God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14, ESV)
God identifies himself as the “I am.” Think about that. “I am.” He doesn’t say, “I am a…” He simply says, “I am who I am.” In other words, there is none compared to God. God is God because he is God. This is both reassuring and intimidating. It is reassuring, because he sent his son—Jesus—to to save humanity, and intimidating because at times we proclaim with our actions and words that we are the “I am.”
How do we proclaim that we are the “I am?” I’m glad you asked. We often make judgments about others, make up our own rules, break relationships, and elevate our preferences so much that they come across as God’s law. In our relationships, it is so easy to take the place of the “I am.”
God is the “I am”—the only lawgiver, the only king. He is the only Savior and Redeemer. God is the only boss, ruler, or final authority. He is the “I am who I am.” As our creator, he knows us and can help us. He is the “I am.” Look at what James says about God:
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. …But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:11–12, ESV)
Think about your relationships today. How have you tried to be the “I am?” How have you tried to act like God with your friend or spouse or co-worker? How have you tried to be the lawgiver? Think of preferences that you have tried to make about God’s law. Find an area or two of which you can repent by telling God and the person to whom you’ve laid down the law. You will never go wrong by recognizing God as God and allowing him (as if he needs to be allowed) to be the “I am” in your life.
God, I acknowledge you as the “I am.” That makes me the “I am not.” Please forgive me for pretending to be you, and help me to walk in humility…. (Continue praying.)
P. Brian Noble