Do you find yourself in a place of struggle? Is the path you are seeking leading you to a wilderness? I have those feelings, and I need to remember one special word from the Bible. Nevertheless…

Christ spoke the word at a time of His greatest challenge. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane when He was only hours away from death on the cross. During this time, the humanity of Christ was in total agony. In His mind and imagination came the visions of what was going to happen soon physically. He had seen other people crucified. Not only the physical death, but He was to die for all man’s sins. The stress of the situation is recorded in Matthew 26:38 “My soul is sorrowful, even to death…” The Bible records His physical, mental and spiritual condition was so stressed that even His sweat was mingled with blood. The rock He cried out to God on was red with Jesus’ struggle.
Jesus spoke to His Father in prayer and said “Father, if there be any other way…please let this cup pass from me.” Then Jesus spoke a powerful word. You will not think of this word as one of the great words like faith, hope, or love. It’s not recorded in the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes. The great word Jesus spoke was “nevertheless”. What an odd word to find comfort in! It is a word of transition. Although the topic before the word is true, the topic after this word is more true. Jesus said to his Father, “nevertheless, not my will but Yours”. Everything changed! Jesus rose up a conqueror of death and brought hope to all of us through His death on the cross.

You may find yourself in a time of frustration. Use the word “nevertheless”. This word changed Simon Peter’s life forever in Luke 5:1-11. (Luke 5:5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.” [NKJV] Luke 5:5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” [NIV])

A few quotes from devotions I have read that Elijah felt his life was over after a great victory.

To trust where we cannot trace is to give our God the full sovereignty that He longs for.

Our error lies in mentally fixing our future according to present conditions. Have faith in God.

Nevertheless, Because I have faith in God and believe the promises of God’s word, I will press on with my Lightnside.

Are you Holy?

 Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

What does holiness mean if it’s different from blameless or pure? Does holiness mean sinless? Do we still sin after accepting Christ? (yes).  Can we still be holy? (yes) Let’s look deeper into the meaning of being Holy.

 Holiness – definition means “set apart”

Isaiah 6:1-3

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Holiness began with God. The use of three “Holy’s” toward God is a measure of great holiness. What does the Bible mean when the word Holy is used? In Isaiah, the angels were looking at God almighty and declaring He is “Holy, holy, holy”. More holy than anything else on earth or the heavens. God is all-powerful, omnipotent, was never created, lives outside time. All creation, visible & invisible, was created by God. God is different from all creation, from angels to apples. He is set apart from creation, or He is “holy”. Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. God is Holy. He is different, separated from all creation. 

Holiness in the Old Testament

Exodus 3:1-5 – When Moses saw the burning bush, he began to walk toward it. God called out to Moses and told him to stop and take his shoes off because it is holy ground. Why was it Holy? Because God was there. Wherever God is, holiness is there. That piece of ground was different than other locations. It was set apart by God for a divine purpose.

Exodus 40:33-34 – Moses built the tabernacle to God’s instructions. The innermost part of the tabernacle was the Holy of Holies. The place where God would meet with Moses. It was holy because God was there. There were great care and caution to obey God’s commands in making the tabernacle because it was where God would meet with man. The tabernacle was holy (separated), Israel was a holy nation (separated from all other nations) because God was among them in the tabernacle. 

Holiness does not mean sinless it means separated. Where ever God goes, the place becomes Holy and is separate from the everyday world.

Holiness in the New Testament

Holiness is only possible if God, the source of holiness, is present.  

Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

God with man – Jesus came into the earth as totally human, and TOTALLY GOD (Holy, Holy, Holy) Jesus was separated from all humanity. Read John 1:9-11.

John 1:9-13 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

If we believe in God and give Christ our heart (John 1:12-13) we can become a “child” of God through spiritual birth. We can become connected to God, or better yet God in us. God, who is holy, moves into our hearts along with His holiness. We become separated from the world.  We become Holy.

Matthew 3:11   “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

How to Grow in Holiness

 The question, do you still sin? (yes, you do) When you sin do you lose your holiness? No. Holiness means separated. You have separated away from the world and toward God. Remember Ephesians 1:4 calls us to be Holy and blameless.  

How do we increase our holiness as we work to overcome sin (blameless)? Rely less on your abilities through self-improvement efforts and saturate yourself with God’s presence. The more we become separated from worldly attractions and more saturated with God, Christ, Bible, worship, the more we grow from glory to glory and become more holy. We will never get to “Holy, Holy, Holy” status, but because God is in us as we follow Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are holy. We are separated to God, a vessel for His glory to the world. You will be noticed, hated but also sought out by hurting people.   

1 Peter 1:16 “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Let your lightnside glow with holiness. This dark world needs people who are Holy. A people who carry God with them. A people who are separated from the crowds. A people who have the light of God in them. Let it shine.

God’s names Pt4 (Our righteousness, The Lord is there, God of Israel)

These last three names of God deal with the present age and the millennial age when Christ returns to set up His kingdom. Where God’s presence will remain, these names can strengthen your faith in a broken world to assure us and look forward to a restored kingdom someday.

Yahweh Tsidkenu (sid-ca-noo) The Lord our Righteousness

God gives Jeremiah a prophetic promise concerning Israel. God speaks of a righteous leader who will rightly reign over the earth.  

Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now, this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The righteousness of God will save the nation of Israel and all Christians who follow Christ. It is also the Righteousness of God that we receive personally when we come into a faithful following of Christ.

Romans 1:16-17  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The Lord (through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit) is the righteousness that is placed upon us and in us. This righteousness from God is what delivers us from the darkness in the world and our fallen nature. Call upon the Lord our (MY) Righteousness when you need a boost.

Yahweh Shammah (shaw-maw) The Lord Is There  

God speaks to Ezekiel of Israel in the past and of the city after Christ returns. The difference between these two cities and all the other cities of the world is this…The Lord Is There. That is what the city shall be called. That is why the nations of the world are against Israel. Because The Lord Is There. The Lord will also save Israel from the world, and one day the city will be host to the returned Jesus Christ along with His saints, and forever The Lord Is There. No more need for the sun for the Glory of the Lord will produce all the light needed.

Ezekiel 48:35 “The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: The Lord is there.”

Let our heart, mind, and spirit be a place where we can say “The Lord is There. ” He is living in me. God is the mayor of my life. I am a citizen of the Lord’s place.  

Finally, the last name we will look at in this series of study is:

Yahweh Elohim (E-lo-him) – The Lord, the God (mighty, true God of Israel.)

The Prophet Deborah sings a song to Yahweh Elohim of Israel because God helped Israel defeat the mighty army of King Jabin of Canaan who oppressed Israel for twenty years because of Israel’s rebellion against God. Israel repented and called out to the Yahweh Elohim for help.  

Judges 5:1-5  On that day, Deborah and Barak, son of Abinoam, sang this song: Praise Yahweh! Men in Israel vowed to fight, and people volunteered for service. Listen, you kings! Open your ears, you princes! I will sing a song o Yahweh.  I will make music to Yahweh Elohim of Israel. Yahweh, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the country of Edom, the earth quaked, the sky poured, the clouds burst,  and the mountains shook     in the presence of Yahweh God of Sinai, in the presence of Yahweh Elohim of Israel.

Sing out to the Yahweh Elohim (almighty God) in your battles. He is the one who can save. Let these three names of God enhance your prayers this week. The God our righteousness, the God who is there, and the God who is THE mighty God of Israel…and your lightnside.

God’s names Pt3 (Lord of Host, makes Holy, Shepherd)

During this last week, I have used in my prayer times the specific names of God Yahweh Jireh, Nissi, and Shalom. The effect on my soul and mind was amazing. My faith in God’s power became stronger. I knew God was fighting with me as I worship. I also felt God speak into my heart…”peace.”

This week we will focus on three more names of God.

A man reads a Bible while his shadow is David fighting goliath.

Yahweh Tsebaoth (saw-baw)- Lord of Host  

David runs toward Goliath in the name of “The Lord of Host (army of mighty angels)”

1 Samuel 17:45-47  David told the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Yahweh Tsebaoth, the Elohim (God almighty) of the army of Israel, whom you have insulted. 46 Today Yahweh will hand you over to me. I will strike you down and cut off your head. And this day I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals. The whole world will know that Israel has an Elohim47 Then everyone gathered here will know that Yahweh can save without sword or spear, because Yahweh determines every battle’s outcome. He will hand all of you over to us.” [Names of God Bible]

What a powerful verse. God does not need the weapons of this earth. He is the Lord of Hosts. God has power over all the earth. So I pray against my enemy in the name of Yahweh Tsebaoth (The Lord of Host), the commander of all God’s army. Don’t fight your battles alone. You are fighting against principalities and powers, so in the battle bring the God of Hosts along with you.

Yahweh Qadas (ka-dash) – Lord who makes you holy 

God is telling Moses to instruct Israel to honor the sabbath.  God is making a nation that is holy.  It is separate (different) from other nations.  God will be in their presence and will make them a holy nation and a holy people.

Exodus 31:13  “Say to the Israelites, ‘Be sure to observe my days of worship. This will be a sign between me and you for generations to come so that you will know that I am Yahweh Qadas who makes you holy.”

The word “holy” does not mean sinless. It means separated. It means to be set apart from what is common. When we have God in our hearts, He makes us holy. We become set apart from the world. We rest in God and honor God. Holiness only comes from God and can only be obtained from God’s presence. Today, be set apart from the world around you. Feel the holiness of God. Rest in God. Trust in God.  He has made you Holy (separated for Him.)  

Yahweh Roeh (raw-aw) – The Lord is my shepherd

From the most often read chapter in the Bible, Psalms 23. God is my shepherd. Now in the New Testament God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit work for and in me as my father, savior, friend, guide. I lack nothing!

Psalms 23.1  Yahweh is my Roeh. I am never in need. [Names of God Bible]

Psalms 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. [NIV]

I lack nothing. I am never in a state of need. Do I know this? Do I live with this truth? God is my Shepherd. The sheep have no needs because the shepherd watches and cares for them. If you have Christ in your heart, you lack nothing. God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit have all you need. You have no lack. In our daily troubles on Earth with its pains and pressures, let our hearts be at rest because God is our shepherd. Our spirit lacks nothing. We can overcome, we can develop patience, endure and build faith. We can be assured Yahweh Roel is in us, and our needs are only met in Him.

This week as you pray, let your lightnside strengthen as you add God the Lord of Host, the one who makes you holy (separate), and who supplies our needs to your daily prayers.

God’s names – Pt 2 (Jireh, Nissi, Shalom)

God’s name was so holy the Israelites gave Him a name that could not be spoken. They named God “YHWH”, Hebrew verb meaning “to exist, or be.” The usage shows God to be the independent and self-existent God.  Later, verbs were added to YHWH to be able to pronounce the name (Yahweh). Several names are added to “Yahweh” to better describe various powerful facts about God’s character.   

Yahweh Jireh (Yireh): “The Lord will provide.”

Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac to God.

Genesis 22:12-14  And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Are you praying for a need? Yahweh Jireh stresses God’s provision for His people. God is our provider always. We need to remember this in difficult times. Are you in a place of need? Call out to Yahweh Jireh. (Jehovah Jireh) and identify Him as your source and supply.  

Yahweh Nissi:“The Lord is my Banner.” 

Amalek is defeated when Moses’ hands are raised to God.

 Exodus. 17:11-15  And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner16 for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

God is our rallying point and our means of victory; the one who fights with His people. Are you fighting a battle? Do you feel you are at war with the enemy? Lift up your hands to Yahweh Nissi. Call out upon this name to ask for strength in battle. As long as Moses’ hands were lifted up, Israel overpowered the enemy. You may get tired. Ask others to pray along with you and encourage you.

Yahweh Shalom: “The Lord is Peace.” 

God calls Gideon to fight a vast army with a few men.

Judges 6:14, 23-24 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” 23 Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace

This name points to the Lord as the source of our peace and rest even in a battle that is coming. Do you feel overwhelmed? Has God not called you to be a warrior? When God called Gideon to fight, there was doubt and fear. But God said to Gideon, “Peace be to you; do not fear.” Gideon built an altar and called it “The Lord is Peace”, Yahweh Shalom. Are you filled with fear? Do you have sleepless nights because of worry and dread? Set a time of prayer to the God of peace. Allow His presence and power to calm you. Trust in His name. Let Yahweh Shalom say “Peace be with you” as you prepare for battle.

In your prayers, use God’s specific names of Yahweh Jireh, Nissi, and Shalom to better identify God’s attributes in your life. Let these names of God fuel your lightnside.

Names of God Part 1

Psalms 138:1-2 I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods, I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name. For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name(s).

What is in a name?

The Lord Jesus said in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” The many names in scripture constitute an additional revelation of God’s character, His works, and His relationship to us based on His works. The names which God chose for Himself are ascribed to Him in the Word of God. They are additional revelations to us of God that we may know and better relate to Him.

In our current times, the names of people are to identify themselves. The names usually do not signify anything, not so in the Bible. Many names represent events and national crisis or blessings. God changed the names of people in the Bible when He dealt with them.  Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel. When Daniel and his friends were captured, Nebuchadnezzar changed their names to try and influence their beliefs.

God chose His own names

God did not allow Israel to choose His names. He proclaimed His names among them to identify more about His nature and greatness.  

Exodus 33:19, 34:5  Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you… Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.

God’s names are to be kept Holy. We are to be careful not to slander the Names of the Lord. Leviticus 22:32  You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, Also, one of the ten commandments. Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Elohim – “EL” means strong one. The plural form of EL is Elohim. There is a sense of the Trinity (God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) wrapped up in the name Elohim.  

In the following scriptures, the Hebrew word for Elohim is translated as God. Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God (Elohim) created heaven and earth.

Isaiah 54:5  For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God (Elohim)  of the whole earth.

Jeremiah 32:27  Behold, I am the Lord, the God (Elohim) of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

Psalms 68:7-8 O God (Elohim), when you went in front of your people, when you marched through the desert, Selah the earth quaked and the sky poured in the presence of the God (Elohim) of Sinai, in the presence of the God (Elohim) of Israel.

This week, let us meditate on the creator of all there is by Elohim. Let us worship His greatness and respect His Holy Name (Elohim) as the Almighty over all things…our God.

Let your lightnside swell at the mention and worship Elohim.