The Different Names of God | El-Shaddai
Previously on this series, we looked at how God revealed Himself to a servant as El-Roi. We discovered that Abram accepted an alternative blessing that was provided by Sarai and not God. We saw how that backfired. In the midst of the chaos, we saw God’s faithfulness as He proved to Hagai the servant that He sees.
At this point, Abram and Sarai got things messed up. The promise was taking years to manifest. They weren’t even sure if this was going to happen anymore. They probably have gone back and fought trying to determine if they truly heard God well or if it wasn’t something they made up. God saw the state they were in and Him being the loving God that He is, knew they needed assurance. The best way to do this was to make them remember/realize who gave them that promise.
After showing Himself to Hagai as the One who sees, in Genesis 17:1, He showed Himself to Abram as El-Shaddai.
El-Shaddai means God Almighty and All Sufficient.
Immediately after this introduction, He follows with an instruction.
Instructions are followed after encounters. Don’t be too quick to rush out without knowing where to go next or what to do with the encounter you have had.
For a man who was going through marital and mental instability, I would have thought that our loving God would pamper him and tell him everything will be ok. However, he was given a stern instruction. God said “Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life….” Huh? Blameless life? Seriously God? You promised me a child 10 years ago, you have appeared not to tell me that I am having my baby immediately, or for you to praise me on how I have held on till now. You have not empathized with me on how long I have waited. You have not even asked me how I am coping with the drama going on, neither have you told Sarai off for bringing this problem to our marriage. You are giving me instructions on how to serve you? Those are the words that would have come out from my mouth. But thank God that Abram acted differently.
God didn’t just give the instruction and leave, He understood that Abram needed to be reassured of the promise. Abram needed to be reminded that God was enough for Him. And He went on to say in verse 2.
“I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”
Wow! He loves us in a balanced way.
Abram’s response to this was worship. He fell face down on the ground in reverence.
To bring this covenant into fruition, Abram and Sarai’s names needed to come into alignment with their purpose. As such, God changed their names to Abraham (which means father of many nations) and Sarah. To cut this long story short, the promise was fulfilled.
So what can we draw out from this?
God is almighty. There may be mighty situations and circumstances that we confront daily. The mighty power of stagnancy, delay, disappointment, lack, sickness, barrenness, joblessness might taunt us daily. There might be constant reminders in our lives of how powerful the situations we face. In the midst of the chaos, let’s not forget that our God is Almighty. Yes, these challenges of life are mighty, but our God is mightier than them. As we begin to focus on the mightiness of God, our perceptions of what we are facing changes and we are able to fight better.
The Almighty God requires us to serve Him faithfully. Yes, He is Almighty, but He likes us to corporate and partner with Him. When we give Him our faithfulness, He manifests Himself more in our lives. His might doesn’t give us a pass to be undisciplined neither does life’s challenges give us a pass to become unfaithful. God still requires us to be faithful and blameless when our lives are upside down.
The Almighty takes us through seasons. He could have sorted Abram and Sarai out immediately but He decided to take them on a faith walk. Faith walks are full of thorns and chaos. It causes tension and sometimes we might even find ourselves gnashing our teeth. Our husbands, wives, and closest people to us may not always get it. The faith walk might require us to say a difficult no to something that seems good. The good news is that it’s usually for a season. We do reap if we do not faint.
The Almighty will change us as we wait. This is a very good point. How frustrating would it have been for Abram and Sarai to hear God talking about changing their names. That was the least of their problems in their eyes. They now have an added task of correcting people who call them by their old names. However God knew that was a very big factor in the issue. You might be going through a rough phase right now and you are noticing changes. The miracle hasn’t happened yet but you are noticing “slight” changes – things you can easily ignore and overlook. Those little improvements God is working on, could be the base for your miracle to sit on. Don’t ignore. Your miracle cannot reside in your old state. God needs to change your mind, your heart, your friends, your job, your course, your city, your name, to come into alignment with what He has for you. Our Almighty God is not stupid. He knows what He is doing.
El-Shaddai is All Sufficient. When you have God, you have everything.
No matter the delay, The Almighty is still in charge of our lives.
This has truly blessed me and I hope it did the same for you.
–Efua Uke is a United Kingdom-based mentor, blogger, and contributor to Ambo TV. This article originally appeared on her website Grace Over Pain.