Does God Need, “For His Name’s Sake”?

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Does God need ‘Right Paths’?

Ps. 23:3b
he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Right paths are pretty self-explanatory.

‘Right paths’ is pretty self-explanatory. The opposite would be ‘wrong paths’, which very few take intentionally. We can surmise that ‘right paths’ lead to ‘right endings’, although in these upside-down times, it often doesn’t appear so! Still, God’s Word tells us that God has our best in mind and we’re encouraged regularly to put our trust in him. While the processes we endure don’t always lend itself to patience, trusting God translates into trusting his process. If we call ourselves Christians and mean it, we know we have great need for knowing where the right paths are. For our sake, he has a plan in place and it is good!
For I know the plans I have for you, ” delcares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jer. 29:11

So, no, God has no need for a ‘right path’, since he makes both plan and path.

Does God need me to take right paths ‘for his sake’?

Does God need me to take a right path for his name’s sake?” At first glance and answer, we probably answer, “Of course not.” But wait, if God doesn’t need, who does? Why was this phrase inserted into a Psalm speaking so much about the benefits of being part of God’s Kingdom? What is he pointing out here, just as we’re rolling along so well? Surely God is able to handle our response to his name without our help!

Does God need me to keep his reputation clean?

We often seek a clean reputation for the wrong reasons...but God's bigger than that!
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Why is name important to us? If I were to do something for the ‘sake of my name’, what would be the purpose? Ah! I remember conversation with a pastor several years ago when accused of taking something and not returning it. The accusation stung and honestly, I was quite concerned about my reputation. (Yep, see, I am real!) He assured me my reputation was in tact before the conversation ended. He was speaking, of course, of my name. ‘Name’ and ‘Reputation’ are synonymous! In my case, I wanted a clean rep for my sake… I wasn’t thinking of another soul with my desire. It was a long time before I saw the err of my heart. But, God doesn’t make mistakes and he doesn’t think selfishly, does he?

“May the glory of the Lord continue forever!”

The verses of Psalm 23 speak so much of the benefits of ‘being in God’s camp’ that another verse came to mind as I meditated on it: “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits!” -Psalm 103:2. However, I wanted to see the point behind the benefits listed after that verse, so I moved beyond the rest of the “Forget not all his benefits” passage, memorized years ago. This took me to the next, next and next verses… I had to go all the way into the next chapter before the list of the great God does, has done and has created concluded. Psalm 104: 31 at last states: “May the glory of the Lord continue forever! The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!” It is in ‘part A’ of this verse that we get insight to today’s ‘part B’ of Psalm 23:3.

So it is about God’s reputation! He has a reputation of greatness, goodness, mercy, faithfulness, but rather than my going on and on, let’s just say if you could write a list of every good thing in the universe, God’s got a reputation for being everything on it! Yet, because he is perfectly good, we know he is not vain, puffed up or in any other way, conceited. God doesn’t want glory for his sake- in fact the thought is laughable! No, he only wants glory for his name’s sake and there is a humongous difference! Let’s chew on that a bit…

The benefactor of God’s glorified name

If God wanted glory for his personal sake, that would be vanity. But that’s not his goal, is it? He certainly doesn’t need it! God is self-contained in his needs, and therefore, complete without anything we can give him. I have read from others that ‘part B’ of Ps. 23:3 is written so we can know it’s ‘not about us’, but who benefits from God’s reputation being of no reproof? Who benefits from his image being one of splendor and beyond-this-world ability? We do.

We will place confident trust in the glorified reputation of God. His reputation is what causes our faith to skyrocket. The “life more abundantly” Jesus spoke of comes closer and this is one desire he has for us. He also wants us to join him forever in Eternity. Our choosing God through Jesus keeps us safe from false gods that lead to spiritual demise. No one’s more concerned with our spiritual safety than our Creator. After all, he knew my spirit before a body was attached! (Psalm 139:13-16) The more we see, understand and believe the magnificence of his glory, the safer our souls are. “For the sake of his name” means ‘for the sake of our souls’. God doesn’t need additional glory… He already has all there is to have! But he wants the ultimate best for each of us and knows it only comes through him.

Friday Spice

A- Read Psalms 103:2 -104: 30 and then, Psalms 139: 13-16 Revel in what you read.

Does God need anything? Umm...NO. Just get out there and get into God!

B- Get out into God’s Creation and acknowledge his glory in it. This can be via watching the sunset, listening to birds as they start the day, walking along a water’s edge, taking in the sunset, listening to rain…There are as many ways as there are people to read this. So, just get out and get into God.

Jesus was funny.

C- It’s Friday and I want to encourage you to have fun because fun is as necessary to life as salt is to stew! Here’s a link to a video about the HUMOR OF JESUS. And another with some pretty corny Christian jokes...Funny for families and nerdy friends, alike!

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