“I AM THAT I AM”……. “MY LORD AND MY GOD” are two very powerful statements from Scripture! The first is the name God calls Himself, “the tetragrammaton” Yahweh (or YWHW / Jehovah), and the name associated with Jesus’s frequent declarations about His identity as God. The second, the cry of the doubting Apostle Thomas, after seeing the risen Christ not long after voicing his doubts regarding Jesus’s resurrection. As a song writer and worship leader I cannot help but hear the beauty in similar prosody of these dynamic declarations, and ponder the relationship between two very poetic, yet universally powerful proclamations in the context of worship.
Recently I introduced a new song using the former of these two quotes…..”I AM THAT I AM.” Upon the first presentation of this song, both Kathy and I felt such a profound release of God’s power as we sang and declared together with the congregation the statement Jesus made of His identity as God, a statement that for all intents and purposes set the stage for His crucifixion! It was during those final moments of agony that Jesus uttered a faint precursor to Thomas’s words when he cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”. In that utterly profound moment, God the Father was fulfilling a plan so sacrificial, so loving, so humble as to change the course of human history: a plan whose core purpose was to transform mankind one life at a time. This beautiful and profound statement, I AM THAT I AM, became the genesis of humanity’s transformation from paupers to princes, from doubters to believers, from sick to whole, from poor to rich, and ultimately from naysayer to worshiper!!!
Speaking of such transformation, Thomas’s declaration of the second of those powerful statements, “MY LORD AND MY GOD”, clearly demonstrated a dramatic life change! God Himself was transformed from heaven to earth to become sacrifice for man, and through Calvary’s exchange, the genesis of a world wide worshiping army became evident in the lives and words of all Jesus’s disciples, and certainly profoundly so in these words of worship uttered by Thomas. From spineless and weak-willed follower, to emboldened worshiper who in astonishment proclaimed these beautiful words at His revelation of God’s love in Christ’s targeted words to Thomas, “touch and see”. With one look at the risen “I Am That I Am”, came “My Lord and My God”, some of the most beautiful and spontaneous words of worship I have ever heard!!!
What is this amazing power that caused Thomas to become the worshiping missionary martyr to India, a seeming coward and doubter? (to this day a marker stands where Thomas gave his life, with the words “My Lord and My God” beautifully engraved above the entrance to the Chapel) Just as with Thomas, the change in Christ’s followers comes from the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that God so loved each one of us, so as to search us out in our doubt and unbelief, and offer every proof we need to reveal to us just how much He loves us, and died for us, and rose for us, so as to change each of us one person at a time, into worshiping world changers! In the same passion as both Jesus and Thomas, we give our lives to Him and worship saying “MY LORD AND MY GOD” boldly to the great “I AM THAT I AM”
This year, may God’s Holy Spirit bring increase in our understanding and revelation as worshipers, song writers, worship leaders: that a it is the power of the Gospel alone (Romans 1:16), that changes lives, and brings each of us to a fresh understanding of our life-long call and anointing to worship!!