What Name?

Long ago, a man named Jacob met a guy. This guy was mysterious. The meeting was so meaningful to Jacob and this man seemed to know a lot about Jacob. He might have been following him on Facebook or something. Jacob asks what his name is. It’s a reasonable question.

But the man said something like this: ‘Why are you asking about my name? No one really knows me. I have a rather amazing name. But what about you, Jacob? Maybe you have the wrong name. Maybe your name should be changed. You are different now. Your name is Israel.’


Now we know the name of this man. The guy knew Jacob’s grandfather. He knew Noah. His name is Jesus. We know a little about him now. We know he was killed. We know he died. We know he returned from death and met with his friends.


Other people met this person later. One guy was Saul. He was trying to stomp out a new Jewish heresy put out by these so-called Christians. He was traveling and he met this person on the road. He was blinded by a light and said, “Who are you, Lord?” He was completely astounded at the answer: “I am Jesus and you are hurting me.”


Once Moses asked God his name. The answer was “I AM.” Is this a name? Yes. It is The Name. The name of One who was not born. The One before the beginning of anything we know.


Now, let us look closer at this wonderful name. God talked with Moses and told him he was going to reveal his name to him. Moses did not know what to expect. In the experience of Moses, he heard these words: I will make my goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim my name…”


There was more. He heard “mercy” “compassion” “grace” “love” “faithfulness” and “forgiveness”. We use these words when we talk about God because, like Moses, we experience these. All love, mercy and goodness come forth from God. This is his name. This is who he is. The aged Apostle, John, writes ‘God is Love.’


He is the Good. I think that maybe “God” is short for ‘Good.’


No one is good, but God. This means that every thought he has towards you is good. He wants only good for you.


He wants you and me to join with him in being good. Will you embrace goodness? Will you dare to approach The Goodness?


You say goodbye to badness as you move towards him. He is all good and all the good there is. Sure, you can do good things, but are you good? Good like God?


You are stamped out in his image. You are made like him. But unless you are connected to him, you remain alone. You are like a beautiful statue that cannot move. You may have heard the story of the statue that comes to life.


This is a metaphor of what can happen with us. The image of God, us, can be filled with the life of God and we can become real people. God, who made us, can do this. He wants to do it, too.


But, and it’s a big ‘but’, he will not use force. His invitation is, “Come, follow me.” If you respond, you will become a real person instead of a shadow of one. You will be defined again by God as one he knows. He will consider you a friend. He will invite you to be an active part of his family. He is The Father, you know.


The Desires of your Heart

What are the desires of your heart? Have you thought about it? Are you pursuing them or ignoring them? If you are pursuing them, how many can you pursue?

Probably only one. But inside of a heart desire is something else. It is a belief that upon obtaining that desire, you would experience a certain satisfaction. When I say ‘a certain satisfaction’, I mean a very definite satisfaction that is related to receiving that desire.


But, what if you get what you desire and it does not give you that expected satisfaction? Then what?  You say to yourself, “This is exactly what I wanted. But the satisfaction I expected to come from it is not there.”

Once again, you pursue a desire. And you have the same experience. It does not satisfy like you thought it would.

The problem is this: Your desire is faulty. What you desire is not what will satisfy you. It seems like it should but it won’t. It can’t. The desire is not related to that deep part within you that wants to be satisfied. You do not know enough about that deep desire. You don’t know how it got there. That is why you think this or that should satisfy it.


You may have assumed because of the way others pursue their desires, fulfilling those desires will give satisfaction. Or your culture tells you that happiness lies in this direction or that direction. You follow those directions and come out with a mismatch.

You are surprised. You wonder why. Why doesn’t this satisfy me? 

The reason is this: these are all that can be offered. These paths are the only ones available. They are attainable in ordinary life.

But your deep desire can’t be fulfilled in this way. You need extraordinary means. Some say you need the Divine. But you also need to give up something valuable to you. And it is the part of you that measures satisfaction!


You have to get rid of your very unit of measure! You find that the fulfilling of your deep desire is beyond all your efforts. It must come from somewhere else entirely. To fulfill this desire involves a dramatic change internally. It involves an activation of a part of you that has been neglected. It is your spirit. Only your spirit can receive what you need to gain the satisfaction you really want.

It’s like you keep using different mixtures of the same kind of fuel but you need your engine converted to take a whole different sort of power. This conversion begins a new kind of life. So much so that you may call your former existence a kind of deadness.


Let’s take a example. You feel love would fulfill your deep desire. You pursue love. You are disappointed a couple times but then you find the one. This is it. This is real love. You love them. They love you.

Everything is right. They want to give you all their love. And they do. You love them with all you have.

But after some time, you find you don’t have enough of this love to endure certain difficulties. Worse yet, you realize that all your love cannot fulfill the desire of your lover. And all their love cannot touch the deep desire of your heart.

This love is great. It is wonderful. But it is not the right kind of love. Another kind is needed from another source.


You are a creature and are created a certain way. You must have this other love to live. You need to find this desire within you that matches to your true satisfaction. You need to cast out all other desires until you only have one desire. Pursue this desire and you will find that which satisfies.

This is what it means to be pure in heart. You only want one thing. And that is what will satisfy you. But in the process, you are changed. All those other desires become useless because they always were useless. They only covered up the true desire of your heart.

And the purity of your heart guarantees it will be satisfied. Blessed are the pure in heart…


You may have heard these words: Ask, seek, knock.

Ask and you will receive. It doesn’t take much to ask. You ask. Maybe you even ask for the wrong thing. That doesn’t matter because when you ask, the right person hears you. And begins to answer. He even knows the right answer to the wrong question.

You receive an answer. Now you know God is there. You begin to seek. You look hard for more. An answer is not enough. You want more. And you find. You find what you seek. But maybe it’s not what you thought. Of course, it is not what you thought because you (and I) thought wrong. We were always wrong in relation to the Right.

Asking and receiving an answer was not enough. Now seeking and finding is not enough. You know where your desire is found. You identify the very door it is behind. You knock. You keep knocking. You won’t stop knocking. And it opens. The door opens.

It opens because you will not be denied what you need by the only one who has the answer to your deepest desire. He made us to live connected to him. He was waiting for your knock. He was not surprised by it. He was on the way to open the door on your first knock.


Now begins the reconstruction of you. You were wrong. You had things wrong within you. No wonder you did wrong. A big important part of you was not working. But now your spirit is alive. You can become that which you were made to be. All the parts of you can be brought into harmony.

But remember, there is one part of you that was performing a function it was not made to do. That is the selfish part. It cannot be improved and it cannot be fixed because it was doing the wrong job. It was running you. And it was incompetent to do that. It was bound to steer you wrong.

Worst of all, you thought that was you. But now this lively spirit version is the real you. It’s a little difficult to be totally re-orientated like this. But the new you is much better than the old you. And the new you has great potential. Really!

The old you had no future. It would drag you down to the worst you possible. Hey, I wasn’t that bad. Maybe not, but you would have become that bad. Given enough time, you would become the worst. 


But that is the reason to reject our past way of living. We must prove it out, too. We must use our free will to do God’s will. That sounds big, doesn’t it? Doing God’s will.

What it means is being a good human. Being exactly what you were meant to be. You are connected to your source. You were disconnected before and could not become what you were intended to be. That wasn’t your fault. But to remain that way would be your fault.

Two things will start us right. Love God with all your heart. Why does God say this? Because he knows nothing else. He loves you wholeheartedly. He knows no other way to love. He knows that you loving him wholeheartedly will give the best results for you. It will purify your heart. You won’t have to waste your time chasing down desires that disappoint. This is a matter of being right.

Then there is doing right. And all the worthwhile doing is summed up as this: To love your neighbor as yourself. This direction enables you and I to go forward on the right path. If you are doing it wrong, he will help you do it the best way. God is an expert at loving and turning it into action.

Now you can do this because you know that God is taking care of you. The best care. You are not your own responsibility any longer. Think of it! You are free to go beyond loving yourself because God is loving you full time. You were never the best one to do that job. He is. Now you can love others. And the supply of love from God is endless. You won’t come up short because this love has no limits.


You have broken through your previous limitations. You will be able to do things you never could before. This is because you are connected to your source. You can become what you were meant to be. And this will be very satisfying.

Your eyes will be opened to see God working. And you take part in his work. That is what doing the will of God means. And his work has eternal value. And he shares his doing with you. On top of this, he will gladly reward you for doing it. Imagine, God himself saying to you, “Well done!”