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An Experiment in Prayer

Address God using his name “I AM”

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by Rod MacIlvaine in Uncategorized

People love their names.

Names convey identity.

When we sign our names to important documents we express our character. We’re saying that we will abide by our agreement.

Our signature expresses faithfulness to our word.

Parents delight in giving names to their children.  

And children never tire in being called by their name.

God is no different. He delights in being called by his name because he has the ultimate name.

His name reveals his infinite character.

In Exodus 3:14-15 God provides his full sentence name to Moses:
I AM WHO I AM.

In the Ancient Near East names were often given as full sentences, and those names were typically a play on words describing something about that person’s birth. But of course, God has no birth, since he’s the uncaused cause. And therefore God reveals himself as…the one who always was, the one who is now, and the one who always will be. He is the self-existent one.

I AM WHO I AM!

This full-sentence name affirms the purity of God’s infinite being.

  • He is power with no limitation.
  • He is being without dependence.
  • He is infinite existence that transcends time and space.

HE IS WHO HE IS…always and for all eternity.

However, in Exodus 3:14 God shortens his full sentence name to simply I AM. Those four Hebrew letters are YHWH. The old 19th century way to pronounce this was Jehovah. Today scholars know more about Hebrew pronunciation, so we say Yahweh.

So, what does I AM really mean? In the gripping story of Exodus 4:1-17, God’s shortened form reveals God’s pragmatic presence.

God’s shortened form reveals
God’s pragmatic presence.

The shortened form really means “I AM WHO I AM for you…for you, Moses…and for anyone who calls upon his name.

He is there for us…in a personal way. He is dependable. He can be counted on. He can be trusted.

Proof of this comes from God’s conversation with Moses.

When God commissions Moses to deliver the people of Israel from bondage, Moses makes five objections. Each time I AM answers Moses objections with an affirmation that he will be there for Moses…empowering him, leading him, speaking through him. Essentially God (I AM!) is saying, “Moses, don’t worry about anything. I am giving you myself. I am giving you my presence. I am giving you my power.” 

The answer to each objection by Moses is I AM himself.

Take away for you?

With the name I AM, God invites you to trust him even in chaos.

I AM refers to the pragmatic presence of God…right here…right now…for you.

From time-to-time, try praying to God using his proper name: I AM. 

You could do it this way: “I AM, you are my powerful Lord, I praise you! I AM how totally majestic and awesome is your name in all the earth! I AM, I desperately need you now.” 

When we realize that the God of the Universe is personally and pragmatically present for us…right here…right now…it has the potential to inspire awe and love as we live in a moment-by-moment relationship with him.

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Your Best Vacation: Seven Reasons Why a Trip to Israel Will Change Your Life

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