The 3rd of the Ten Commandments declares, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” As you read the Bible there are many ways in which we misuse God’s name. It’s more than just using the Lord’s name in vain or frivolously. The way we live can also misuse His name. How?
Well, if we say we’re God’s children, that we belong to Him, we are then identifying ourselves with His name. If our lives are characterized by behavior contrary to the character of God then we reflect negatively on His name. In the words of Ezekiel, repeated a number of times in chapter 36:16-23, we disgrace or profane the name of God. God was concerned because the conduct of the Israelites profaned His name. When He disciplined them He did it first and foremost “for the sake of my holy name.”
Isaiah 36:23 declares, “I will show the holiness of my great name.” God works in our hearts so that those who observe our lives will recognize that God’s name represents holiness. This is true when He disciplines us. It’s also true when He does a new work in our lives. Later in Ezekiel 36 God says He will cleanse them and give them a new heart. He’ll remove their heart of stone. He’ll put His Spirit in them and enable them to live holy lives. He said, “you will be my people, and I will be your God.”
God wants us to enjoy a full and fruitful life, but more than anything, He wants our lives to be lived in a way that honors His name, not profanes it.