Have you experienced a difficult, hard situation where it seemed as if everything was going wrong, things seemed hopeless, you wondered where God was…? This is the focus of our name of God this week.
Thank you for joining us for week 2 of our nine-week study on the names of God —LORD, I Want to Know You. Download the Note Taking Guide for the lesson.
Our Name of God this Week: El Elyon —Most High God
El – God and elyon – highest, exalted one
El Elyon is the name that designates God as the sovereign ruler of the universe. Elyon emphasizes that God is the highest in every realm of life. In the New Testament, Jesus is known as the Son of the Most High while the Holy Spirit is the power of the Most High. All who belong to Christ are revealed as sons and daughters of the Most High by imitating the Father in heaven. When you praise the Most High, you are worshiping the One whose power, mercy and sovereignty cannot be matched.
Our attempts to make sense of and reconcile the sovereignty of God affects our worldview and our walk. We want to know why there is evil? We want to know: if God is love and in control of all things, why can’t he stop the evil and bad from happening in our lives? Why is he allowing this to happen in my life?
When faced with the hard and uncertainties of life’s circumstances, we often want answers to the “why” and expend a great deal of thought and energy looking for answers and reasons. We want to be in control. We want to know the answers. We want to tie it all up with a pretty bow. We struggle with our fears of the unknown, the unexpected or the dreaded! We just want answers! We want to know the plan! We want the situation fixed!
But the sovereignty of God is not something we will ever be able to completely reconcile this side of heaven. Our minds are finite and we are limited by time and space. He is the infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Walking in His Name, El Elyon —God Most High
God’s desire is that we would allow His Word and His Spirit to transform our hearts and lives so that we might not only know Him more, but reflect Him in a greater way to those we encounter every day. As part of our time spent each week studying a name of God, I want us to reflect upon how we might walk out that name in our daily lives. In other words, how can knowing this name of God teach me to trust Him more fully, know Him in a deeper way and transform the way I live and interact with those around me. That’s the true purpose of any Bible study we undertake. So I’d like to share with you three things to remember this week as you seek to walk out His name, El Elyon God Most High.
When we are faced with the difficult and hard and we are struggling with the question of God’s sovereignty, what are we really struggling with in our heart and lives? And how do we reconcile this so that we might bring our Creator glory and reflect Jesus to those around us? I’d like you to consider three areas of your life and three questions as you contemplate and seek to answer these questions this week:
#1 Worship —Who or what are you worshipping?
When we worship something we give it weight or importance in life. That’s a definition for glory in the Bible. What do you worship? What carries great weight in terms of importance in your life? But what happens when that person or that thing —that talent, ability, circumstance—we are worshipping falls short and leaves us disappointed or even worse, is taken from us? What is our response?
When we worship and exalt something other than God in our lives, our response is often like that of Jobs:
“For the one thing I feared has overtaken me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.”—Job 3:25
And in an attempt to reconcile, fix or resolve the situation or relationship we often find ourselves crying out like Job:
“I cannot relax or be still; I have no rest, for trouble comes”. — Job 3:26
But when our fear is a reverence and awe of God —the fear of the Lord — we are not filled with the dread, overwhelming sense of hopelessness and enslavement to this world. When our relationship with God is of greatest importance and our worship of Him carries the greatest weight, then all else pales in comparison. We are never left wanting or disappointed in His presence. Because He IS peace. He IS joy. He IS love.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. —John 16:33
(G2293) – tharseō; from 2294- to have courage/confidence, cheerful mind:— to be of good courage, be of good cheer (comfort), to be bold; boldness, courage. Compare 2292 – to exercise courage.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. —Matthew 11:28-29
Take Heart! Be Confident! Find Rest! Let’s expend our energy in praise and worship of who God is instead of seeking all the answers to the “why”. Let’s spend our time acknowledging and praising the One who is in control of all things!
# 2 What is your focus? Where are you gazing? What’s your perspective?
When we are focused on finding satisfaction and purpose in life in the here and now, we will find ourselves disappointed and frustrated. But when our gaze is set upon eternity and those things that are eternal, we can live in the here and now with greater contentment, peace and enjoyment of this earth.
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. —Hebrews 2:8-9
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. —2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. —Hebrews 12:1-2
Look to Jesus! If the good things in life are clouding your vision of who God is, identify what or who is “most high” in your life. Is it God or something else —a relationship, a job, plans for your children, dreams for your future?
# 3 Who or what are you acknowledging in this situation?
When we acknowledge in our hearts and in our heads that God is sovereign over all things, that He IS the Most High God it changes our worship and our perspective. It gives us a sense of peace and security.
When we acknowledge and accept in our hearts that God is sovereign over all things, we find that the answers are found in His presence. We can continue to search for the answers in our efforts, or we can choose to trust our Sovereign God and find rest and peace in His presence.
In my personal experience, I find that the catalyst that was pushing me to “know” and find the answers, is put to rest as I spend time in God’s Word, pouring out my heart to Him in prayer and resting in the quiet and safety of His presence. He is our refuge.
- Get in God’s Word – Hebrews 4:12, Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 3:16
- Pour out your heart to Him – Psalm 62:8
- Rest in His presence – Matthew 11:28-30
One way to walk this out practically is to “contemplate His greatness and goodness” instead of fixating on the situation. What can you do today to acknowledge God’s greatness? Consider writing these down as they come to mind. Create a list. I’ve even used a giant dry-erase board or chalkboard in my home to record these thoughts.
This week as you read and study God’s Word and ponder Him as El Elyon —God Most High, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of your heart and life where you are not fully trusting God as the sovereign One over all of life.
This week I thought we’d close by listening to the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. I love listening to their praise and worship of the Lord! Let’s praise His name together today, with hands and hearts lifted high, as we extol Him as El Elyon —God Most High, Our Holy God!
I hope you’ll share what you’re learning and encourage others by leaving a comment below. Have a great week in God’s Word!
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