Believing Who I AM Says I Am — A Series on Identity
Have you ever sat down to write an About Me section only to draw a complete blank? When someone asks you to tell them about yourself, do you struggle to find the right words to say? I mean, there’s so much to consider:
“What do I tell people?”
“What’s important about my life?”
“What do I leave out or include?”
“WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT ME?!”
I don’t know about you, but out of habit, I resort to telling people about what I do. Forget about my qualities, passions and things that are unique to me—it’s easier and requires less soul-searching to just state what I do day in and day out. Can you relate?
While this generic response may require less effort, I believe that deep down, we all really want to be more than what we do. Am I right? We want to live lives of meaning and purpose with a deep knowing of who we are and who we’re made to be. The truth is, we can actually construct our identities based on our jobs, accomplishments, and pursuits. Yes, it looks beautiful, professional and pretty on paper; however, we will always be “reconstructing” those identities when our seasons change. How do we center our identities on immovable, solid and unchanging truths?
I AM Tells Me Who I Am
In Exodus, we find God revealing an intriguing name for Himself to Moses in front of a burning bush. The LORD said:
“I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
-Exodus 3:14 (NIV)
This name “I AM” can also be translated to read, “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.” This powerful name clearly communicated the nature of God to Moses–that He is outside of time, eternal, unchanging, and ever present. He is, was and always will be the self-existent one.
You can imagine why the Pharisee’s went BIZERK when many years later, Jesus used the same name to describe Himself.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
– John 14:6 (NIV)
Using the name I AM in His statements clearly reveals the powerful truth that Jesus was, is and will forever be God. This was such a bold declaration to make, but it was the center of His identity and the foundation of who He was.
When Jesus issues an I AM statement, it is sometimes followed by what I like to call a “you are” statement. For instance, take a look at this verse: “I AM the vine, you are the branches” John 15:5 (emphasis mine). After describing Himself through a metaphorical statement, He also describes US in relation to Him.
Jesus could have easily left the “you are” part out of His metaphors, but I believe He included them very intentionally. These I AM statements reveal absolute, fundamental truths that are essential parts of our identities in Christ. They tell us who God is, who we are, and who we are in Him. These metaphors speak volumes about our identities in Christ, and I can hardly wait to dig in!
Let’s Dig In!
During the next 4 weeks, we’ll be dissecting four of Jesus’ I AM statements. As we grapple with the “specifics” of each I AM statement, I believe we’ll not only learn more about Jesus and who He is, but also who He calls us to be. Through this study, my prayer is that the Lord would tear down any “false” foundations we have constructed and use His truths to build a firm foundation on which we build our lives.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. ”
– Matthew 7:24 (NLT)
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See you next week!