As a senior pastor/teaching elder, I spend more of my week studying God’s Word than doing almost anything else. Therefore, I’m always looking for good resources to help me in my sermon preparation, which is why I recommend Delighting in the Names of God by Rachel Larkin. While the title is self-explanatory, you should expect more than good theology lessons. Ms. Larkin goes beyond simply explaining the names of God to telling you how you will benefit from this greater understanding. By the time you finish the beginning of the book, you will look forward to the following chapters. She also uses herself as an example and discusses how she’s grown spiritually from her personal study.
Each chapter concludes with helpful questions that allow the book to be used in two ways:
- For personal Bible study and edification
- For group studies, whether home groups or Sunday schools
Regardless of the way you read Delighting in the Names of God, I’m confident it will be a blessing to you. I plan to keep it handy for those times I encounter names of God in Scripture and want further information.
I’ve invited Rachel to describe her book in her own words and how it will benefit you…
There are many ways to deepen your prayer life which I explain in Simple Prayer: The Guide for Ordinary People Seeking the Extraordinary but the there is one surprising way that I stumbled upon more than a decade ago – Delighting in the Names of God.
In 2007, I decided to study the first seven Hebrew names of God. I discovered that I didn’t really know God at all even though I had been a born-again Christian for three decades at that time! I uncovered a God who wanted to be discovered by me. A God who was incredibly interested in the individual and in nations. A God who wants to reveal His nature and character to us through His Hebrew names.
I learned more about God through studying His names than from any other Bible study that I had done. I began to know God personally, in the nitty-gritty of daily life. As each Hebrew name was revealed to me, I was able to believe in God’s true image – not a false or inaccurate image of God.
There are many people who say they know about God but very few who really know God. There is an enormous difference. Anybody can know about God – even satan and his demons know about God. But knowing God is something deeper, more personal, and deeply life changing. It’s moving from acknowledging God’s existence (knowing about God) to surrendering your whole life for Him to invade and transform.
When you begin to know God personally in your life you enter an abundance that is absolutely awesome.
- Abundance of Peace – because God is peace
- Abundance of Love – because God is love
- Abundance of Grace – because God gives grace abundantly
- Abundance of Provision – because God is our provider
What is your image of God?
Who is God to you?
Many Christians have a major problem relating to God in a personal way. This is because of false images of God that people have built up over time.
These false images filter everything.
In some people’s minds, God seems to be this big “man upstairs” that is just waiting for us to fail in some way. Or a God that is so big and impersonal that there is no way that He would be interested in little old me. Maybe, you have an abusive father and it is stopping you from relating to God the Father.
Many Christians feel that God is a God of judgement and they live their lives in a state of guilt and fear. Yes, Jesus is coming as King to judge the world but if you are a Christian, you have already accepted Jesus’ solution for your punishment. Jesus took your punishment! All your past, present and future sins have been atoned for, covered by Jesus’ shed blood. There is now NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. You have been sent free.
How do you replace a distorted concept of God?
The solution is to renew your mind.
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)
To have the right, correct image of God we need our minds to be renewed. When our minds are renewed we will then be able to relate with God.
How can you relate to someone when you don’t really know them?
How do we get to know God?
How do we renew our minds with the truth of who God really is?
There is a way that God has provided for us – His Names. We can renew our minds and discover who God really is by His Hebrew names.
Once my mind was renewed with the truth of who God is through studying these seven Hebrew names, I began to delight in Him through prayer. I gained a firmer grasp on exactly Who I was addressing my prayers to. A deep revelation of the character and personality of God bought a depth to my prayers that I had not experienced before.
I now knew Who I was praying to.
To find out more check out “Delighting in the Names of God: 8 Weeks to a Deeper Prayer Life”
About the Author
Rachel Larkin is an author, speaker, chartered accountant and home-school mum. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and their three young adult sons. She has a passion to see believers growing in faith and prayer as well as developing their potential for Jesus. She writes at rachellarkin.com. To find out more on seeing God turn up in your daily life, Rachel has a free eBook available for download – TheUntold Story: 7 Steps to Seeing God in the Midst of your Real Messy Life