God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations. (Exodus 3:15 NLT)
Friend to Friend
When my youngest child was born, my son was just starting kindergarten and my twin daughters were two years old. To say I was a little overwhelmed in that season would be an understatement. When Rachel’s birth certificate came in the mail, I noticed that it said she was born on the second of the month, but she actually was born on the fifth. I made a mental note to look into getting that changed but got swept up in tantrums, diaper changes, potty-training, and reading lessons.
Years went by and I didn’t think much about it until one day when she was in middle school and wanted to go on a mission trip. Guess what she needed? Yep, a passport. I realized we didn’t have time to get a new birth certificate in time to apply for the needed passport.
I asked Rachel what she thought about having two birthdays—a real one and a “paperwork” one. She bargained for cake on both days, and I assured her she would have a great story to tell when she needed to come up with an interesting fact about herself. Even if her birth certificate has the wrong day on it, we know when Rachel entered the world!
Birthdays are special to us, but our God has no birthdate. Someone chose a day in December to celebrate the day Jesus put on flesh and came to earth, but our God has no beginning or end. He always has been, and He always will be. One of His names found in the Bible is Yahweh.
Most scholars associate Yahweh with the verb “to be,” so this name is sometimes defined as “the self-existent One.” Yahweh has always been and is completely self-sustaining and self-sufficient. In the book of Exodus, we discover an encounter a man named Moses had with Yahweh.
He was alone in a wilderness when he saw a bush burning but not being consumed. (Imagine firewood burning in a fire pit but never turning to ash.) Moses had two questions for God: Who am I? and Who are you? (Exodus 3:11; 13) These two questions are rooted in identity. We must know our identity as well as God’s identity in order to carry out His instructions in our lives.
God assured Moses that he didn’t need special abilities or status. Yahweh’s presence and promise were enough in spite of Moses’s perceived shortcomings.
While I’ve never seen a burning bush or heard the audible voice of God calling me with specific instructions, I have sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me toward tasks that felt scary to me. Talking to people I don’t know, speaking hard truths, or taking bold risks make this introverted people-pleaser uncomfortable.
But I’ve found that insecurity can be an intruder in the house of wisdom. Knowing that Yahweh is “I AM” quells all of our excuses. You may not be called to free slaves like Moses, but God has given each Christ-follower spiritual gifts and abilities to use in His service. Perhaps He has called you to serve in children’s ministry, lead a Bible study, encourage others with hand-written notes, coordinate meals, create beautiful spaces for worship, or do an endless number of other things to bring glory to God.
Like Moses, you may not feel like you are equipped to do anything for God. The Lord told Moses that His presence and His promise were all that was needed to take the next step of obedience in faith. I love it that even after these assurances, Moses still had another question. He wanted to know what name He should give to the people. God told him to say, “I AM” had sent Him.
When Moses needed confirmation, Yahweh said, “Whatever you need, I AM.”
If you need a provider I AM
If you need help I AM
If you need deliverance I AM
Yahweh didn’t get exasperated with Moses for revealing insecurities and asking questions. Instead, He helped Him and assured Him of His power. Moses went on to display God’s power through miraculous plagues and a supernatural parting of the Red Sea. He had to trust Yahweh each step of the way, continuing to ask for assurance about his own identity and God’s ability to use him. We can trust that Yahweh will direct us too and give us all that we need to accomplish His instructions. He is the great I AM.
Yahweh, You are the self-existent One. When I look at my deficiencies, I feel so ill-equipped to serve You. Help me instead to focus on who You are and who I am in You. Give me Your strength and power to boldly serve You. Show me where You want to use my gifts to build others up so that I might honor You in this season of my life.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
If you encountered a burning bush right now, what do you think the Lord would be asking you to do?
More from the Girlfriends
Check out Melissa’s Bible study titled The Names of God for an in-depth study of Yahweh and many other names of God.
© 2021 by Melissa Spoelstra. All rights reserved.