It was during the mid-1700s, a time known as the Great Awakening, that men like George Whitefield and John Wesley burned through England and America with revival fire. Both preachers preached to thousands in the open-air because many churches wouldn’t have them. Whitefield was particularly known for his eloquent and animated preaching. Nobody could command an audience like him!
The story goes that one day Whitefield, actually inside a church, wasn’t living up to his reputation. It was rainy and the gathering was relatively small. One man reported to have thought, “This man is no great wonder, after all.” Another person in the front began to fall asleep.
Then, all of a sudden, Whitefield’s whole countenance changed. He raised his voice and cried, “If I had come to speak to you in my own name, you might well rest your elbows on your knees, and your heads on your hands, and sleep… But I have not come to you in my own name. No! I have come to you IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OF HOSTS, AND I MUST AND WILL BE HEARD!” This was emphasized with a forceful stomp and pounding of the pulpit. It made the whole building ring! No one looked uninterested after that.
The name of the Lord gave him confidence and boldness to command attention. This is also what Moses was seeking when he asked the Lord, “When I come unto the children of Israel …and they shall say to me, ‘What is his name?’ What shall I say unto them?” (Exodus 3:13). God revealed His name to Moses and He has also revealed it to us. We too have authority to be heard in the name of the Lord, whether speaking to a group of believers, speaking the truth in the midst of lies, or rebuking the devil with the word of God. We can have confidence to boldly say, “I MUST AND WILL BE HEARD!” Our help is in the name of the LORD (Psalm 124:8).
There is authority in His name. A name’s primary function, though, is to be an identifier. Thus the Lord became personal with Moses and the children of Israel: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Ex.3:14). Of course, I AM is not your typical name! But upon further consideration, it’s a very significant and encouraging revelation of who God is.
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