The word Lord is used all the time. People are always talking about the Lord. “I prayed to the Lord.” “I know the Lord.” “He is the Lord.” It’s commonly used. Yet in 1 Corinthians 12:3, Saint Paul says, “None can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” That can’t mean that without the Holy Spirit you are unable to utter the phrase, “Jesus is Lord.” What it must mean is that to understand it, to base your life on it, to really grasp what it means to call Jesus as Lord, goes much deeper. Just how deep does it go?
In Matthew chapter 14 we are given the narrative of Jesus walking on water. In verse 26 of that passage we are told: When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Now this is huge. Because as impressive as it is that Jesus walks on water, it’s nothing compared to what He actually says: “Take courage! It is I. In the original language Jesus actually says, Take Courage. I Am. And this is important because this is not the first time we see the name I AM in Scripture.
You’ve got to go all the way back to the time of Moses to see when this was first uttered. All the way back in the book of Exodus in fact where God encounters Moses through a burning bush. In Exodus chapter 3 God tells Moses go to Egypt tell Pharaoh that God says Let my people go that they may worship me.
In Exodus verse 13 we are told: 13 Moses said to God, “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?” 14 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.’ “ Now this is very important. You’ll notice first that God doesn’t say to Moses, “When you go, tell them my name is ‘I AM who you want me to be’. No. He says, “I am who I am.”
Therein lies the problem. To often we are not interested in a God who is unchanging, a God who is absolute, a God that when we get near, He changes us. No. We want a god who fits me. We all do. So instead of worshipping the great I AM, we worship the (not-so-great) I want.
But how can a god that you actually put together, one you create in your own image, how can that kind of god help you when you are the middle of a severe crisis? When you wrestle with guilt and you are in bondage, how can a god you put together on your own terms tell you, “Child, you are free.” How can a god you have invented tell you, “You are valuable!” How can that god challenge you when you are wrong? The only solution is to follow after the real God. The Great I AM.
This is exactly what Jesus says to the disciples in the middle of their storm and it is what He says to us in the middle of our storms. “Take courage. I AM.” How can we be sure? Because Christ entered into the ultimate storm of God’s justice and bore it for you. When you unconditionally receive Him as I AM rather than bargaining with I want, you will hear His voice. You will receive His grace. You will be transformed from the inside out.