When you are in school, especially when you are a new pastor trying to get through seminary, there is a verse in the Bible that you learn all too well. Ecclesiastes 12:12 states “â€¦.Thereâ€™s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so youâ€™re no good for anything else.â€ (The Message) It sounds like the high school graduation theme song “Another Brick in the Wallâ€ as sang by Pink Floyd, and for which I too have sang and agreed with.
And I must admit, we have read, studied, and reread and studied, and in the church we have complicated God to the point that we have everyone confused as to what he does and who he is. We have made a simple statement of faith into a life of constant struggle which tires both pastor and parishioner, leaving many to exit through the back door never to return.
But recently I read a devotional by David Wilkerson, who also was struggling as well as to the nature of God. Wilkerson wrote that he finally understood that God is as simple as the verse in Exodus 3:14, where Moses asks God who he is and God replies, “I AM WHO I AM.â€ It is that simple.
It is when you are sick and need healing and God tells us, “I AM healing.â€ It is when you need peace, and God says, “I AM peace.â€ It is when you need encouragement, and God replies, “I AM encouragement.â€
It is when you need forgiveness, and God says, “I AM forgiveness.â€
God is simply all the things that you need in the continuous present tense and then simple faith is saying, “He Is.â€ He is healing. He is peace. He is encouragement. He is forgiveness, and to make it personal, not abstract, He is the healer, the peace giver, the encourager, and the forgiver.
Simply speaking, I am and He is. Nothing too complicated and it did not take a library to learn it. There are no three points and a poem, nor were there an introduction, the body, and the synopsis. It is simply that God is who he says he is and we acknowledge that. Jesus kept the theme going as well in the New Testament as he states, I AM the bread of life, I AM the light of the world, and the list goes on. I AM and HE IS.
But I must admit, living the simplicity of God is not easy, for if we go back to Ecclesiastes 12:12-13, the Bible states that simple faith requires us to simply, “Fear God, Do what he tells you,â€ but that is not all that easy. It makes for a one page, one book course, but it takes a lifetime to apply.
Simply speaking, we need God — period, and God wants us — period, and that is enough for now and for all eternity. For more information on the great I AM, call Pastor Tilley at 432-207-0015.