I AM …
God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” ~ Exodus 3:14 (NLT)
“I AM WHO I AM” I have heard this name for God, mentioned so many times growing up in church. I’ve heard numerous sermons on it, but just recently, God has really begun to shift my perspective on what that name means for me right now.
Since I knew how to pray, as in as far back as my memory will go, there has been one major prayer request that I have been praying for. To be honest, the request has not been completely answered yet. Now, don’t get me wrong, God has definitely been working on it and there have been MANY, MANY, MANY miracles on the way, but there is still a major issue that I am still praying for God to deal with. Waiting so long for God to grant your prayer requests can do one of two things to your faith. It can cause you to grow weary and give up or strengthen your faith and cause you to rely on God even more. In the midst of the trials, it does not feel like my faith is being strengthened, but no matter how long I have waited or will wait, I choose
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. ~ James 1:2-4 (NLT)
James teaches us that there is something to be gained from difficult times and in fact our faith can benefit from these harsh times in our life. Look at testing times like this: Imagine you were someone who hated the gym, hated working out and never did exercise. You felt like you didn’t fit in and everyone who went to the gym was vain and self-absorbed. It just wasn’t your type of place. Let’s say that your health starts to decline in a major way, and you have to go to the gym now, to get your body in shape and healthy again. When you first start working out, when you have a low fitness level, it is very, very difficult and you almost immediately want to quit. You hate going to the gym because it is so uncomfortable and it’s a new environment for you. It will take a while, and for some longer than others, for you to start to see the benefits of going to the gym and for you to start enjoying the gym. But, the longer you stick it out and keep pressing through, the more built your body will become, and most importantly, your mindset towards it will change. The workouts will still challenge you, but you will keep going because you understand the benefits. This is what difficult times are to our faith. The tough times are the workouts and the faith,
We can have moments where we are down and crying out to God if He still cares, but like Job, in the midst of the hardest moments of our life declare that ‘I know that my redeemer lives’ (Job 19:25) and recount all of God’s goodness and mercies (I Samuel 17:37). Reminding yourself of what God has done in the past, gives you grounding for your faith, that God will do it again. At the same time, life can get so difficult that you honestly have no faith left and no strength. You are just beyond broken and burnout and cannot even utter a prayer out of your mouth. If that is you, I want you to know that Jesus still loves and cares about you. Even when you cannot carry yourself, Jesus will carry you. Sometimes we do not have the strength to hold onto anything, and that is okay because Jesus will hold onto you!
I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. ~ Isaiah 46:4 (NLT)
I don’t know about everyone, but for me, when I am going through something it is very hard to surrender the worry and give it all over to God and leave it. I am like an annoying child that is constantly checking on God and checking on the progress of God’s promises. Even more, I want God to solve my problems my way and on my time.
Lately, I have been needing God to show up in my life as ‘the consuming fire,’ ‘the might warrior’ and ‘the lion of the tribe of Judah.’ I want God to act and act immediately. Now, God is all these things and more, and is more than worthy of all these names. However, we don’t get to choose how God reveals himself to us in each season. All these names that have been given to God over the course of the bible times, were peoples ways of naming how God had revealed himself to them. When God provided for Abraham, He became Jehovah Jireh, (Genesis 22: 14 KJV) When he God wan a battle for the child of Israel, He became Jehovah Nissin which means the Lord is my banner. (Exodus 17:15 NLT) God was always these things, but the people had to go through a rough season to get their revelation of who God is. I say all that to say, that I have been wanting God to reveal himself to me in a particular way, the God that fights all my battles and kills and destroys all my enemies etc. However, I cannot choose which revelation of God I want to experience, He comes as He is, and I experience Him as He comes. Despites what I want God to do in my situation, I have felt God prompting me that right now, that he just wants me to be still. He is revealing himself to be as the ‘be still and know that I am God’ God. (Psalm 46:10) It is so hard for me. I have so many ways and methods of how God can resolve my problems, yet he wants me to ‘be still.’
I am not writing this post, from the other side whether everything is resolved. I am writing this right in the middle of my trials. I want to encourage you, to accept God’s revelation of himself and experience Him, the way He is calling you to experience Him. If God is calling you to take action on a matter and you want to just leave it and ‘be still,’ take action. If God is calling you to ‘be still’ on a matter and you want to take action, be still. It is hard, but just know that you are not alone, and I am praying for you. Trust God in all things and follow His leading. He is the I AM that I AM, but he chooses how He reveals himself.
Stay Blessed x