Know God by Name – God Almighty



When Abram was ninety years old, God introduced Himself as El-Shaddai, God Almighty[1].  Then He changed his name to Abraham and made a covenant with him to make him into a great nation.  The Hebrew word el means god (which can be either a little g god or the one and only God).  The name El-Shaddai makes it clear that we’re talking about the one and only, God Almighty.

I read recently that the word shaddai shares the same root consonants as the word shedei, which means breast.  This reveals that God Almighty is the One who nurtures and nourishes.  God is our Almighty Source of every blessing.

I think it’s interesting that God introduces Himself to a childless man using this word related to the nourishment of babies.  But it also explains how Abraham had such faith: he understood that God is Almighty—more than mighty enough to bless him and make him into a great nation, even at his age.  In fact, Abraham understood God to be omnipotent—all-powerful.

Sometimes when people ask me for prayer, there is such desperation in their plea that it’s clear to me that they have just about come to the end of their ability to believe God for healing (or provision or whatever).  It’s like they’re the desperate father in Mark 9:24, crying: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Here’s the thing: there’s a trick that your mind can play on you, it’s like the mental equivalent of visual perspective.  Whatever you focus on (think of a camera) becomes well-defined, while everything else in the frame becomes blurry and loses definition.  And whatever you concentrate on begins to look bigger only because you’ve gotten closer to it.  For example, which looks bigger in the night sky, the moon or Jupiter?  Without a telescope, it’s hard to tell Jupiter from regular stars, while the moon dominates the night sky.  But in fact, we know that the moon would look like a tiny pimple on the face of Jupiter.  And that’s how it is with mental perspective.  Whatever you focus on will look both bigger and better-defined than anything else in your life.  In other words, you have an enormous problem.  But that problem is tiny when you consider how big God really is.  So if your problem seems bigger than God, you just need to get the right perspective, and you can do that by getting closer to God.

I recently read that it is possible to train your brain to forget things.  Your brain is very pliable, especially while it is building new memories.  So whatever you think about the most will build the most pathways in your brain.  Meanwhile, those things that you never think about will eventually fade from memory.  So if you think about your problem, wonder about your problem, and talk to others about your problem, guess what, you’re building more pathways in your brain to the problem, and meanwhile, you’re forgetting about God and His ability to come through for you.  No wonder the problem looks bigger.  In your mind, you’ve actually made the problem bigger than God.  But all that can be reversed, simply by changing your focus to God.

Most people picture God as being Almighty in wrath and judgment.

From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations.  He will rule them with an iron rod.  He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress, (Revelation 19:15).

But God is just as Almighty in love and mercy:

I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light, (Revelation 21:22-23).

God Almighty, fierce in wrath and fierce in love, is who you want to have on your side.  He loves you like no other, He is able to protect you like no other, He cares for and nurtures you like no other, and He will do battle on your behalf against all the powers of hell.  God is good!

[1] Genesis 17:1.

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