What’s In A Name? Discover Why It Matters What We Call God

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

What do you think of when you think of God? 

Do you think of someone sitting high in the sky with His majestic fly swatter ready to come down on you when you make a mistake? Or, do you see Him as a loving Father ready to scoop His beloved in His strong arms when you fall down?

How about names? What do you call God? 

God? Lord? Exalted One? Supreme Being? Alpha and Omega? 

He is those things, but He is much more than that.

“The name you know someone by says a lot about the nature of your relationship with that person." - Kong Hee

I like to call Him Heavenly Father because He is my Father. He is not just my creator but my Father. Jesus called God Father and it peeled the paint off some people’s religious notions.

Father can strike up many images.

For some of us, it’s a wise guide showing us the path to success. For some, it may be a stern authoritarian who continually points out our mistakes. For some, it’s the man in their life that was never there.

We tend to relate to God the Father the way we relate to our earthly fathers. That can be good or bad. 

Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash

Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash

I want you to know that our Heavenly Father is NOT your earthly father.

Whether you had an incredible father, a mediocre one or a horrendous one, we have to realize that our Heavenly Father is infinitely greater, unbelievably more loving and well–perfect.

His love for us surpasses our current understanding of love. His love was so great, He gave up His son, Jesus, so that we could have a relationship with Him.

John 3:16 NKJV

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

But, there’s a name that’s even more intimate than Father–it’s Daddy

Romans 8:15 NKJV

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Abba in the Greek means "Father," it’s the term of tender endearment used by a beloved child in an affectionate, dependent relationship with their father as "daddy" ("Papa").

Daddy is the first words many children say. Daddy evokes thoughts of protection, love, and acceptance. I like to think of curling up in my Dad’s lap for story time. 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Even if you never had a Daddy, your heart typically yearns for this relationship at some point.

Before I knew I could call God Father, before I knew my Father loved me unconditionally, I felt like I could never measure up to a perfect God. But, as I’ve studied God’s Word to see His true nature–love–and spent time with Him in prayer, I’ve grown to understand His unconditional love extends to me (and to you) always.

Some days, I still struggle feeling I don't measure up, but I now know it's not my Daddy thinking I can't measure up. It stems from too much value placed on other’s opinions of myself.

I want to take you back to Romans 8:15. It says, “but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’”

Cry out in the original language means to cry out loudly with an urgent scream or shriek, using "inarticulate shouts that express deep emotion.”

Even Jesus, as He sweated blood, CRIED out Abba as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane when He knew the cross was near.

Mark 14:36 NKJV

And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

"Everyone has experienced pain or disappointments. Everyone has known loneliness. Knowing that God is your Abba Father breathes life into your soul, life which pours out onto the people around you like a river." - Kong Hee

When you’re in the middle of pain, disappointment, or hurt. Cry out to your Daddy. Express to Him how deeply you’re feeling. 

Allow your Abba Father to breathe life into your soul. 

Let your Daddy’s love for you fill you to overflowing. I imagine myself climbing up into His lap as he strokes my hair telling me, “It’s going to be okay. I’ve got you.”

This allows you to experience your Daddy on an intimate level. Learning to be cherished by Him. Resting in His love for you. Healing your heart.

Then, what’s amazing is His love spills out of you on to others like a refreshing river filling their souls too.


How do you like to imagine your Heavenly Father, your Daddy?


 Sit, Walk, Stand by Watchman Nee *

The Top Two Beliefs That Make Unconditional Love Conditional blog post by Heather L Bunch

Is God The Ultimate Scrooge? blog post by Heather L Bunch

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