“Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.”   Exodus 3:14

“….and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with the inscription TO THE UNKNOWN GOD…” Acts 17:23

Definition: the formal statement as to the meaning or significance of a word, phrase, idiom, etc.

We tend to be all about definitions.  We can become greatly concerned about the significance of something; is it important or trivial.  For over a decade now we have been a part of an information revolution that is transforming the way we think and as importantly act based on how we define things.  Our sources of information have become vastly greater while at the same time being less certain of their sources.  Voices are becoming ever louder and more numerous trying to sway our opinions and our efforts because of them.

Yet here is the thing.  When we define something we are much saying what it is not as much as we are saying what it is.  If someone is tall, they can not also be short (of course depending on your point of view).  Wise is not foolish, pretty is not ugly; you get my drift.  So it is that we are constantly engaged in the process of defining our world and those whom we find accompanying ourselves in this journey.

Moses wanted a definition.  He knew that those he was going to would want a definition.  He was being sent to a people who truly did not know him; would not have defined Moses as their leader or champion.  He was being sent by God Almighty, their God.  But Moses was a human being.  He was not going to show up descending on a cloud of glory.  No, he was going to walk into their midst.  They will want to know who sent me; Moses reasoned.  They will ask.  What should I respond?  God replies:  I AM WHO I AM.

Paul is in Greece.  He has been walking in the city and seeing many statues to gods (speaking of information age, I in fact had to go look up some definitions).  He would have likely seen statues to gods  and goddesses like Athena, Apollo, Aries, Aphrodite and many more.  These gods by their names were defined:  Athena the goddess of wise counsel, Aries the god or war and so forth.  And in the midst of these statues and their altars of worship stood an alter to a God with no name.  Having no name, this God, would be hard to pin down, just who was this God and what was He the God of; what was He capable of?  Paul knew.

Thus, today the world finds itself asking the same types of questions and if we are not careful we might find ourselves falling into this same trap.  Who is God?  What is this God thing all about?  Explain Him to me; define Him for me that I might believe in Him.  I Am.  I Am is the answer.  What kind of answer is that?  To a people stubbornly believing they have all the wisdom, all the knowledge necessary to comprehend any and all subjects, it is a fools answer.  To us; it is truly the only answer that does and indeed can fit.

For I AM denotes the fact that we can not come to grasp the fundamental nature, the complexity of His existence, the extent of His power that is God.  Our language is too feeble, our concepts too small, our perceptions to erroneous to capture or define the essence of God.  Try to adequately explain the theory of relativity to a two year old (for that matter it floors me) or the nature of love to your pet.  We don’t have the mutual frame of reference around which we can even start the conversation.

So if we are unable to adequately define Him, then how are we supposed to define ourselves in relationship to Him?  I am righteous as He is?  I am wise as He is? I am loving as He is? I am…………..?  Our definitions for ourselves can become muddled and confused.  We are then left with the only definition that truly matters, the only definition that will carry us above the world and its desires to put categories and limits on things.  I am His.  He created me.  He loves me.  He has a plan for me; personally.  I am His.

The world will tell us that definition isn’t good enough.  The enemy will tell us we must search for a greater meaning.  Yet this is it,   whether tall/ short, college educated/ never been to school, wealthy/poor, man/woman, every gender, every nationality; I am His. To the extent that we can live to that definition; oh what a blessed, joy filled, praise worthy life we will lead.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father we proclaim that You are the Great I Am.  We also humbly confess that so often that is not good enough for us.  That we try to limit You through our own definitions and our own standards.  Forgive us Merciful Father, for our arrogance in trying to define You in our terms.  Pour Out Your Spirit upon us Wonderful Father, writing Your name on our hearts and giving us the true desire to make Your Will our own.  That we would declare with sure knowledge that by the gift of Your Son Jesus Christ, we are Yours and that alone is enough of a description.  That being Yours, we would live a faith filled life worthy of Your Praise we pray.  In the Name of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.  Amen