven trying to get through to me. Every single sentence. Every single verse
trying to woo me, trying to get me to turn, trying to get me to look up. And my thick head and
myself. You know, I’m so self-absorbed. I’m so in love with myself that I can’t even see God. So
obviously and so clearly trying to reveal himself to us in every single book of the Bible. With
nature. With so many tools, so many things.And what’s so beautiful is that it works. Of course it
works. It works in the perfect, in the best possible way. The only way that it could possibly work
is this way through faith, you know.

Let’s read Hebrew 11 which was the verse at the end of the video. Vs. 6. I love that part in the
video. He is. He is. He is. Don’t you get it? I AM. I AM. I AM. Do you see me yet? Do you see me
yet? And that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. What’s the reward? Himself.
Himself.

You know, all those books, all those verses, all those titles. The most beautiful part of it is that
he even used himself. He even used himself to try to get through to us. He forespent himself.
All of himself. He gave all of himself to get through to me so that I might see him for who he is.
The beautiful Christ on the cross loving me with all that love and all that beauty that he
contains.

You know, I just, I just wish that we could explain it better. I wish there was a faster way. Like
I’m a youth leader and I’m trying to, I’m trying to get teenagers to fall in love with Jesus. And I
got to be – it’s not always easy. But I trust his process. I trust his way. There’s no fast track to
love. It’s a slow process. A little glimpse at a time and our teenagers fall in love with him and
they know who he is and those names. Those beautiful, beautiful names. You know, different
descriptions of Jesus Christ all for me to see him. Amen. Thank God.

 

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