The song ‘I am what I am’ became a huge hit for Gloria Gaynor back in 1983. It’s a song that proclaims individual liberty and freedom by focussing on self. Self-help and self-affirmation groups are incredibly popular and one quick internet search released 112 million sites designated to the concept. Perhaps their popularity lies in the assertion of a positive identity over ourselves and that’s good and right but in doing so, apparently denies the positive identity we have already been given in and by God himself. It is when we forget this that so many problems can arise. Take a look at Genesis 3 to see where that ignorance can take you.
Last week’s reading focused on the new name and heavenly identity that Jesus gave Simon once he had realised and declared the truth of who Jesus is. Simon became Peter; a name loaded with significance for his future and for the life that God had ordained for him to live. Today we are reminded of the name of God himself and how, like Simon, once we know it and own it for ourselves it has the power to transform our lives for ever.
Like Moses, sometimes God does things in our lives to gain our attention. It’s interesting to ponder just how many times we may have missed those appointments with God or ignored His voice or His intervention. Look at how Moses responds. He investigates. We might choose to ignore it but Moses chooses to seek it out – ‘I will go over’. As soon as God sees his response He moves up a level and speaks to Moses and Moses responds. The fact that Moses listens is very significant as it suggests a lifetime of being taught about God and the heritage that Moses and the Hebrew people have in Him. Be mindful then of how important it is that our children are introduced and matured in that critical truth.
God reveals His mission for Moses and it is at that point that Moses hesitates and enters into his first expression of reluctance, for there are several more to come, but notice why that occurs. ‘Who am I, that I should go …’ It is as soon as Moses focuses on himself rather than on who God has made him to be that fear and doubt begin to take hold. The truth is that in God, Moses is everything he needs to be otherwise God would not have trusted this mission to him. God has made Moses and knows and sees his destiny but for that to be released Moses must understand the truth behind the one who asks him. Note the promise God gives him. God promises to be with Moses … (Yeah!) but the sign of that being so will be at the end when everything is accomplished. Hmmmm – maybe not quite what Moses was wanting to hear! God is asking Moses to trust Him, to work with Him, to walk with Him into victory; and that trust and that faith must be rooted in the identity of God himself.
‘I AM who I AM’. God identifies himself as ‘I AM’ 719 times in the Bible – 508 of those in the Old Testament. ‘I AM: …. The God of your father … the Lord …The one who comforts you … the one who is … I AM God … In the New Testament Jesus states: ‘I AM’: … the bread of life, the light of the world, the gate, the resurrection and the life, the way and the truth, the true vine, the beginning and the end, your salvation, … I am with you always.
Basically … I AM everything you need … I’ve got it covered, now and always and if the answer doesn’t exist .. I’ll create it!
I wonder where you need God to be the great ‘I AM’ in your lives today. Seek Him. Talk to Him. Trust Him. For in Him, we are who we were created to be & have everything we need.
With the Lord’s Blessing
Rev Dave Clark
Vicar of the Benefice of Upper Wensleydale