God’s Presence Is a Present


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 3:14

The best present anyone can receive is the presence of the Lord! In fact, He assures us of His daily presence when He refers to Himself as the I AM. Francis Chan says in Crazy Love, “God already has a name, an identity. We don’t get to decide who God is. God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’ Exodus 3:14. We don’t change that.”

I AM has always been one of my favorite names for God. It is made up of only two words totaling three letters. Yet it is so all-inclusive and constant. This name has been defined as “the unchanging, eternal, self-existent God.” In Exodus 3:14 God is saying that He is a covenant-keeping God. Malachi 3:6 says it this way, “”I the LORD do not change.” The Psalmist declares in Psalm 102:27 “But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”

I am thinking about scriptures that support the statement of Exodus 3:14 describing God as the I AM. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” That’s the all-inclusive I AM. Revelation l:8 declares, “’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’” This is reiterated again by John in Revelation 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

I AM describes God as being eternal. He has no beginning or end. He was the I AM before He created the earth and He will continue to be the I AM throughout all the tomorrows of eternity. As human beings, we each have a specific birthday denoting the day we were born into existence. We will each have a date of death when we breathe our last breath on earth. God does not have a birthday; He will never have a death date. He always has been and He always will be.

I AM speaks of God’s living presence; it states that He is. These two words, one name, speak of life and of the Lord being active in our lives. Paul says in Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God is not dead – He is alive because I AM is in the present tense. I AM is who God is today. I WAS is the I AM of yesterday – I AM is for every today – I WILL BE is the promise of I AM for tomorrow. I never find the name I WAS or I WILL BE quoted in scripture. He always is the I AM!

I AM is always a reassurance to me that I am never alone. However, I AM describes much more than just His presence. I want to look at three attributes of God that are important aspects of the Lord being the I AM. First, He is omnipresent, meaning He is always with us. Secondly, He is omnipotent describing that He has the power to do anything – nothing is too difficult for Him. Lastly, He is omniscient, He knows everything, nothing is beyond His comprehension. All of these descriptions are present tense saying HE IS, or I AM.

In the gospel of John, Jesus chooses to describe Himself by completing the I AM name in seven different ways.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. (John 10:9
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11
Jesus said to her,I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

I have often said that what I liked best about God being I AM was that I could personalize and complete this name to fulfill whatever my current need. However, as I meditate upon the name I AM today, I realize that I want to keep God’s name as simple as possible. I AM IS WHO I AM is how God described Himself to Moses and I do not want to add or detract from who He declares to be. If I add more words to I AM, I could be limiting God to be only who I describe Him to be. The two little words I AM allows God to be who He knows I need Him to be. I AM is a simple yet complex name! I praise the great I AM!

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Note: Another whole study could be done regarding the Old Testament name of Jehovah. Hosea 12:5 says, “the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is his name! Jehovah and Lord can both be translated I AM. Consequently, each time God reveals Himself with a compound Jehovah name, He is describing Himself as the I AM. I am not going to delve into these names today, but I will include a couple of scriptures as reminders of some of these names. He is Jehovah-rapha according to Exodus 15:26, “for I am the LORD, who heals you.” He is Jehovah-shalom according to Judges 6:24, “So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD Is Peace.” Finally, He is Jehovah-tsidkenu in Jeremiah 23:6, “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.” My Reader, I encourage you to do a study on the compound Jehovah names of God.

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