Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
Some things you learn by careful study of God’s Word, but some things you learn when God draws out the Word you have hidden in your heart and shows it to you in a different light. Just as it is when you step into a room lit only by black light and certain colors start to glow, so also, when God shines His special light on Scripture, do certain words start to glow – not in a literal sense, in this case, but in a way that was every bit as exciting for me.
I could no more tell you what the sermon was about than I could tell you what I wore a year ago today, but there I was, reading along with the minister, when those final two words set off fireworks in my spirit.
“…before Abraham was born, I AM.” Jesus is speaking here, and He is speaking in the present tense!
Suddenly “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end,” showed itself to mean more than I had ever imagined. “I AM the Alpha,” God says. He IS the beginning, and at the very same time He is also the Omega, the end.
So there Jesus was – is – standing before a group of religious men, boldly declaring that He was not only standing before them in that very moment, but that He was also in both the distant past and a future yet to come. He was and is in all times at once. This is terribly hard for us to understand, but the reality of the thing is that HE IS GOD!
The flash of epiphany was instantaneous, but it actually took several days for the complete truth (or as much of it as I could handle) to percolate and really infuse itself through spirit and soul. And then, almost immediately, I had opportunity to put my faith to work with what I’d learned.
We were in the midst of a potentially terrifying battle, one we had been fighting for weeks against a seemingly heartless enemy. On this particular day, I was extraordinarily ready for the battle to be over so, as I took those dozen or so steps to the mailbox, I said, “God, You are in all times at once. That means You can right now see to it that they put a letter in the mail days ago – one I will pull out of the box right now today – saying they’re dropping this thing completely and won’t bother us again.”
And He did. Right then and there the battle was over because I had come to know yet one more aspect of my omnipotent, omnipresent, heavenly Father.
This understanding has changed my prayer life completely – and my faith life too. Praying retroactive prayers doesn’t bother me a bit, for instance. Say I get a prayer request this afternoon for an event that was to occur this morning. I don’t write it off as too late; I pray! I pray, sure in the knowledge that the same God who hears my prayers this afternoon IS there for that person this morning.
Likewise, when I send or put out a prayer request (via email, for instance), I may instantly see the answer – even though I know for a fact that no one has even seen the request yet, much less prayed. I see my answer right away because the God who is with them tomorrow, hearing their prayers about the situation, is with me in the here and now at the very same time!
Be still and know that I AM!