Psalm 9:10: Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
The way you address God or refer to Him is one indicator to the depth of your relationship or lack thereof it. Think of it this way.
What you call me reveals how well you know me, or whether you know me at all. The phone rings at home… “Hi, can I speak to Mr. Steenbach.” I can tell right away that you don’t know me. You can’t pronounce my name, and I don’t want to buy what you’re selling. Or when Heather and I go out on a date, and the hostess calls our name, but says it correctly. “Steinbeck, party for 2.” She knows my name and how to pronounce it, but we’ve just met. We don’t really know each other.
If you call me Reverend Steinbeck, then you only know what I do for a living, and you don’t know that I’m not a big fan of that title at all and it kinda weirds me out. If you call me Pastor Steinbeck, you might know a little bit about me. Once again, you know what I do, you might’ve heard me speak, but you only know what you’ve either heard me talk about or heard secondhand.
If you call me coach, I know that we’ve got some specific history together, and a unique relationship because you were on one of my basketball teams. If you call me David, then you’re probably my Mom, or a couple childhood friends. They’ve never converted to the shortened use of Dave that I picked up in Middle School.
If you just call me Dave, I’d assume you know me pretty well. And if you call me by some nicknames I’ve had back in the day that means we’ve been friends for a long time. We’ve got some stories together, and as a result, we’ll keep those between friends.
But then there are those who possess exclusive rights to a few specialized, far more intimate names such as two people who can call me Dad. Or one woman, who can call me her husband, her best friend. They know me so much better than even those who call me Dave or by some nickname. The name reveals the closeness of the relationship.
What do you call God? The big guy in the sky? The man upstairs? Those titles may be clever, but they certainly aren’t close, and they reveal a distance in your relationship with God. If you know God, you are likely to be far more specific with Him, and the words you use will reflect the intimacy and depth of your relationship with Him.
Do you call Him Savior? Because you’re aware that Jesus died for your sins, rose from death on the 3rd day, and His death paid for your sin. As a result, He is the hero, the rescuer.
Do you call Him Lord? Is He the leader of your life? Are you living your life under His authority, and saying Jesus, you’re my Lord, so I trust you. I’ll choose to live my life in a way that honors and pleases you.
Do you call God, Father? Because John 1:12 gives us this incredible promise. It says, “Yet to all who received, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” So when you put your trust in Jesus, we are adopted into the family of God. And God is now not simply judge or creator, but He is loving, tender, compassionate Father.
There are so many names in Scripture that reveal the nature and character of our God. Provider, Almighty, Healer, Redeemer, Sustainer…
What do you call God? Your answer is a clue to how well you know Him.