Taking Back Oh My God For His Glory
“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
The G.D. cussword combination was a big no-no in my family growing up. It was the early 90s and this cuss word was pretty commonplace in movies and even occasionally on T.V. It was considered one of the least offensive. Certainly not as bad as the "F" word. But in my family, it was just as bad as the "F" word. Maybe worse.
Looking back I realize my parents were right. The way we use God's name says a lot about how we think and feel about Him. When we love and respect someone we are sensitive to how their name is used. So why not God's?
OMG is so commonplace in our world now that we have T-shirts, stickers, and coffee mugs with this. It's used to be funny and it is not always used negatively. Often times it is an expression of something excitingly good. But should this make it normal?
I would say no because God says not to. But after doing some research about how this saying started, I would not only say no, I would say we are missing something big here.
Oh My God is the first line of the Act of Contrition prayer. A prayer that expresses sorrow for our sins. It was used especially in connection with an examination of conscience. One we could use to turn back toward God, and deepen our relationship with Him.
When I think about this new information in connection with my knowledge that our Enemy is always trying to disconnect us from God, I think making OMG commonplace is not as benign as we may think.
All the power we have to overcome our sinful nature, heal from the past, be forgiven, love others well, and walk in our callings comes from God's power living inside of us. No wonder the Enemy does everything in his power to keep us away from God. That schemer has always used things that seem totally harmless to trick us into disobedience and move us away from God. Like an apple, perhaps?
Let's defeat our enemy's trick by doing something fun that refocuses this common place misuse of God's name. Let's purposely refocus on Him every time I accidentally say, or almost say, or hear other people use OMG. Will you join me?
Below, I have listed a whole bunch of prayers and Psalms that start with "O God", or "My God" or "O Lord." I am going to try and memorize at least the first line, so that when I say, almost say, or hear someone say OMG, I can think of one of them that fits with the situation and speak the Lord's words, glorifying His name instead of using it in vain. I hope you'll join me!
Drink from the Well:
Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me because of your unfailing love.
Let them see that this is your doing,
that you yourself have done it, Lord.
Psalm 109 is a Psalm of David. He was praying for deliverance against false accusers. How often do we use OMG when someone does something against us, or when someone tells us about something someone else did to them? This prayer would be a great one to repeat when we feel falsely accused, rejected, or harmed by another person.
Read the whole Psalm, and seek to memorize vs. 26-27.
Psalm 63: 1
O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
Psalm 63 is another Psalm of David. He wrote this one while in the wilderness of Judah. How often do we say OMG when life's circumstances seem so overwhelming we know that we cannot get through without some outside help?
Psalm 63 is a great Psalm to pray when we are overwhelmed. Read this whole Psalm and seek to memorize verse 1.
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you.
Psalm 84 is a psalm for corporate worship of the greatness of our God. Often OMG is used for a good thing. This happened to me just this week. One of my friends who we have been praying for fertility for more than two year told me she is pregnant. I could barely register the awe that wanted me to pronounce OMG. But better yet, Oh Lord of Heavens Armies, what joy for those who trust in you!
Read all of Psalm 84. Verse 12 is the last verse and seek to memorize it.
Break Up with the World:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
The truth is we use (or almost use) OMG in situations where life is surprising to us. It could be surprisingly good, or shockingly bad. In all of these circumstances, we need God. We need His help or we need to praise Him for His help.
Let's break up with the world's usage of OMG, and use it instead to do what Paul told the church at Philippi - Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.
Let's Pray: Lord, you are the creator of all things. You hold the whole world in your hands and we need you. We need you in all circumstances we find ourselves in. Thank you that you are also Emmanuel - God with us. Help us to learn to turn toward you in all these circumstances as we learn not to use your name in vain, but to use it because you are what we need in all things. Thank you for your relentless pursuit of us. In Jesus's name, Amen.