Keith and Debbie Jaggers were missionaries in We, northern Ghana, Africa. The 30,000 population was predominantly Moslem. The hatred aimed at the Christians was intimidating and eventually resulted in a noisy, violent home invasion.
As they hid behind their bathroom shower curtain, Debbie was inspired to think of Psalm 91. Specifically she felt God say to her: “You have been with Me in that secret place. Now you just stand in My shadow.”
When they were discovered, the Jaggers were brought to the bedroom. The gang demanded money. Keith had a one hundred dollar bill. As he handed it to the invaders he said, ‘In the name of Jesus!” There was instant reaction. The men backed away and left for the living room. The Jaggers remained as they were. They heard the men leave the house and then drive away.
Psalm 91 has become an integral part of the Jagger faith. What does it say? “'Because he loves me,' says the Lord, 'I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Keith and Debbie simply said, “that’s what keeps us going.” (Missionaries Claim Psalm 91 and Escape Death, www1.cbn.com)
If you have ever studied the wisdom in the Book of Proverbs you may recall ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are saved.’ (Proverbs chapter 18, verse 10). That seems to fit so obviously into the Jaggers’ testimony.
Sadly the name of Jesus has become a common swear word. His name is taken in vain and by thoughtless application it has been robbed of its full force. Believers must maintain the significance in the Name and apply it in prayer with full power and authority.
Remember ‘in the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.’ (Philippians chapter 2, verse 10) This announcement to the church in Philippi comes as a description of the exaltation of Jesus. He is infinite. He has always been one with the Father. He remained God although He came to earth on a rescue mission. After the cross, the Lord returned to His throne and is seated ‘at the right hand of the Father.’ His sacrifice for us has provided our salvation and now He maintains that fellowship through our prayerful connection.
The authorities were shaken when Peter prayed and the lame man walked? “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” They asked. (Acts chapter 4, verse 7)
I am challenged by a Watchman Nee comment: “If we study the word of God carefully and in the meantime we really seek to walk in the spiritual way, we cannot but acknowledge how many times we may have said ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’ or ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ without actually knowing how to use the name. How can we be normal Christians if we do not even know how to use the name of the Lord Jesus?” (The Prayer Ministry of the Church, Watchman Nee, Christian Fellowship Publishers Inc)
God has chosen to speak to a fallen world through His church. It is a sobering and challenging thought. Jesus is enthroned in heaven and we are His spokespersons on earth.
“Show us the Father,’ the disciples asked Jesus. His answer was interesting. “Anyone who has seen Me, has seen the Father,” He said. It is important to see that the Father was not present but He was faithfully expressed through the life of Jesus. Now that witness has been transferred to the church. “Anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing,” Jesus said.
The disciples understood and went out and faithfully proclaimed the kingdom. We often cry out for Jesus to intervene in this world. He will, but do we realize He has empowered and anointed the Church to be His ambassadors.
Jesus said, “The one who believes in Me, the works that I am doing, he will do also, and he will do greater works, than these because I am going to the Father.” (John chapter 14, verse 12)
What did He mean ‘greater works’? Jesus was God on earth. We are mere human. Our authority comes through that amazing connection His name provides. Because we are His and we walk by faith in Him, we have His blessing to be His representatives.
The disciples did not take liberties with Jesus. By their witness of His life, they treated Him with awe. There is the story of the architect Christopher Wren. When he gave instructions for constructing St. Paul’s Cathedral in London he ordered if any workmen were heard to use profanity on the job, they were to be dismissed. It was his application of the famous phrase ‘hallowed be the name.’
The name of Donald Trump has provoked powerful passions for and against. In every generation we find names at the centre of our emotions and choices, our likes and dislikes. We have as believers, the name which is above all names. The prophet Isaiah correctly called Him ‘the mighty God.’ (Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6)
Charles Lamb said, “If Shakespeare were to enter this room, we would stand to give him honour. If Christ were to enter we would bow before Him in worship.”
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously he was radio news editor for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, Israel.
His career started at WINTV (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Ross previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ron-ross.html