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
This week I’ve been reading a lot about going ahead of God. Thinking I know the right way, the right answer, and moving forward on that path without first seeking God. I was reminded of when I was asked to be our elementary school’s PTA president. At the time, the elementary school was the largest in the district with over 1,000 students. And it was about to undergo a major construction program to build more classrooms. That meant a lot of turmoil with the way kids were dropped off at school, where classes would be held and how many of our PTA programs would take place. I told the committee I could do the job but I didn’t think they would want my style of leadership. I wasn’t an “insider” and didn’t have any qualms about squashing old ways of doing things. Yet they returned to me multiple times asking me to take the job. And I did.
You’ll notice in this story, like we do in so many Biblical stories of failed leaders, that I haven’t mentioned consulting God. Because I didn’t. That is, until after I said, “yes.” I believe it was the next day after I agreed to the job that I had my first of many conversations with the Almighty about this decision. It went like this, “Lord, I’ve done this thing. Please help it not be the wrong decision.” In other words, I went ahead of Him and now wanted Him to fix my mess.
And God was with me throughout the two years of my term. He was there when I cried myself to sleep. He was there when I had parents screaming at me over the phone. And He was there when people who I thought were friends turned their backs on me. But He didn’t take away the consequences of my decision.
Thank God that most of the time when I’ve failed to let God lead my life it hasn’t resulted in some horrible final outcome. He has picked me up and dusted me off. And after too many times of being on that same wheel I’ve decided to take a different path. To trust that God is the Great I Am. The One who has the best laid plans. Who can make my path much more smooth if I just consult Him first. If I release my need to be the most knowledgeable, not just about my life but other’s.
I praise God today, on this final 30th day, for being I Am. For being the Lord Almighty. The God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
If you’ve ever seen the Jim Carrey movie Bruce Almighty you’ll see a man who takes this idea of control to the extreme. He wants to be in charge of his life and no one knows better than him. So God sort of turns over His powers to him. And what a mess he makes of it. At first he thinks answering prayers is so cool and then when he becomes inundated with millions of prayers he just gives everyone what they ask. And as we know, God doesn’t give us all we ask. He gives us what we need. The movie is hilarious to be sure but it speaks to our innate need to be in control. To take over the job of I Am.
We can shake our heads at characters like Saul who stop seeking God’s direction and make every mistake possible. But how many of us today will do the same? How many of us yesterday forgot to place God at the top of our consultant list and instead called our friends or family for advice? And then probably did what we originally wanted to do anyway?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8
Friends, God is God and we are not, thankfully. His thoughts and ways are so much better than ours. If we truly believe this and accept Him as our creator, as an active participant in our lives, then we need to seek His plans for us. Let’s all start right now by thanking Him for being the Great I Am.