Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I Am Because He Is!

I am because He is!......girded with strength and might and joy. 

I’m really nervous. I feel very intimidated. I can’t do this. Have those statements ever come out of your mouth? If they have, then why? 

While attending a writer’s conference, I uttered those words as I prepared to speak with an editor about my book idea. A friend heard me and quickly adjusted my thoughts. She declared that I was having an identity crisis, and suddenly I understood. Without thinking I pronounced inadequacy over my life, speaking aloud a negative influence. Why? What possessed me to speak with a defeatist attitude? In one weak moment, I forgot who I am. I forgot Whose I am. I forgot Who called me to write for Him.

The identity crisis I was having—it’s called pride. Yes, you heard me—pride. Pride occurs when you’re focused on yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re arrogant or insecure, pride centers on self, not God. My attention turned inward instead of upward and I felt inadequate. Well, of course, I did. I can do nothing without Him, but with Him, I can do all things (Phil. 4:13). 

We’ve all experienced some sort of pride during the course of our lives; we’ve had those conceited moments as well as unassertive ones. Even the great patriarchs of the Bible suffered from too much self-consciousness. Moses, the human deliverer of the Israelites, came up against pride when God called him from the midst of a burning bush that did not burn up. It happened while he was pasturing his father-in-law’s flocks. God appeared to him in that bush and the following conversation ensued.

God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:4-11 (NASB)
Alright, let’s mull over this dialogue between God and Moses. The Creator God of the universe called Moses by name from a bush that burned without burning up. That in itself is a miracle. God explained who He was to Moses which frightened him. God told Moses that He had seen the sufferings of the captive Israelites in Egypt and had heard their cry. (Moses fled from Egypt after killing an Egyptian for beating an Israelite. Moses understood what God was talking about. If interested, read Exodus 1-2 for some background.) The God who knew all things chose Moses to bring the afflicted Israelites out of Egypt. But doubts in Moses’ mind rose up and he questioned his identity, having a momentary crisis. He obviously forgot God’s identity until God spoke to him again saying, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.” Exodus 3:12

Moses then responded saying, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” (vs.13)

God answered saying, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (vs. 14) 

God called Himself “I AM” which is a reference to His eternal, omnipotent sovereignty. So if He is all-powerful, couldn’t He infuse Moses (and us, for that matter) with His power? God continued to tell Moses what to say to the Israelites, including His identity and His plans for them, and it was good. (If interested, read the rest of the chapter or even the complete book of Exodus to hear God proclaim His plans of success.) 

Like Moses, we can have an identity crisis, forgetting who we are and whose we are. When the Great I AM calls us by name, we can choose to follow or not. We can answer Him with our selfish pride or with His certain power. We can choose to stay in our own circumstances or we can rise about them in the power of His name. 

Jesus, God’s Son, used the name “I AM” many times.* If we receive and believe in the Great I AM through Jesus Christ, we become empowered. He becomes all things to us, filling us with His strength and capability. Like Moses, what we accomplish in His name will succeed and bring Him glory.

Like Moses, I choose to remember who I am and whose I am. God is my God. Jesus is my Savior. He rescued me from my sins and declared me clean. He says I am His child, His daughter. I am a child of the King. I am empowered with His Holy Spirit. Why should I be afraid? Why should I feel insecure? With confidence, I will praise Him using the words of David from Psalm 65.

There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God,
And to You the vow will be performed. 
O You who hear prayer,
To You all men come.
Iniquities prevail against me;
As for our transgressions, You forgive them.
How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You
To dwell in Your courts.
We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Your holy temple.

By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation,
You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea;
Who establishes the mountains by His strength,
Being girded with might;
Who stills the roaring of the seas,
The roaring of their waves,
And the tumult of the peoples.
They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs;
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.

You visit the earth and cause it to overflow;
You greatly enrich it;
The stream of God is full of water;
You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.
You water its furrows abundantly,
You settle its ridges,
You soften it with showers,
You bless its growth.
You have crowned the year with Your bounty,
And Your paths drip with fatness.
The pastures of the wilderness drip,
And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.
The meadows are clothed with flocks
And the valleys are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, yes, they sing.

And with the words of David, I will lift my voice in prayer:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way. 
Psalm 139:23 (NASB)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. 
Psalm 19:14 (NASB)

*Below are the words of Jesus, the Great I AM. 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies. John 11:25 (NIV)
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NIV)

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