[reprinted from September 14, 2010]
Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you;’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and he said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:13-14 (WEB)
Have you ever wondered why God calls Himself “I AM”? Obviously, God could call Himself whatever He wanted to call Himself! The name does not give much in the way of description, does it?
It occurs to me as I consider the phrase “I AM” that it gives me a clue about God and one of His great mysteries – time. As a finite person it is difficult for me to even try to understand ‘eternity’ or ‘forever.’ And I have thought about ‘eternity.’ I have been to Europe and seen buildings that were built in the 6th century and wept as I considered all the people who had walked on the same steps that I now stood. But ‘eternity’ makes 1400 years seem like nothing!
The Lord speaks His name in the present tense. Is there something to learn from that?
The Past: The past can be a comfortable place. Good memories. Old friends. Learn from history so that I do not repeat it! But the past is also a place that is easy to get stuck. I rarely think about the past that I do not consider some different turns I could have taken. Regrets. Mistakes made always give birth to a regret and a wish that I could have made a different choice. God did not say, “I WAS,” did He? I know that God has always been and He knows those mistakes; those secret sins of my past. But God extends His forgiveness and then separates me from my sins forever (Psalm 103:12).
The Future: The future can be a place of hope when I think of the future as my home in heaven. The future here is so many unknowns with problems and fears straight out of headlines and sound bites. Many pray that peace and unity will come but that doesn’t seem to be characteristic of the world that satan wants to rule. God did not say, “I WILL BE,” did He? He did not want me to amass “treasures” here in this world (Matthew 6:19-22).
The Present: “I AM.” Here is where God lives. He lives in this moment where there are no regrets and no fears. Just as He lead the Israelites with a cloud/pillar of fire and fed them with manna, God will provide all that I need for today. Remember Jesus said I should pray that God would give me what I need for today(Matthew 6:11). He told me not to worry about tomorrow because there is enough in this day (Matthew 6:34).
I like a plan. I like to know what is to come. This is not going to be an easy lesson for me. Fortunately, Jesus is a great Teacher. Take time to read all of Matthew 6 today. Class is in session!
Holy Captivated written by Antonio Neal & Nicole C Mullen & sung by Nicole C Mullen