Wednesday, August 31, 2016

In Christ's Name

Copyright: deanpictures / 123RF Stock Photo
I was allowing my mind to wander last week after I gave a routine prayer over breakfast--simply, "Thank you for the food, thank you for another day," or some other statement I regularly list off as I pray over my meals. As I ended the prayer and began to eat, I thought to God how peculiar it seemed that I always ended such short prayers with "In Your name I pray." Had I never contemplated that statement before?

I began to turn that phrase over and over again in my mind, feeling a significance from those words which I'd never felt before. The words reminded me of the Medieval Period, where armies would charge forth in the name of their kingdom, knowing that death is on the horizon; where messengers would relay foreboding decrees to their rival kingdom, declaring separation or war in the name of their ruler. The statement also evoked the memory of a modern army, declaring victory or accepting defeat in the name of the country for which they tirelessly fight.

Many such examples bounced about my mind as I mulled over these simple words, and these examples all held something significant in common: Each instance of acting in someone's name implied that the person taking action is fighting for a side which they claim to be true and righteous; They implied that the person is confident and proud of the name they are fighting for, assured of victory and the safe-keeping of themselves and others; They implied that the person is willing to put themselves in peril or look into the eyes of death, yet remain sworn to their mission for the honor of the name for whom they stand.

Thinking on these examples of selflessness and valor for the sake of an awesome and powerful name, it puzzled me further how I could possibly finish my prayers in God's name without feeling some sense of wonder, power, or distinct purpose for myself. When we all pray, endure pain and sorrow, live and breathe, we should all be feeling a sense of purpose or pride in doing these things in God's name. God has charged us to go about life in the way that a soldier may, representing a name of justice, power, and righteousness. As such, in all that we think, say, and do, even in the midst of suffering, we can be confident knowing that we stand for a powerful name Who will right wrongs and stand beside us, His army. 2 Timothy 2 represents this idea well:  

"Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus... Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen." (2 Timothy 2:3, 8-10 NLT)

2 Corinthians 5:20 also teaches that we are not just soldiers, but representatives and ambassadors of God's will: When we exist "In Christ's name," we exist as His messengers, His agents of His redemptive love. When we choose to do all things in His name, we are choosing to be part of a proud army of many, willing to give our lives and comfort over for the cause of the name of Whom we serve. This gives our pain, our mundane, our joy, and even our prayers so much more meaning than simply going through the motions of routine. Living fully in Christ's name means living a life of trust and bravery in Him.

Pray: Lord, in every thing that I think, say, and do, in every season and every trial, help me to remember that I am Your loyal soldier, fighting for a mission of redemption, love, and honor of Your great name. Let me remember the magnitude of who I am in You, who my family is in You, as joyful representatives of Your righteousness and grace.

~Alexandra Dittrich

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. If I were your mom I would be beaming with joy that God's word resonates within my child's soul in such a way. Reflective and empowering encouragement. Thanks and God bless. Continue to grow in Him.