What Does It Mean to Use the Lord’s Name in Vain?

For many years it’s been taught that to use the Lord’s name in vain means to swear with His name. And yes, that is not appropriate & should not be done in a Christian’s life but there’s a lot more to it than this. The Lord stated in His 10 commandments not to use the Lord’s name in vain for an even greater reason – don’t use His name for your own selfish reasons. There are things that we pray for as led by the Spirit of the Lord because HE puts it on our hearts to pray for (which would be His will) & than there’s the other reasons why people pray – for their own personal wants (what they believe is what they need at the time). We cannot get into this habit of praying according to the latter reasons. I do understand that as a beginning Christian in your walk, you may do this out of ignorance, but for those that do know how to hear clearly by the Spirit of God & do not pray according to what He tells you to pray, then you are using His name in vain.
It’s easy to assume that when we do not have something that we want, or even need, to think we must ‘pray’ about it in order to get it (Prov. 3:5). However, this may not be how the Lord wants you to go about it. Instead, He may just want you to spend time with Him. Sometimes the Lord allows for things to occur in one’s life in order to reveal to them what is not necessary to have at the time (it could have been alright to have it in the past but now things are different); or He may be trying to switch your ideals that you have gotten accustomed to in your life which are not helpful to you in your walk with Him; or it may not be His timing; or it has become an idol before Him; or it has too many ties to it in which it causes you to digress in your relationship with Him. Oftentimes we do not know all of what is going on behind the scenes & the Lord just wants us to trust Him in His guidance rather than rely on people or things that we often rely on too much and He needs to break that dependence. But we must remember the Lord’s will is for our best interests in the end because it’s His interests for the kingdom of God.
The Lord wants us to have a relationship with Him that’s not based on our wants, but His, & therefore in that way we are then blessed in knowing Him & serving Him according to His purposes. Once we understand this than our own selves will change rightly & we will then be able to love others as He loves them because our relationship with Him is based on pure love (John 15:12-13) & not just what ‘we can get’ out of Him (by and through using His name). The Lord looks at the heart. And sometimes when our hearts haven’t been healed in the areas needed to be healed, we can have the tendency to pray for things He doesn’t want for us (James 4:1-3). And, in that process we can even cause others to pray for things (in agreement) for things we want (Matt. 18:6-7- speaking of those that are younger in their walk). This is where greater discernment by the Spirit is necessary. We should never pray in agreement on something just because someone is stating a ‘need.’ Not all ‘needs’ are really needs, to the Lord (some are acknowledged by the fleshly nature of the heart as a need). He knows what people need (Matt. 6:8-10) & we must look to Him for what He wants for that person & then pray for that person (this can be something very different than what they are asking for). Just because you say in agreement the Lord’s name doesn’t mean you will get it because if it’s not in His will than it’s not in His name (or in His Person) that you are praying (1Pet. 3:12; Job 35:13; Prov.28:9; 1:24-28; Dan. 9:13-14). Instead it’s in another name – your own. The Lord does not appreciate His name being used as a name to glorify one’s own self. His name is above all names & should only be used in agreement with the Holy Spirit’s leading- as this IS the witness. And when you have this Witness, you have the Father, & the Son and they are all in agreement for the true will of God. When others are using His name appropriately in this manner, than yes, He is there. But any other manner than this- it’s in vain.
The appropriate thing to do if you are not sure in what the Lord wants in the situation that you are praying about is to ask for the Lord’s will to be done in it – whether it’s what is comfortable for you or not, but may He be glorified in it. We are not here to glorify ourselves or to have the Lord serve us but to glorify His name (John 8:47-50; Ezek. 22-23)& to serve Him & others.
I am also suggesting this sermon by Paris Reidhead titled, “If You Agree,” to this post which would further explain the importance of who are His & how the true Church serves. The true Church does not serve for them self but for Him. Please take the time to listen to it: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=8&min=20&orderby=titleA&show=20.

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