Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Calling Upon the Lord

Written by Rev. G. Procee
One of the most profound aspects of life with God is to call upon Him by using His Name. Therefore it is essential that we have a right view of God. Many have confused views of God. By nature we all are inventors of self-made gods. It is therefore so necessary that we have a proper view of who God is. True piety consists of knowing God as well as ourselves. In this article we wish to focus our attention on who God is. We must have a clear and true view of the Godhead. That will facilitate prayer and lead to a proper calling upon the Name of the Lord.
GodÕs Names
God is known through the revelation of Himself in His Word. There we find a wealth of names reflecting many aspects of the Godhead. God gave Himself names and these names reflect aspects of who He is in His majesty and glory. For instance, we know that the name El stands for His might. It denotes that He is strong. The name El is used in combination with the adjective Shaddai. Thus El-Shaddai means that God is the Almighty One. This name indicates that He is perfectly capable of defending His servants from all evil and to bless them with all spiritual and temporal blessings. It shows that He is able to perform all the promises that He has made to them.

There is also the name Adonai, which means Lord or Ruler. This name denotes that we are to fully submit to God as our Ruler. We must so obey the commandments of Adonai that He may completely rule over our consciences. There is also the name Eljon, which refers to the fact that God is the Most High God. The meaning is that in Himself God is exceedingly higher than any other creatures in heaven or on earth. This name should lead us to acknowledge that we human beings have no reason to take pride in ourselves and in our own dignity or honour. It denotes that true honour and dignity can only be found in communion with the Lord, for He alone is Eljon.

God also revealed Himself by the name Abba, which means Father. It is an endearing name, showing the fatherly care of the Lord. All daily benefits and gifts flow forth from the fatherly care of God. We, in turn, are called to love the Father in heaven in response to His fatherly goodness. We must be bold in calling upon Him to receive all the grace and support we need, for He Himself offers Himself to us as our Father.

It is a great encouragement that when we call upon the Lord in prayer to use the most applicable Name of God for our circumstances. The Lord is pleased when we use and know His Name and trust in the self-revelation of His Name, for we read in Psalm 91:14, ÒBecause he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.Ó

GodÕs Attributes
Besides using His Names, we may also call upon the Lord by referring to His attributes. The Lord has revealed Himself in His Word by displaying various characteristics or attributes of Himself. One attribute of God is that He is infinite. There is no limit to God. There is no limitation to His measure and boundaries. The Lord is immeasurable. He is also everywhere present, filling heaven and earth: ÒThou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon meÓ (Ps.139: 5).

The Lord is unchangeable. There are no changes in His will, in His counsel and in His Being. He is eternal, without beginning and without end.

He is the living God. He lives in and through Himself. He is the ever-flowing Fountain of life from Whom all other creatures derive their being: ÒHe giveth to all life, and breath, and all thingsÓ (Acts 17:25).

The Lord is full of understanding so that He knows all things that ever were or shall be. He knows the thoughts of every man.

Another attribute is GodÕs inscrutable will. His will is holy and majestic; His will is good.

We also know that God is love, that He is merciful and slow to anger, of great compassion and filled with all goodness. The Lord is true and just.

He is also a consuming fire. That means that in His anger He will punish sinners and He will pour out His vengeance and justice upon them.

As the all-powerful God He can do whatever is pleasing in His sight. As the great and majestic One He rules supreme. He is invincible and all-glorious.

All these attributes are combined in the One and only God. We tend to speak of GodÕs attributes as if they belong to Him separately. But God is one, also in His attributes. All His attributes are actually one and of the same essence. In His essence He is holy, merciful, just and righteous. These attributes are all compatible in the one God. They are all actual reflections of His one and only essence.

Calling Upon God
When calling upon the Name of the Lord it is essential to realize Who God is. By nature we are the producers of idols, as Luther says somewhere. This occurs when we fail to realize who God is and construct our own gods, which are nothing but figments of our own imagination. It is our God-given calling and duty to know Who God is. We can know Him from the pages of sacred writ.

In our prayers let us seek to realize who God is. It is only in the realization of Who God is that we will call upon Him in truth. He rules heaven and earth; He is everywhere present and He can hear us far beyond our greatest imaginations. He alone is able to bestow upon us all the grace we need and He can deliver penitent sinners from the power of evil. He can also deliver them from all their wants and afflictions.

Reflecting upon Who God is will have an effect upon how we call upon Him. It will be with much expectation, but also with deep reverence. There will be a deep awe of God. We are to admire Him for His Being and we must adore Him for His wisdom, love and mercy. We must worship Him for His vengeance and holiness. There ought to be a godly fear for His power, justice, and anger, as well as a delight in His blessedness. His attributes are not contrary to one another. The sum total must be to have a deep love and reverence for His entire Being. ÒWorship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.Ó

What joy it is to realize that this God offers Himself to us in His care and ability to save to the utmost! Is there any reason to fear for anything if this God is your delight and your personal God? If this God be for you, who shall be against you? If you believe that God is almighty, why do you fear man? With God on your side, you need not even fear the devil.

If you believe that the Lord is the highest good, should He not be your chief desire? If you know that God is just and righteous, why do you so easily keep on living in a particular sin? God will avenge His justice.

If you believe that God is truthful, why is it that you doubt His rich promises, which are Òyea and amenÓ in the Lord Jesus Christ? If you desire beauty, look to Jesus. If you desire wisdom, ask this God for wisdom. If you cannot make any sense of your life, commit your ways unto the Lord and He shall cause all things to work together for your good.

Call upon this great and all-powerful God. He is an awesome and almighty God Who has declared Himself to be a consuming fire against those who despise His holy precepts. Yet, for penitent sinners He is a loving Father in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us then call upon this God Who sent His Son for our salvation. He lives forever to hear you and to deliver those who call upon this true God. In Psalm 50: 15, He promises: ÒAnd call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.Ó The Lord Himself testifies of all those who call upon Him: ÒHe shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour himÓ (Ps.91:15).

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