When I get the chance to help someone launch their new book, I jump at it. I know how essential it is to have as much help and support as possible. My first books success would not have been nearly as successful without my online friends and their willingness to share and celebrate it. Social media is pretty powerful! So please allow me to introduce you to my new friend, Jan Harrison, as she shares about her new book, Becoming A Woman Who Knows God By Name….
“ How the Names of God Carried Me through Darkness ”
They say the more time you spend with someone the more you begin to act and even look alike. This is often true about couples when they have spent a lifetime together. What if we were to spend so much time in the presence of God, we knew Him so well, that we began to act like and even live out our lives in a way that others could watch and catch glimpses of His beauty and grace? Could it be possible to become so attuned to His voice and familiar with His character that we honestly know Him by name? Maybe this sounds a little presumptuous or slightly irreverent but this is precisely the reason I was motivated to plunge myself into a personal study of the names of God. No one’s character is fully revealed without multiple encounters through various situations. Marriages are built and strengthened after years of sharing and growing under the pressure of adversity as well as the gladness of success. Throughout the Old Testament the true and living God reveals Him self to many different people as they encounter situations where they need more understanding of who He is and how He works in the lives of His people. In multiple circumstances He took the opportunity to roll back the eternal mystery of His identity and share with individuals His character through times of adversity and success.
“I Need More”
I came to a place in my own spiritual journey where I found myself straining under life’s pressure and desperate for more of Him. I had spent almost 30 years growing in my personal relationship. But when my only son died suddenly while living and serving in Africa, at the age of 27, I found my faith in God’s faithfulness being stretched very thin. During that time my strength to cling to His promises was draining to a dangerously low level. After all, this was the most adverse circumstance my relationship with God had ever been in and I needed to see His character with greater clarity and deeper understanding. The pain and sorrow of death and loss compelled me to search His word for insights into His names. Through the haze of grief and the darkness of sorrow, I grabbed onto this verse, and took it at face value.
“ Those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:10.
It was a flotation device pitched toward me when I was being tossed about in the turbulent sea of loss. I grabbed it and held on. Faith for my life depended on it. Slowly, surely, my feet touched the bottom and I began to stand on the names of God. Through the weeks and months that followed I cherished my time in His presence like never before and asked God to reveal His character to me through His holy name. I prayed, I read, I waited and wondered, and without fail, He allowed me to see more of Him and know Him in a deeper and more intimate way.
Maybe you are in a hard place and as you read this you are struggling with the character of God. Perhaps He is not who you understood Him to be in this particular situation you are in. You may be wondering if you misplaced your trust in Him. Please, may I encourage you, there is so much more to learn and know in your relationship with the Lord. He wants to be more than an acquaintance. He wants us to know Him so well our lives look like Him. In fact, He invites us to prayerfully accept His invitation to deeper intimacy by “Becoming a Woman Who Knows God By Name.”
In my book, by that title, I chose to share the names of God that met me in a personal place of deep need. They are examined as they were given in the Old Testament. Because God is timeless and eternal we can be confidant His character never changes and the revelations given to Abraham. Moses, Gideon, David and others are also for us.
I want to share His faithfulness to me never wavered and the power of His promises holds true. He will not forsake those who seek Him. His name applied to my life daily continues to strengthen me. His character is worth building my life on because He does not disappoint. The same is true for you. It has been six years since I embarked on this leg of my faith journey and because I know His name, I pray my walk and talk look a little more like Him.
* Jan Harrison has been inspiring women for more than 20 years as a Bible teacher, speaker, and author. To learn more about Jan and her new book “Becoming a woman who knows God by name” visit her blog at http://steppingtowardhope.org/