Through the years I’ve sat in more small group gatherings than I can recount. I’ve gathered with women: amazing women, women who love Jesus and want to live for and live like Jesus. But just like me — and I’m guessing like many of you — these women struggle. We struggle to be the godly women we long to be. We struggle to love like we want to love, give as we long to give. We struggle with many things, and in those struggles we often conclude one thing: “I’m not…” I’m not loving. I’m not giving. I’m not patient. I’m simply not… We often follow “I’m not” with “I can’t.”
I want to say something to all of us: We are not.
If you take just you — what you can do, the effort you alone can muscle and muster, and the change you can bring forth, then you’re correct — you are not and you cannot.
We are not, that is to say, we aren’t sufficient apart from Christ. Apart from Him, we will always struggle to be who God calls us to be and do what He calls us to do. But in Christ, oh my goodness — in Christ, we are more than we can imagine, for we are indwelled by I AM.
It was the name God gave to Moses for Himself. “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14).
It was the name Jesus claimed for Himself: “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58).
I AM is the name used to describe all God is and all He promised to be and do for His people. Because Christ is in us, it’s the name that reveals who we are and all we have in Him:
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many of you were influential; not many were of noble birth. BUT GOD chose the foolish things of the world…the weak things…the lowly things of this world and the despised things — the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, WHO HAS BECOME FOR US wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (emphasis mine, 1 Corinthians 1:30).
All that God calls you to be and do is completely possible through I AM, Christ in you. If Christ is in you, you have an everyday, moment by moment hope that the glory of God — the character, excellence and beauty of God — will flow freely out of you. Christ in you is all you need to walk in right relationship with God. He’s all you need to live in holiness and walk out of the sin that has long held you. For your every “I’m not” — He is the I AM.
How do we access all we are and have in Christ? By faith:
“It is by grace we have been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is a gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Your salvation includes your daily deliverance from all your “I’m nots” into all He created you to be in Christ Jesus.
So the next time you start focusing on all you are not, remind yourself of this truth: You are indwelled by — filled with, able to be led by, supplied to live out of — all that God is. Then, ask God for it and walk confidently into your day believing that you have it, trusting God to work all He is in and through you. At the end of the day, thank Him for it doing, no matter how “not” you may continue to feel. Remember:
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
If you’d like more encouragement in this truth, check out these posts: