We’re studying the name El Elyon, God Most High, in Teaching and Worship this week. Like Joanne writes in the beginning of the study guide, the name El Elyon tells us that nothing exists above God. All power, glory, and authority are His alone. Implicit in this statement is one challenging realization. Everyone and everything in my life should come under El Elyon. Which begs the question, are we living like that’s true? Is El Elyon, God Most High in our everyday lives? Is He the highest authority in our families, in our schedule, and how we spend our money?
As you work through your study guide this week, keep that question simmering on the back burner of your mind. Write it on the top of your study guide this week. Is God really El Elyon to you? He is a jealous God; He wants all of us. But he’s also gentle, he will highlight missteps with compassion and tenderness. Simply put, this week we’ll be doing the hard, but necessary work of dethroning our idols.
I think the best way to identify our idols, is to bring them face to face with El Elyon. We need to remind ourselves of the one true God. We need to fix our eyes on him. We need to exalt Him and let our minds center and linger on Him for a while. We need to remember what God has done for his people. We need to bolster our faith by encountering God in the pages of scripture.
What scriptures make your heart swell with love for God? You could go almost anywhere in the Bible and be dazzled by the God who speaks in the pages! Which scripture is God calling to mind today? Are you pulled to Elohim, present at creation? Or the miracles of the Exodus; the times in the Old Testament where Jehovah literally shielded his people from his presence?
You could go to the Psalms. El Elyon is mentioned 19 times in the book of Psalms. Psalm 57 says, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, til the storms of destruction pass by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me.”
You could go to the prophets, and trace those red threads, those details foretold hundreds of years before the Messiah would walk the earth. You could remind yourself that El Elyon’s plan for redemption was in motion despite generations of oppression, exile, and silence from heaven. He was in it all, and above it all.
Wherever you go, I hope you camp out for a few minutes on Jesus Christ himself. Jesus is fully God and fully man. He is God Most high. And yet, Jesus, the exalted one, descended for you and for me. That’s something no lesser God would do. Jesus humbled himself and become a man. He humbled himself again, becoming a servant to all, and yet again, when he died on the cross. He paid the price for sin that you and I couldn’t pay.
Jesus’ sacrifice, his disregard for the glory he rightly deserved, and his sacrificial love, make me love him all the more. Jesus, the humble man has won my heart. He has knit my heart to my Heavenly Father’s heart. And now that Jesus is exalted, and ruling and reigning again, I want to be in the eternal chorus of angels and saints exalting him higher with my praise. Jesus is El Elyon. All lesser gods must bow to him.
El Elyon, search my heart this week. Show me where I stray from you. Help me turn from lesser idols and embrace you wholeheartedly. Let my life reflect how great and mighty you are.