I’m not the biggest NBA basketball fan. I prefer the college basketball game simply because of the tempo and excitement compressed into a 36 to 40 game season as opposed to an 80 to 90 game NBA season. I don’t usually watch professional basketball games until the playoffs. But, I do watch many college hoops games throughout the season, especially after January when football is over.
That being said, I will admit that I was one of the millions who tuned in to see LeBron James announce his decision to play basketball in Miami beginning next season. It was astonishing to hear a professional athlete say that he was willing to take less money to win a championship. We’re not talking about a measly few million, Mr. James will be giving up at least $30 million dollars in hopes of winning an NBA title. That’s not a guarantee either. He could go to Miami, play with his superstar friends and never win a title. But, he certainly increased his chances by leaving Cleveland to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to form what could be one of the most dominant teams in NBA history.
So, why, you might ask am I beginning my first blog in several days with something you already know? Well, because of one little statement that LeBron James made during his announcement. When asked a question about how he made his decision to join the Heat, LeBron gave several factors that went into making the decision. One person that he gave credit to was “the Man upstairs.” It was a brief salute to God that may have gone completely unnoticed by most people. But those statements always catch my attention, especially when they are made by professional athletes.
You see, I love it when God gets the glory for even the smallest thing. I’m not suggesting that LeBron James is a Christian although that is entirely possible. But, I’m always intrigued when an athlete or movie star or any other celebrity makes reference to “the Man upstairs.” What does it really mean to refer to the Creator of the universe as “the Man upstairs?”
Usually when you hear that term, the person is speaking of God the Father. Although, since Jesus is “upstairs” seated beside the Father, they could be referencing Him as well. But why is the term “the Man upstairs” used to describe a holy God? Couldn’t we just use His proper name Jehovah or how about calling him God Almighty or for that matter just call Him Lord? I marvel at how afraid some people are to just let God be…well…GOD! He IS you know.
He is the Great I AM…He is eternal Father…Jehovah Jireh…Creator of everything. He always has been and always will be. He’s never had a beginning and will never have an end. He’s not just upstairs, He’s EVERYWHERE at all times. He fills everything with His presence continually. In Him is no weakness or shadow of turning. He is perfect love and perfectly just in all He does. He never had a creator but He created all things for His good pleasure…including you and me!
I absolutely love to hear God called by name. He is worthy of being recognized by name…not just by title. After all, He allowed Himself to put on mortal flesh in the form of His son, Jesus so that He could restore relationship with us, His creation. Jesus came that we might have life with the Father eternally and that is reason enough to understand that we can now have a relationship with Him. We will soon spend eternity with the Savior of the world, the Holy One, the Lilly of the Valley and the bright and morning Star. But do we dare call Him by name when we pray or even when we reference such a holy, holy, holy God? YES!!
I love it when my wife Janice speaks my name. Since we have children, I don’t get to hear her call my name often since she always refers to me as daddy around them. But when we’re alone and no one else is around, I love to hear her sweet voice call my name…Jack. I believe Yeshua loves to hear His name too! I believe we have that privilege as His brothers and sisters, the privilege to just speak His name…Jesus.
Let me encourage you to call Him by name, especially when you pray. I sometimes think we reference Him as simply “God” too often without ever mentioning His name. We are blessed to have a real relationship with Jehovah God and I’m sure He loves to hear us call His name. I know it may seem strange when you pray but go ahead and let our Father know how much He means to you. Brag on Him with those you know by calling Him Jehovah or Yahweh. Explain to them that He is more than just a god or some far off deity. He is Father, Lord, Savior and King. Not simply “the man upstairs.”
Oh, and remember…there is only One King…and He doesn’t play for the Miami Heat!