“I am the maker of the Heavens, I am the bright and morning star
I am the breath of all Creation, Who always was and is to come…
I am the One who walked on water, I am the One who calmed the seas
I am the miracles and wonders…
I am the fount of living water, the risen Son of man, the healer of the broken
And when you cry, I am your savior and redeemer, Who bore the sins of man
The author and perfecter, beginning and the end, I am…
I am the spirit deep inside you, I am the word upon your heart,
I am the One who even knew you before your birth, before you were…
Before the Earth (I am)
The universe (I am)
In every heart (I am)
Oh, where you are (I am)
The Lord of lords (I am)
The King of Kings (I am)
The Holy lamb (I am)”
(Mark Schultz – I Am lyrics)
I’m a robber this month. I don’t mean an evil kind of robber, but let’s just say I’m borrowing other people’s wisdom. I’m ‘borrowing’ the Mark Schultz lyric above and adding writings from a book I’ve been reading written by Passion speaker, Louie Giglio. The book is called I Am Not, But I Know I Am. It’s a title that attracted me. Actually, when I first saw the book on one of those swap book sites I kept trying to figure out what is that book about? I thought it might be kind of an ‘I am not, but I know I am’ self-awareness book; you know, one of those goofy books that center us on us, instead of Christ. You know, a book about ‘I’m a little crazy here so I do not exist and yet I know I do exist’, something silly like that. Actually, when I got into the book, I discovered it was even more interesting and thoughtful than my imagination. I’m sure Louie wouldn’t mind if I shared a little of the book with you (at least I hope not!)… You know the story, God asked Moses to go to Pharaoh and Moses wanted a little confirmation here, a bit more to go on. God gives Moses an answer: ‘I will be with you!’ Moses still looked for more. What would he tell Pharaoh about the God that was sending him? God said to tell Pharaoh that I Am that I Am, tell them I Am sent you. I’m sure Moses must have thought: Oh, Yeah! Could I get a little more to work with here? I’m talking to the One who created the universe, being told to go to the most powerful man on earth, and I get ‘I Am that I Am’. Sure, I’ll just tell Pharaoh I Am sent me. Right, that will impress Pharaoh. That will do it, sure!
But somewhere along the way, Moses got it. It’s the name of God and implies present tense and an active form of the verb to Be. God was telling Moses He was unchanging, constant, unending, always present, always God. Giglio goes further: God was telling Moses I Am the center of everything, I Am running the show, I Am the same every day, forever, I Am the owner of everything, I Am the Lord, I Am the Creator and Sustainer of Life, I Am the Savior, I Am more than enough, I Am inexhaustible and immeasurable, I Am God (Moses, I Am will be with you! You don’t need anything else!)…Giglio goes further, if God’s name is I Am, Moses’ name must be I am not. I am not the center of everything, I am not in control, I am not the solution, I am not all-powerful, I am not calling the shots, I am not the owner of anything, I am not the Lord,…I am not running anything, I am not head of anything, I am not in charge of anything, I am not the maker, I am not the savior, I am not holding it all together, I am not all-knowing, I am not God…God continued, ‘This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation’…God wanted Moses to know that not only would He remain the same, His name would endure to every generation that would inhabit earth-even to our generation, mine and yours.
That is profound to me. We spend days, months and years trying to study the Bible to know better the heart of God but the essence of that exchange between Moses and I Am sometimes gets lost in the searching. I Am. Is that enough to go on? Is it enough to sustain us? Is I Am the most important thing we can learn? Pretty interesting questions I think. I know that over the years I’ve become more and more confident that I Am is in my life every day. That I Am is present and active not only in my life but in my family’s and friends’ lives and all believers’ lives. There are Fingerprints in each.
We can see the hand of God, the Fingerprints of I Am, on so much of what has happened to us here at the station and in our lives. Recently, we received a contribution from a local business from Saline County. I wrote them a letter and indicated that I was not sure what the contribution was intended for but I was sure that it would play an important and necessary role in the next few months of sharing the message of God for WBVN listeners. Two days later that terrible ‘inland hurricane’ took the station off the air for 6 days! (The longest time we have ever been off the air in the 20 year history of this ministry.) We lost our power source at the transmitter site from Friday until Thursday. And now, I can say with some confidence, ‘Never again’. I can say that, because of that business’s generosity. With their contribution we were able to order a propane stand-by generator. It will not only power the transmitter for our broadcast during power outages, it will turn itself on and off in a moment’s notice of power having been lost. That has the fingerprint of I Am on it. We have a twenty year history of that kind of evidence of God. We’ve not had a need for that type of equipment until now; however, after this winter’s ice storms and this spring’s wind storm, we realize to continue to bring the ‘uninterrupted’ Love of God over WBVN, we needed to secure a power source that would more firmly give us the opportunity of FM 104.5, to be there no matter the weather conditions.
I had someone come up to me at the beginning of the recovery from the storm and ask if we were up and running. That was on Sunday and I had to tell him we were not. His response to my statement hit me between the eyes, ‘But we need you more now than before the storm!’ Well! That simplified the situation. Fortunately, a friend of the station, one that really didn’t like having WBVN off-air, took up the effort to research back-up generator options and brought me the material to work with. That effort and the contribution just received two days before the storm, was enough to convince me I was seeing the Fingerprints of I Am right in front of me.
I have all kinds of beliefs about God. All are heartfelt and all have been searched out- some are even probably right! However, none are as important as knowing I Am is present and with me no matter the situation, no matter whether I understand the situation, or even if the situation is not one I want to be in. That’s the first thing that Moses needed to know and the only thing that Moses needed to know to follow the purpose of God.
The literal translation I Am is simply ‘Be’. God is and He’s with us, always. What we do not understand, He makes up for, being with us. What we do not do, He makes up for, being always present. What we get wrong, He makes away for, never leaving us. What we do not see, He makes up for, because we know He is our Light in any darkness. When we do not have enough, He is enough. That’s the definition of our Faith, I Am makes up the difference, I Am is the all in all. What we do not know, we have I Am to trust in. What does not feel good, I Am still has His hand out to grab ours and lead the way. Now when I read the title of Giglio’s book (I Am Not, but I Know I Am) I hear him say, I am not anything, but I know the I Am! And just as Louie points out in the book, God is ‘Be.’ Not good grammar, but great theology.