Is the key to life finding the right answers? Or is more about learning to ask the right questions?
A classic question, with an equally class answer, is found in Exodus chapter 3.
Moses meets with God and in course of conversation asks:
Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13–14 NIV)
There’s so much we can unpack from this pithy response but the thing that’s been scratching my itch is the simple honesty of it.
Who are you?
The answer to this question changes everything…
Praise the Lord Jesus is the king of kings and the Lord of Lords, and yet we make no excuse for it. Jesus is the Lord. Today I want to talk about it’s actually risen from we spend some time alone and I kind of run a virtual home group at the moment. And we were were looking at the names of God and kind of just pulling some of the juice from what the scriptures, how how God declares himself throughout the scriptures. And at last night we looked at one particular portion of scripture that I’m kind of just eager to unpack today in in the context of who we are as Christian creative’s.
And I actually I actually got to thinking about, you know, what really what is the key that’s going to unlock the things that you’re looking for in life? And I got to thinking there really it isn’t about necessarily having the right answers because you can have the right answers to all the wrong questions. So it’s really a matter of learning to ask the right questions. And this is just such a beautiful question that we find in Exodus Chapter three. Moses, I mean, it makes me laugh because it’s just like trying to imagine this scene like he is like Moses out on the on the back side of the desert.
This strange event happens with a burning bush and then the bush starts talking to him. And and Moses Moses says to him, Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, the god of your fathers has sent me to you. And they ask me what he is, what is his name, what shall I tell them? And we read this in Exodus Chapter three. The whole chapter is like full of just some great meat to chew on and God and says Moses from the Earth, from the flames in this bush and says, I am who I am.
This is what you are to say to the Israelites. I am has sent me to you say, yeah, God said to Moses, I am who I am. This is what you had to say to them. I am has sent me to you. And you know that there’s a lot that we can unpack here. And it’s just such a concentrated response. I mean, seriously, you couldn’t get any more abrupt and any more clear than the answer that the Holy Ghost gave in this instance the father gave.
And what really. Kind of got me scratching an itch on the inside was just the absolute simple honesty of it and, you know, ask the question, who are you? I am. And what what really I love about it is that God does not feel any compulsion to justify who he is or what he does or how he speaks or what he says he feels. No pressure to elaborate. You do not get any less verbose than I am.
And although it feels a little odd to point out, you know, him being God and all that, it really. God totally owns who he is without any excuse or apology, and the question that that then begs of you may be, but certainly of me is, can I say the same? You know, when we present ourselves to the world, are we the same authentic I am at home in business, in secret, or are there times when we have this insecure compulsion to elaborate and embellish and add Jesus?
Jesus kind of tickled a similar bone when he said this. Let your communication be. Yes, yes. No, no. For whatever is more than these comes from evil. Let your neighbour, your neighbour may say yes. Say no, don’t embellish it, don’t justify it, don’t try and explain it. Not, not yes, but not know. And just total ownership, total ownership of who you are as a person, where you are at in this journey, you know, without worrying about.
Well, you know, I’m not here yet or well, at least I’m not where they are or whatever else it may be. None of that whatsoever. Just I am this is who I am. This is where I am. This is what I think this is this is what I’m feeling right now. And just the honesty of it, the bare naked honesty is so exciting in some ways, so refreshing, you know, and it’s it’s like sometimes difficult in a world that’s like so addicted to comparison and courting the favour of men and worrying about what others think.
And then the second magnificent thing about what what Daddy says to Moses is for the implications of what it holds for our relationship with him. And I am is as simple as it can be, but infinitely expansive in in its implications and the invitation that it opens to us. Essentially, God is saying, look, I’m going to be whoever you were, let me be. Who am I? I’m going to be whoever you need me to be, whenever you need me to be, I am.
And I think that there’s a tendency sometimes to want to be like no God, just in facets that are comfortable to us, facets that fit nicely in our theology box. You know, we’ve got our little little boxes and that like this is the way things should be. This is the way it’s supposed to be. This is the way it’s always been. This is the way my granddad did it. My grandmother did it. My mother did it.
This is the way it works in our church, in our movement, whatever else it may be. And God is like, no, I’m not going to stay there. I’m not going to I will not settle in whatever box you have decided to try and put me in. I am. And it made me think like like if if you’re having a question with him or a conversation with him, he might say, look, do you want to know me in the absolute terrifying beauty of my holiness?
And if we say yes to that, he’s willing to reveal that to us, you know, will be trembling in our boots, but we’ll know God in a deeper, more real, more full, more expansive way. And equally, he can come and he can say, do you want me to know? Do you want to know me as as as your father? He had jump up in my lap. Let me comfort you. Let me speak to you in ways that no one else has ever spoken to you to the very depths of who you are.
Let me let me, Minister, love and grace to your very identity and your purpose on this planet. And it’s not like God is one or the other. He is both and and far more. He is the I am. And again, I’m like, God, you know, like, how does this relate to. Me, how does it relate to you, what you know, what does this have to do with your calling your place on the planet, the journey that you are taking your your blossoming in to the fullness of who he has made you to be in his image, like commissioned to go out and bear fruit and multiply.
I think I think for me, it’s the ownership of who I am without excuse or apology. You know, like to to be big and bold in all of your true colours without worrying what anyone else thinks, without being concerned what anyone else will say. I’m sure I’m sure plenty of people have their opinions about, you know, we’ve got opinions about everything. So I’m sure, like some people may have their opinion about me here with my purple light on on a grey wall here.
You know, just make your bold declaration of identity a desire without feeling any need or compulsion to justify it to the people who who are around you. If you’re a writer, right, if you’re a singer, sing, if you’re an entrepreneur, you do not need to justify your desire to make money and build your kingdom here on the earth, in his glory, in his name. Of course, that should go without saying. No, really, we we as the body of Christ, we want to see the fullness of his body here on Earth manifestly declaring we are we are the body of Christ, we are the people of God.
We are the ones made in his image and sent out to the uttermost parts of the earth to bring good news, to bring and says to bring solutions, to bring freedom and liberty and joy and peace and grace wherever we go. And we need never be embarrassed by it. We need never be ashamed of it, which we need never like excuse ourselves because of our enthusiasm. We need never justify or quantify why we do what we do or why we believe what we believe.
Friend he is. Jesus is the father is, the Holy Ghost is and we are. Well, thanks for listening. Hopefully it’s been an encouragement to you today. If you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com. Have a great day.