Hi this is pastor Ken and these are my The I AM is, but I am not.
The title of this podcast sounds a little like a riddle doesn’t it? The I AM is, but I am not. My scripture reference for this entry is Exodus chapter 3. This is where we read that Moses while shepherding his father-in-law’s flocks saw the burning bush. I don’t imagine that in and of itself was of too much concern, a dried up bush burning in the hot desert probably happened from time to time as the result of a lightning strike or perhaps simply from the intense heat. In any case, God’s word tells us that it wasn’t the fact that the bush was burning that got Moses’ attention, it was the fact that though the bush was on fire, it was not being consumed by the fire, and that, was what caused Moses to stop and investigate further.
When Moses attempted to get closer to see why the bush was not burning up even though it had a fire raging in it, that is where God spoke to him from the bush. The Bible tells us that God called to Moses from the burning bush by name…twice. Moses responded “Here I am.” It was after that happened that God told Moses he was to take his sandals off because he was on holy ground. God went on to say that He was aware of the difficulty of His people in Egypt under the oppression of the Pharaoh. Additionally, God told Moses that He wanted him to return to Egypt and help set God’s people free. That is where we will pick up with the scripture I want to look at today.
Exodus 3:11-14 in the New King James Version says it this way. 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” 13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
I want to point out Moses’ response to God. Why? Because it is often our response to God as well. I’m not trying to say many of us end up staring into a burning bush and talking to God, in fact in fifty-five years of living I haven’t come across even one person that has happened to. However, God does speak to all of us and tells us what His plan for our life is. You might ask me how I know this, and perhaps you would even say you are still waiting to find His call on your life. To which I would say, yes sometimes God does speak to us by impressing his will upon our spirit by the working of His Holy Spirit. Those times are special, but they always line up with or augment what He has already given us direction to do through His written word, the Bible.
When God asks us to do something, the process notwithstanding, we often like Moses, look to see if we have the qualifications. We take an inventory of the necessary abilities to accomplish the goal, and if we feel we do not possess them in extraordinary ways, we ask, “Why me Lord?”. Verse 11 above says that upon the call of God…from a burning bush…Moses asked, “Who am I?”. Moses wanted some verification from God that he (Moses) was the best man for the Job. We know from scripture what some of his insecurities must have been. He was wanted in Egypt for murdering a governmental official. His fellow Israelites had asked him who he thought he was to think he could bring them freedom when he had attempted to do so decades earlier. In fact, in all probability, he had made their lives worse not better. We also know that later he argued that the people would not believe him and that because he was a slow speaker and got tongue-tied easily, no one, especially Pharaoh, was going to want to hear from him.
What I really like about this account is that God did not answer Moses’ arguments. God did not speak as to why Moses was the right man for the Job. God did not say that He would fix Moses inadequacies, and then send him to Egypt. God did not talk about Moses at all. God talked about himself. He said…I AM!
God knows when He chooses to use us we are inadequate. He is well aware of our shortcomings. I don’t think God is looking for someone who can get the job done. I think He is looking for someone who cannot…so that without a shadow of a doubt, He will be seen as the I AM. Moses was totally not the one for the job…but the I AM was and promised to be with Moses and to work through Moses. When The I AM directs us to do something, it is not for us to decide if we are capable of doing that thing. We will not be the one doing it, the I AM will.
Imagine for a moment you worked for a billionaire who was going to host a party for several hundred guests all of whom lived out of town. Your employer hands you a signed blank check and sends you to the biggest, most extravagant hotel in a nearby city to rent every room for an entire week. Would you go to the hotel in fear thinking, I don’t have enough money to do what I am being asked to do. They are going to laugh me out of the hotel lobby. My bank account doesn’t have enough in it to rent even one room for a week, never mind the entire hotel! Of course not. Why? Because you have the billionaire’s check. It would be unnecessary to have concern that you would be unsuccessful at carrying out the mission because there was not enough money in your personal checking account to cash the billionaire’s check. That makes no sense at all. The billionaire is the one making it happen, you are just walking out his instructions. When God asks us to do something our capability isn’t supposed to even be a part of the conversation…The I AM is but I am not.
When The I AM directs, He does so confidently because He has no reservation that anything can step in the way of His will. He is after all the I AM! We can in total confidence follow every directive given to us in scripture as well as through the individual leading of The I AM. If He directs it, it will happen. Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
So now, walking in the utmost confidence in the sovereignty and power of the great I AM…Go be awesome!