By Lisa Huddleston
“Then Moses asked God, ‘If … they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?’ God replied to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’” (Exodus 3:13-14).
For the past two days, I’ve been involved in coach training at the Tennessee Baptist Convention. This course was the fifth one I have participated in so when I wandered into the classroom on the first morning, the leaders called to me, “Hey Coach Lisa!” They know how hesitant I have been to accept the title, and they were teasing me more than a little. (Funny guys, huh?) But I also knew they were affirming me and the fact that I have recently completed my requirements to be certified as a Christian life coach. Their support made me smile although I still hesitated—and even blushed a bit—to accept the title. But, they are right. I am a coach. And despite the fact that I haven’t wanted to claim the name before receiving the credentials, it’s not really the certificate that makes me a coach. It’s the fact that I am coaching.
The same is true for any title. I am a mother because I have three grown children who recognize me as “Mom.” When they need a little mothering, I’m the one they come to. I function in that role—it’s who I am. I’m also a writer. When I give people that title, I’m often asked what I’ve had published. Even as I give them the information they are looking for, I know it’s not because I’ve been published that I am a writer. It’s because on almost every Thursday, I sit down at my desk and write. Again, it’s who I am.
When God gave a name that would identify Him to His people, He called Himself “I AM WHO I AM.” It was a name that was big enough to express One who was more than they could comprehend. Who was God to the Israelites? He was the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He was the One who called Abraham out of Ur and promised to make him into a great nation. He was the One who heard their cries for deliverance. And He was much more that they would discover—their Way through the waters, their Provider in the wilderness, their Cloudy Shelter from the sun, their Fiery Pillar of direction, their Judge, their Protector, their Deliverer, and so much more. He saw them, He knew them, and He made it so that they could know Him in return. God’s name was not given to Him–it was Him. I AM WHO I AM.
So … who are you? Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief? Not the most politically correct list perhaps, but you get the picture. What is your real name? Are there parts of you that have not yet begun to live? Are there good works, new titles even, that God has prepared for you but for some reason—lack of credentials, fear or other insecurities—you have yet to accept? Are you being all of who you really are? For many of us the answer to that last question is, “No.” In fact, some of us may not even know our true names. But God knows. He has knit us together, gifted us for service, and given us each a name to live out. As the image bearers of I AM WHO I AM, we are becoming who we are. He qualifies us by the blood of Christ, certifies us to serve, and seals our credentials by His Holy Spirit. We are called by His name. Christians! We are who we are—with our whole hearts, let’s fully be it!