COVID-19 has revealed many different things to all of us. For some it has brought new appreciation for family time, for others it has been a jumpstart to reach goals physically or professionally. But maybe, some of you, like me have also sensed a new and more profound need for peace in this chaotic world. Daily news headlines are dramatically proclaiming doom and despair over our nation and our future and for many of us, it's becoming increasingly difficult to focus on the promises of God. We long to feel Him near and see Him at work and if we’re honest there are days we don’t see the evidence of His hand in our lives the way our hearts desire to.
As we move into installment six, I want to remind you of Proverbs 18:10, the verse we meditated on together the first week of this series, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” In response to the uncertainty and challenges you are facing will you choose to once again run into the strong tower of His presence with me this week as we study His name El Elyon? Remember, the more we know Him the more we can trust Him with everything we face today and our hopes for tomorrow. Only when we are focused on Him, giving Him all of our attention will we truly find His peace and enter into His rest!
El Elyon is the Sovereign God in whom we can put our complete trust. He has absolute supremacy over all false gods and He is greater than anything that will ever come against you. The prefix El comes from Elohim, “strong creator.” Elyon is “highest” or “most” – it denotes the superlative degree as in high, higher, and highest. Elyon means that the Lord is “God of gods” or the “ultimate God.” This is the Great Name at which the powers of darkness tremble.
El Elyon being The Most High God denotes the presence of “lesser gods” that are often worshipped in our lives. My prayer for all of us this week is that we will identify and renounce anything that takes our eyes and attention from worshipping our God and finding our peace, rest and safety in Him alone. May we know Him and trust Him more by running into the strong tower of His Powerful Name El Elyon!
His Name El Elyon Reveals His Power Over The Enemy:
Isaiah 14:12-15 How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.' But instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.
In the verses preceding this passage (Isaiah 14:1-3) God makes some powerful promises to His people. He tells them He is going to bring them home from their captivity, make them rulers over their enemy and give them rest from sorrow, fear, slavery and their chains. He is promising them His peace and safety from all threats against them! Now, in verses 12-14 the King of Babylon is prefigured as our enemy and his demise is promised in the presence of El Elyon!
Rest assured that your enemy still knows God’s name, El Elyon, and is terrified of it. Your enemy recognizes that you serve the God of Isaiah 14 who has already defeated him. El Elyon is far more powerful than any weapon formed against you. Your enemy knows that he has no authority over you when you are focused on and claiming this powerful name.
Today, I encourage you to read all of Isaiah chapter 14 and give your attention to the power of El Elyon in your life. Claim His authority and protection over your life and thank Him in advance for being your safe place and your strong tower of defense. Praise Elyon for His absolute sovereignty and power over our world and your life. Reject any fear or anxiousness you may be fighting and claim El Elyon’s promise to defeat any weapon the enemy has formed against you (Isaiah 54:17).
In what area of your life do you need to see the power of El Elyon today? Are you living like the enemy is already defeated in your life? If not, what lie, shame or fear do you need to reject so you can stand in this truth? You may not feel it or see it today but His victory is a promise you need to claim! Just as your enemy was brought down by El Elyon in this passage he is rendered powerless in your life every time you acknowledge the power of this name. Don’t focus on your circumstances, challenges or the state of the world around you and believe the lie you are defeated. Instead focus on the overwhelming victory that is yours in the name of El Elyon!
His Name El Elyon Reveals He Specializes in the “Impossible”:
Genesis 14:17-20 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand."
The backstory preceding this passage is truly incredible. In Genesis Chapter 12 God has called Abram to leave his home with the promise He would raise up a great nation through him. In Chapter 13 we see that Lot (Abram’s nephew) and Abram have become extremely wealthy with vast herds of animals. In fact, their flocks are so huge they need to divide them and move apart because the land couldn't sustain them living together. In chapter 14 we find Lot caught in the crosshairs of an epic battle (4 kings against 5) that ultimately led to his capture and the loss of all his land and possessions.
When Abram hears that Lot has become a prisoner of war he marches with only 318 men and goes to war against the massive armies of four kings who have defeated the five armies they have been warring against! Abram and his small posse surround and attach their enemy in the middle of the night. Ultimately, they chase them off, defeat them and not only rescue Lot but all the other captives and all the goods and possessions that had been stolen as well!
This is an “impossible” victory that was claimed by a man who knew the power of El Elyon! Here in Genesis 14:17-20 we see that He is given all the credit He is due for His power and faithfulness. Abram was able to step out in faith, trusting El Elyon to defeat his enemies because he remembered the promises God had made to him in Chapter 12. He trusted El Elyon, choosing to go to war with only 318 men against a massive army because he knew his God was capable of what he couldn’t even fathom.
What feels impossible in your life? What area of your life do you need to surrender control so El Elyon can fight for you? El Elyon still specializes in the “impossible” and longs to reveal His heart for you as you choose to relinquish control and allow Him to lead, guide, protect and provide for you. He promises to show up and fight your battles for you. He is able to accomplish more than you can ask, think or imagine as you (Ephesians 3:20) keep your eyes on Him and claim the power of His mighty name, El Elyon!
His Name El Elyon Reveals He is Glorified in Our Humility:
Daniel 4:34-35 After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever. His rule is everlasting, and his kingdom is eternal. All the people of the earth are nothing compared to him. He has the power to do as he pleases among the angels of heaven and with those who live on earth. No one can stop him or challenge him, saying, 'What do you mean by doing these things?
In the verses preceding this passage King Nebuchadnezzar has a vivid dream and calls on Daniel to interpret it for him. Daniel is greatly perplexed and grieved at it’s meaning but tells the King that he will be driven from human society, living in the fields with the wild animals, eating grass like a cow. Daniel implores the King to repent and turn from his sin so he might continue to prosper but his advice goes unheeded and exactly a year later everything Daniel had prophesied came true. Nebuchadnezzar lived like a wild animal until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.
In His mercy God restores Nebuchadnezzar and, as this passage makes clear, he is radically transformed. The King is humbled before God, realizing all he has is a gift and all power and authority belong to El Elyon. A once proud man who took credit for his title, wealth and kingdom is brought low before the one true God and realizes He is truly the only one who is in control and sovereign over all of His creation.
Ezekiel 28:11-17 records the story of the enemy’s fall from Heaven and it mirrors this story of King Nebuchadnezzar. Our enemy didn’t want to be like God, he wanted to be God. He was expelled from Heaven for the same reason this King was relegated to live like an animal. Pride. Pride is insidious and evil. It takes our eyes off El Elyon and causes us to exalt ourselves, thinking we deserve credit or accolades that belong only to our God!
What are you tempted to take credit for? What do you need to give back to El Elyon in humility? Everything you have and all that you are is a gift from God. The manifestation of truly claiming the power of El Elyon in your life is humility. If you know Him as the Most High God, your life will show it! Conversely, If you don’t know Him as El Elyon you will be tempted like Nebuchadnezzar to operate in pride, believing the lie you have accomplished your successes on your own. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any pride in your life. Claim the truth that you can do nothing apart from Him and everything you have is His. Give Him credit, thanks and praise for all He has done in you, for you and through you. Die to your pride and surrender to Him fully today. Choose to receive the same joy and freedom King Nebuchadnezzar experienced when he surrendered his pride and humbly proclaimed the sovereignty, power and authority of El Elyon over his heart and life!
This week prayerfully reflect on Mark 5:1-8: So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the land of the Gerasenes. Just as Jesus was climbing from the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit ran out from a cemetery to meet him. This man lived among the tombs and could not be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles-- as he often was-- he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to control him. All day long and throughout the night, he would wander among the tombs and in the hills, screaming and hitting himself with stones. When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him. He ran to meet Jesus and fell down before him. He gave a terrible scream, shrieking, "Why are you bothering me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? For God's sake, don't torture me!" For Jesus had already said to the spirit, "Come out of the man, you evil spirit."
Respond to the following questions:
According to this passage does your enemy know God as El Elyon? How does knowing this impact your perspective and/or your relationship with Him (God)
How have you experienced Him as El Elyon in your life already? How do you hope to see Him at work in your life this week?
Confess and reject any fear in your life. Write your confession and commitment to reject here...
Each day this week meditate on Psalm chapter 91. In your prayer journal write how you see El Elyon at work in your life and circumstances on a daily basis (i.e. how do you see His power, protection, authority, suprem- acy, and sovereignty?)
Powerful El Elyon, thank you for your complete authority over my enemy. Thank you that I don’t have to be anxious or afraid no matter what is happening in the world around me because I know and trust that you are sovereign and in control. Thank you for being the God of the impossible, I ask you to do impossible things in and through my life for your glory! Thank you for all you have done and all you have given me. I reject all pride and humbly claim that you are The Most High God over every area of my life - all that I am and all that I possess is from you and for you. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, Amen!