Exodus 20:7 ~ You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.
Most of the people I know presume that the only way to misuse God's Name is to hear that dreaded three word exclamation: OMG. For a while, I thought that, too. But I have been taking this into careful consideration for a long time, now. In my household, "Oh my gosh" is deemed as worse than "Oh my goodness." Does that even work? Isn't God good? Isn't He the ultimate standard of goodness?
Mark 10:18b ~ No one is good- except God alone.
But you don't see 'Oh my goodness" showing up on movie reviews as an issue. I hear my friends all the time, and I have said it too, randomly through the day exclaiming, "Praise the Lord!" In a joking tone. I used to think that was fine, but now I'm not so sure.
The most powerful Name in the universe, the Name that frightens the demons away and defeated death, and a joking, mocking voice... those two ingredients really don't work well together. I am starting to realize that sincerity is the key. Saying His Name without being sincere... we are degrading the awesome Name that belongs to our Saviour. How can that be okay?
What about church? What about prayer? So often we sing songs about God's majesty while shifting our weight, glancing at the clock, not thinking at all about how majestic He really is. So, are we not singing His Name in vain? How many times have we, eager to get to bed or to eat, sped through a routine prayer without even thinking at all Who it is we are speaking to? Yet, we start with "Heavenly Father," or "God," or "Jesus." If our hearts are not right, if our mind is not on Him, then how is that any better than carelessly tossing, 'Oh my God'? It's exactly the same!
We have forgotten how sacred God's Name really is. The lost are saved, they find their way at the sound of His name. All condemned feel no shame at the sound of His great Name. Every fear has no place at the sound of His great Name. The enemy, he has to leave at the sound of His great Name: Jesus.
This is the Name we casually 'praise' throughout the day. This is the Name that belongs to the person we mumble a couple words to only when we feel obliged, without even taking the time to ponder Who He is. This is the Name of the One who has conquered death, who has saved us from Hell, who died for us, and who is coming again to bring us to paradise for eternity! And that is the very name that we toss around as if it were the most common, boring word in the dictionary.
We use His Name in vain constantly. So what are we doing pinpointing those who only use His Name in vain in a certain format? I'm becoming more and more convinced that every time we say His name without sincerity, we are saying it in vain. Every song of praise to Him we don't mean, every memorized prayer, every 'Thank God,' 'Hallelujah,' (which means 'God be praised') and 'Praise the Lord,' that we exclaim in the same attitude as when we comment, 'Cool,' that is not the way in which His name should be uttered.
Acts 4:12 ~ For salvation is found in no one else for there is no other Name - Jesus- under heaven, given to men, by which we must be saved.
Yes, He is our Father, but He is holy. Yes, He loves us, but He is Almighty! His name is not like our names, and it should certainly not be treated like we don't care. His very NAME has power!
Matthew 6:9 ~ "Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name."