The Power of a Name – Elohim

The Power of a Name - Elohim (by Jean Wilund via InspireAFire.com)

Names create powerful images in our mind.

People throughout time have put tremendous thought into naming their children. Some should’ve probably put a little more thought into it. (Phelony? Her parents must not have had high hopes for that child. Robin Graves? Did her parents never say her full name out loud?)

What do you think of when you hear the name Brutus? I imagine a hulking man with muscles in his earlobes.

What flashes into your mind when you hear the name Jean? Perhaps someone strikingly beautiful with an intelligent look about her?

Keep ReadingThe Power of a Name - Elohim (by Jean Wilund via InspireAFire.com)




God is Sovereign – What That Means & Why We Care

God is Sovereign - What That Means & Why We Care (via www.JeanWilund.com)

God is Sovereign


If God isn’t sovereign over all, He isn’t sovereign at all.

I’m clearly not God because no matter how I try, I’m not sovereign over anything. At all.

I might determine to simply walk across the room, but any number of scenarios could stop me.

I could trip and knock myself out.

I could get distracted on my side of the room by a slice of blueberry lemon cake and a cup of coffee. The cup of coffee by itself would do it.

A tornado could rip through my house and send me into my neighbor’s kitchen.

I should be able to walk across the room unimpeded, but I can’t guarantee it because I’m not sovereign, but God is.

What Does Sovereign Mean?


God’s sovereignty means that He can do whatever He wants with whoever or whatever He wants for whatever purpose He wants.

It means God is absolutely free and completely able to do all that He determines to do.

That might be a terrifying thought if God’s sovereignty weren’t equaled by His perfect love.

The truth of God’s sovereignty allows us to rest in Him and His will without worrying. 

Sovereignty vs Supremacy


God’s sovereignty sounds like His supremacy, but they’re not the same. They’re more like siblings than twins.

God’s supremacy says there’s no one above Him.

His sovereignty says no one can act apart from His permission. (Lamentations 3:37)

Knowing God is Sovereign Makes a Difference in Us


God is Sovereign - What That Means & Why We Care (via www.JeanWilund.com)Everyday circumstances happen we can’t control.

If those things hurt, we want to know God has a plan for it.

If they devastate us, we need to know He has a perfect plan for it.

When a child is murdered, we need to know Satan didn’t steal that child away from God. We need to know it 100%, or we’ll struggle for the rest of our days.

If absolutely nothing can happen apart from God stepping aside to allow it, then we can rest in the knowledge — even while grieving and mourning the heart-wrenching loss — that God chose to allow it for a good purpose we may never understand on this side of heaven, but we can trust Him.

Knowing and trusting God’s sovereignty gives us peace even in the midst of devastating pain.

It also comforts and empowers us when we have difficult decisions to make. We can seek His will in every matter before us and be confident that He is able to accomplish whatever He chooses.

God’s Sovereignty Versus Our Free Will


I once lost a volunteer position I loved and felt I’d handled faithfully for over two years. But the board decided to let someone else handle the position.

My heart — and let’s be honest, my pride — hurt. But then God’s sovereignty reminded me if God wanted me in that position, they couldn’t remove me from it. And if He didn’t want me in the position, not even they could keep me there.

I knew God had a plan for them and for me that called for me to let go of something I’d loved and trust Him for something new.

And I found Him faithful. Imagine that.

Please understand, however, that God will often allow us to make decisions against His perfect will. He has a plan even for those bad decisions. But if our free-will choices would interfere with His ultimate plan or purposes, He’ll interfere with our choice.

As horrible as the death and destruction of 911 was, it would’ve been much worse if God hadn’t interfered. Satan didn’t want survivors. Neither did the terrorists. 

How do we handle all the loss of all the other lives? By remembering God’s perfect love and wisdom. By trusting His character.

We Want to Be Sovereign Too


Knowing and being grateful that God is sovereign, doesn’t stop us from wanting to be sovereign, too.

Both Christians and non-Christians want to be sovereign. Even when we don’t believe that’s our desire, deep down it is. It’s just the nature of our sin nature. 

Psalm 1:3 - He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.If we don’t accept that ugly truth, or we’re unaware of the inner struggle, we’ll continue to fight and lose. We’ll live a frustrated, exhausting yo-yo life. 

The roots of our faith will be too shallow to hold us in the storm. 

If we accept the truth of our sovereign-envy, we’ll keep our radar up.

We’ll pay attention to the inner battle and determine to ignore the pull to fight God for sovereignty and choose to trust Him instead.

Like oak trees with deep roots, we’ll feel the storm but it won’t uproot us.

We’ll remain rock solid, ruled by peace not panic.

If God isn’t sovereign over all, He isn’t sovereign at all. #GodIsSovereign #CharacterOfGod Click To Tweet

God’s Word on His Sovereignty


Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it?
(Lamentations 3:37)

All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him:
“What have you done?”

(Daniel 4:35)

Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
(Psalm 135:6)

But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
(Psalm 115:3)

“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”
(Job 42:2)




Train in the Calm Before the Storm so You’ll Be Calm in the Storm (Training — Part 2)

Know the Character of God: Train in the Calm Before the Storm so You'll Be Calm In the Storm via www.JeanWilund.com

Are You Ready?

The best time to prepare for a storm is before it hits.

Duh.

We empty the grocery store shelves of bread and water at the first report of a major storm whether we already have four cases of water and twelve loaves of bread at home or not.

We’re trained to do it.

We train for the occasional, physical storms. But what about the mental and emotional storms?

When the ring of a phone can change your life, you need to be prepared before you answer it.

We need our souls stocked with enough bread and water to sustain us during the worst of storms.

The emergency supplies our soul needs is the power and comfort of — and the belief in — the full Character of God.

Knowing the full character of God is even better than knowing karate.

My son is a black belt in Aikido — a form of martial arts focused on stopping attackers in their tracks.

If someone pointed a gun at his head, his heart rate would rise, but his training would kick in. He’d grab the gun with a swift Aikido technique and disarm the gunman.

If a gun were aimed at my head, my heart rate would shoot through the roof. I’d either freeze or faint dead away. 

But, if I knew the gun was unloaded, I’d be better able to control my heart rate and think. 

Knowing and believing in the character of God in the midst of a storm is like knowing the gun is unloaded.

A gun at my head, loaded or unloaded, is going to unnerve me. But knowing it’s unloaded makes a big difference.

Being in the midst of a storm will unnerve us. But knowing God’s character in the storm makes a huge difference.

Unfortunately, panic can cause us to forget even the basics, like our name.

How can we expect to remember God’s character in a storm if we can’t even remember our own name? 

Training.

Train in the Calm Before the Storm so You’ll be Calm In the Storm

Tennis isn’t a storm — although the guy on the other court, who wound up with a bloody nose when my husband Larry shanked his backhand, may disagree — but the principle of training is the same.

When Larry began coaching me on correct form, he gave me a million directions to memorize. Per shot.

Bend your knees…step into the ball…weight forward…racket head up…make sure your grip is right…bring your racket back but not too far back…swing low to high…follow through…keep your eye on the ball…catch the ball on the rise…plant your feet before you hit…get back to the center of the court after you hit…blah blah blah…

Those directions didn’t even include strategy for winning the point. They were merely how to get the ball back over the net.

Before the training became ingrained, whenever I played a match, I defaulted back to merely whacking the ball as best I could.

Little by little, practice after practice, the training finally sunk in.

Eventually, I surprised myself.

I began to naturally catch the ball on the rise and swing low to high.

I became instantly aware when my weight was on my back foot instead of my front because it now felt instinctively wrong.

I now stood at the net, hungry for my opponent to hit toward me rather than terrified. 

Hours of practice when nothing was on the line made all the difference on how I performed when it mattered.

Practice intentionally remembering God’s character every day when nothing is on the line.

When you’re late to work and the driver in front of you is sitting at the green light too long, think, “It’s training time.”

Actively choose to remember the character traits of God that would help calm your spirit and give you the patience you’d need if you’d just been in a wreck.

When your friend is crunching on ice, and they’re on your last nerve, think, “It’s training time.”

What character traits of God would best help you overcome feelings of rage and generate patience, peace, and forgiveness if someone were verbally attacking you or someone you love?

When your child calls you on the phone, tell yourself, “It’s training time.”

Choose to remember the powerful aspects of God’s nature that would hold you strong if your child were calling you from the back of a police car.

Train When It Doesn’t Matter, Because One Day It Will

Know the Character of God: Train in the Calm Before the Storm so You'll Be Calm In the Storm via www.JeanWilund.comDuring the Clemson–Louisville football game last Saturday, I texted one of my best friends and fellow passionate Clemson fans.

We didn’t talk about the plays or the score. We talked about God’s purposes, will, and goodness.

We weren’t being super-spiritual. We were super-freaked out over the game.

Clemson’s win came down to the final few seconds and one yard.

We were training ourselves.

Whether Clemson won or not, wouldn’t change our lives, but our emotions acted like it was life or death.

We took advantage of that training time.

We reminded each other of the character traits of God we needed, not only to get through the game without ripping our hair out but also for when some storm may rip our hearts out.

When It’s Game Time

One evening my friend got a phone call, and it was game time.

One of her sons was in the Emergency Room two states away.

In that moment, she didn’t rise to the occasion. She fell back to the level of her training.

She remembered the goodness and faithfulness of her sovereign God.

She remembered that while she was far away from her son, God was near.

She remembered that God knows all things and does all things well.

And she remembered that He answers prayer.

Her son’s condition scared her. A lot.

But because she’d trained herself when life was smooth to remember God’s character and trust in it when life exploded, she was able to push away the panic and experience peace.

We don’t know what tomorrow will hold, but we can train for it today.

A storm is coming. How ready you are to face it will be determined by how well you’ve trained.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.
~ Isaiah 26:3

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In my next post, we’ll look at the character traits of God we need to know and believe.