Have you ever wondered why people take our Lord’s name in vain when their emotions get the best of them? It used to make me so angry when I heard nonbelievers yell out “Jesus Christ” when they were frustrated, hurt, or misunderstood. Under my breath, I would apologize to God for their outburst and feel shame on their behalf. Then God gave me insight into why people couple His name with their most powerful emotions. Without realizing it, people feel the amazing power and strength in the name of Jesus. His name packs a punch! If you want to get someone’s attention, just speak the name of Jesus. You might say coupling the name of Jesus Christ with someone’s highly charged emotions creates the “perfect” storm.
What should bother us more than a fool who claims the name of Jesus in angry disbelief is one who claims the name of Jesus in false belief. I think God directs His compassion to non-believers who call out His name to lend power to their point. However, it must break God’s heart when people who call themselves Christians claim authority in the name of Jesus when they have no relationship with Him when their teachings and faith are selfishly focused on the world rather than God’s truth. These are the ones who grieve the Holy Spirit—the ones who offend our Lord and in whom we should be wary.
Recognizing the name of Jesus wields incredible power is a beautiful thing. Speaking God’s name and Scripture in our prayers and worship is a blessing. Our worship blends with the angels in heaven, and our prayers are heard by a God who jealously fights for us. He wants us to speak His name aloud, to call on Him as children to their Father. God wants us to experience the strength of His name personally. In Colossians 3:17 NIV says, And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
The difference in praying and worshiping in this manner is that of humility and thanksgiving. When we claim the name of Jesus in humility and truth, giving thanks and praise in our worship of Him, we allow His light to shine through us and lift us up to the heavenlies. In James 4:10 NIV God tells us to Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. The power of God can be witnessed in our willingness to put Him first in our lives and to worship Him above all else.