Taking God’s Name in Vain: Why it’s a Serious Matter


What is it about taking God’s name in vain that makes it such serious business to God? There is power behind names and labels we place on people, events and even objects. A study called “The Early Catastrophe” states that the things we label our children from ages zero to four have drastic effects on their development.

Names are more than just empty labels for the sake of identification. Names have power in that they speak of the attributes and character of something or someone. That same is true for God. His name gives us limitless access to His glory, power, might, majesty, holiness and splendour. If we take this opportunity lightly, we miss the point.

There is power in Jesus’ name and it is even in believing and speaking His name that we are vindicated, delivered, liberated and empowered. If not in vain, how then can we respond to the name of Jesus?

1. Worship

Truth be told, God doesn’t have to ask us to worship His name. If we truly grasped the power that is behind the name of Jesus and how much of that power He has made available to us, worship comes out naturally.

We worship Him, we sing to Him, we lift our hands to Him. We set the awkwardness, the consciousness and the imagery aside and we worship Him whole-heartedly. If you can dance, sing and put your hands up losing ourselves to house music, how much more the name of Jesus Christ? We could be losing ourselves in His powerful washing grace. Jeremiah 10:6 tells us “There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.”

2. Trust

When we know just how powerful Jesus’ name is, we will respond in trust. We can’t trust anything else more than the name of Christ. And sometimes, friends, we can fall short of this.

But the moment you realise that you’re belittling the name of Jesus, it’s time to set those doubts, fears and anxieties aside and rest in the name of Jesus. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

3. Declare

I am reminded of how it was when the first Christians were gathered on the day of Pentecost and were some of the first to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in a whole new Christ-enabled way. And after such an experience, Peter stands before the crowd and declares in Acts 2:36: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Peter declared the name of Christ to the lost, the broken, the harassed and helpless. Friends, look around you- your officemates, your family members, your classmates- they’re broken, harassed and helpless. They need the power that is in the name of Jesus Christ, and God calls you to speak and declare His name to them.

A revelation of God’s name and power it has transforms our hearts and causes us to progressively be set free from the sin of taking His name in vain. When we meet the power that is attached to the name of Jesus Christ, we respond in complete surrender to it’s power never wanting to ever use His name in a way that returns null and void, but rather in a way that brings life and life to the full.

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