I did a study not too long ago on the names of God. It was one of the sweetest times I've had in the Word. I couldn't wait each morning to study and read about another one of God's many names. The study, Knowing God By Name, readily admits that only a small portion of God's many names are highlighted. There are so many that she couldn't list them all. This profound truth is comforting and overwhelming to me at the same time.
My God is so complex that one name cannot contain his character. I have four names when you add first, middle, maiden, and married. I think that is plenty. But God.....nothing can contain Him...not even a name. It takes my breath away. When I hear a song or read a name of God, I have an excited desire to look up the meaning behind the name. Some are very familiar, some are not. It is humbling to think that while we pray to God so intimately today and do not always use these formal names, apparently the people in ages past felt a great need to speak of God more reverently and with much more formality that we do. I appreciate and cherish the fact that my Abba is so easy to talk to and communicate with....but knowing that He has so many names with so many meanings reminds me that though I have an intimate Abba/daughter relationship with Him, I should fear him and show Him the respect and honor that his character demands and deserves. I think that we are so familiar with Jesus at times that we don't give Him this place of honor in our hearts. The more we think of him as "friend"....the less we think of His greatness.
I have talked about this before with people and have gotten mixed responses. I get the feeling that people don't really want to think of God past the fact that He is their friend. I know that is important and very comforting. But God is so much more than my friend. The fact that God allows us the joy of calling Him "friend" is just icing on the cake. If all I do is call Him "friend", then I really don't know Him at all. Sobering. When I have talked about fearing God or coming to Him with an attitude of unworthiness, people don't want to talk of being "unworthy". It makes them uncomfortable. Unless we are talking of God's goodness and love, they get uncomfortable. When you get past the "friend" part, things aren't as easy and comfortable. It gets in your "personal space".
My God is infinitely more than my friend. He amazes me. The fact that He wants me to spend time with Him is beyond my understanding. The fact that He allows me to go on existing in my daily failures and sin is breathtaking. I am grateful and humbled at His mercy and grace. This "unmerited favor" deserves more than a token "friendship". Issac Watts said it so beautifully when he wrote,
"love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."