How Learning Someone's Name Can Change Everything -- Powerful Reasons to Study the Names of God

As I walk the streets of my neighborhood, I encounter others who exercise early in the morning. There’s the blonde lady with the big white dog, the runner who whizzes by, and the thin, dark-haired woman who walks her two Brittany spaniels. Sometimes I see a middle-aged man with a Jack Russell terrier, and other times I pass a young guy who huffs and puffs his way around the block.

I like seeing my neighbors, but our encounters have been superficial at best.

One day, however, I implemented an idea I read about in The Simplest Way to Change the World. The author, Brandon Clements, committed to impacting his neighborhood for Christ, set a goal to introduce himself to everyone he passed. In this way, he began friendships that might one day open doors for him to share the gospel. 

The first morning, I met Lisa. She’s a teacher at an alternative school in the district. And Bonnie, a physical therapist. Marcella, I discovered, works at a nearby hospital. Bruce (and his Jack Russell, Panda) manages a golf store in the mall, and Jeff is the father of four young boys. 

With a little effort and a friendly greeting, I went from nodding and smiling at strangers to beginning relationships with new acquaintances. Making the effort to learn their names was the first step in understanding more about them. 

The same has been true in my relationship with God. For years I walked with him, but really didn’t know him. I’d nod and smile, acknowledge him, and occasionally exchange words, but until I took the time to learn his names, our relationship was superficial at best. 

Then I read the story of Hagar in Genesis 21 and learned that one of God’s names is El Roi, the God Who Sees Me. This name helped me understand, in a deeper way, that God sees everything that happens in my life and will never abandon me. 

Then I read the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22, and I learned another of God’s names – Jehovah Jireh – God Will Provide. Because of this name, I realized I can trust God to supply my needs. 

When I encountered the name Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our Banner, in Exodus 17, I understood that God can bring victory in seemingly impossible battles. 

Every name I’ve learned has taught me something new about the personality, presence, and power of God. This knowledge has acted like a catapult, launching my relationship with him forward. 

The more I learn about his character, the more I trust him. The more I trust him, the bolder my faith steps become. The bolder my faith steps become, the more peace reigns in my heart. 

Someday I might meet a neighbor who doesn’t have a very good name or reputation. It might not be wise to form a friendship with them. 

But I never have to fear learning God’s names. 

Every one I encounter reinforces the fact that God is more wonderful than anything I could ever imagine. In his name is everything I need. 

If you struggle to trust God, or maybe you just want to learn more about him, I encourage you to study his names. But before you do, strap on your safety harness. You’re about to begin a trip that will launch you forward in your journey with God. 

And what a marvelous journey that will be. 

One of my favorite resources to study God’s names is Kay Arthur’s devotional, Lord, I Want to Know You, but an internet search on Names of God will also yield much material to study. The article, “10 Names of God and What They Mean,” by Allyson Holland, is a great place to start. 

And if music inspires you, this Aaron Jeofrey music video, “He Is,” will make your heart soar. 


If you’re reading by email and can’t see the video, click here to be inspired: 

Now it’s your turn. What name of God is your favorite and why? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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  1. After my husband passed, I went to Kay Arthur's book on the names of God and read small pieces at a time. Resting in knowing who He is, was a powerful and comforting way to grieve. Thanks Lori for reminding us of the power, presence, and personality of God.

    1. I can see how a study like that could be wildly comforting and helpful. During tragedies, reminding ourselves of God’s character and attributes does much to calm the choppy seas that toss us to and fro. Blessings to you, friend.

  2. I can see speaking the Lord names everyday in my life it will great comfort to me in my difficult situations which I have no control over but if I call on the name Jesus halaluiah I will find rest, peace and strength in my weakness because he said my grace is enough to keep me from falling thank you for your encouraging words I will always remember that name


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