“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” –Exodus 20:7 (NKJV)
This third Commandment is key to our understanding the authority Jesus Gave us. He Gave us His Power of Attorney. To help us understand this, is a story about the famous preacher Charles Spurgeon. Mr. Spurgeon was asked to visit an elderly woman who was dying. As he entered her impoverished home, he noticed a framed document on the wall. Asking her if she knew what it said, she told him she did not. She explained that she was once a first mate for the Queen of England. When the old woman retired, the Queen gave her the document. She thought it was nice, so she hung it on her wall.
She then asked Mr. Spurgeon, “I never learned to read…do you know what it says?” Spurgeon was shocked. This elderly woman had no idea what was in her possession. The queen had given her retiring first mate a stipend of retirement for life. This elderly woman could live at any expense, with no limits on her spending. The woman had been living in squalor for years, yet she could have bought a beautiful, new home, and had the best of everything—and the queen would have happily paid for it.
As a believer of the Jesus Christ, do you know what’s in your possession? Just like the elderly woman didn’t know the power of that document, many of us don’t understand the power we have in the Name of the Lord. Jesus happily Paid the price for us to receive His BLESSING in our life. Now it’s up to us to use it! Before we use His Name, we first need to understand how to carry His Name. As Exodus 20:7 reads, we are not to take the Lord’s Name in vain, but what if this third Commandment doesn’t mean what we think it does? In Hebrew, take means “to carry or bear.” In vain means “worthlessly, to no avail.” This third Commandment is telling us that we should not carry His name in a worthless manner.
Imagine the Levites carrying the Ten Commandments in the 200-pound Ark of the Covenant with them everywhere they went. They were nomads, wandering from camp to camp, yet they cared for and moved the Ark across the desert. It was a valued possession of their tribe. Just as the Levites carried the Ark, we are to carry the Name of the Lord with us everywhere we go. He is the most Valued and Powerful part of us. He is the Name that is above all other names (Philippians 2:9-10). His Name is a strong tower, a place to where the righteous run (Proverbs 18:10).
And Jesus, as God Made Flesh, walked in great Works while He was here. After His death, He Gave us His power of attorney to use His Name and carry out His Works on this earth. A power of attorney is a legally binding document to act on someone else’s behalf. Dr. Barney gives the example of a wealthy friend who has given you the power of attorney to act on his behalf. When you go to the bank, you are your friend’s representative. With your power of attorney in hand, the bank is required by law to do business with you on your friend’s behalf. The bank must honour your requests.
Now if you waltz into the bank, keep the power of attorney in your back pocket, and don’t bother to show it to the teller and demand a withdrawal, that teller will probably call the police. Your wealthy friend probably wouldn’t be too happy, would he? He is depending on you to be his representative. He has given you the power to carry out his business.
Jesus has also Given you His Power of Attorney. He is looking for you to act on His behalf and to carry out His business on earth until He Comes. But if you’re not using His Name, you are using His Name in vain. You’re not using the power of attorney He gave you (John 16:23). God Wants us to have the results He Promises in His Word. That’s His Law, and those are His Covenants. Using His Name to execute those Covenants on earth brings the devil into subjection and causes us to walk in victory just like Jesus walked!
There is a Name that is Above every other name. It is a Name that contains Power to overcome every enemy and pull down every stronghold. This Name is Backed by the Power of God Himself, and it’s available to you today if you’re a believer. It’s the Name of Jesus.