(This is an excerpt from my book Encounters with the Lion: Finding God in Nature. We are currently sold out of this title but will release more soon.)
As Moses stood atop Mount Sinai staring into a burning bush that was the manifest presence of the Lord Himself, what is perhaps the most profound statement in all of history unfolds.
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus salt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:14
Volumes have been written on this all powerful revelation so I will note there are far better places to get comprehensive commentary on this subject elsewhere.
However, I AM is central to the theme of this book.
Most scholars agree God revealed many key components about Himself to Moses with those simple yet far reaching words but the one that is key for our discussion is what Bob Deffinbaugh observed at Bible.org.
“The I AM is the God who exists independently,” he wrote.
“Theologians speak of God as self-existent. God is the Creator, but has no Creator. He exists apart from any dependence on anything or anyone.”
Being the all-powerful Creator whose literal identity is I AM tells us we should look to what He made to realize He truly is. It can be easy to forget God’s nature living the busy lives we make for ourselves. In fact,it can be downright difficult to see evidence of God in crowded cities, on college campuses and even amongst our friends and family if we do not pursue Him diligently. It is however nearly impossible to deny Him in the great outdoors where so many beautiful, majestic and awe-inspiring sights and phenomena baffle the senses.
I believe we should take time to observe and spend time with God in nature because it is the best place to see the I AM truly is.
Think about it for a second. When He created Earth and said that it was good were there skyscrapers and millions of miles of asphalt and concrete? What about power lines, bridges and subways? If there were before the flood there is no record in the Bible so it is logical to conclude the state of the Earth in the beginning was a whole lot closer to what we see in the deep forest than in the inner city and is more easily observable on the savannahs than in the suburbs. Although God gave us the skills, vision and passion to create the great cities of the world, His original Creation was much different. And although even the wild lands are impacted by the fallen state of a sinful world they are much closer to the original environment than say New York City at rush hour.
Let us look at the power, purpose and awe-inspiring creativity in a unique way that admittedly takes some liberties but gives us some ideas how the I AM reveals Himself in nature. These are not necessarily divine revelations but are imaginative observations of what God has shown me that will hopefully resonate with you and give Him all the glory.
I AM the God that stretched out the heavens as a curtain (Isaiah 40:22) and created the trillions of stars in the universe and call them by name (Psalm 147:4-5).
The earth, moon and planets you know are but grains of sand in my hand, just as the Milky Way is a glimmer in my eye.
I AM the God that created the sun and moon to light both day and night (Genesis 1:16).
For though the sun itself is too brilliant for you to directly gaze upon, you feel its power and see its illumination all around you.
Just as I visited Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening you can gaze up on the moon safely and see I placed it in just the right position to reflect upon your world. It serves to illuminate my most prized Creation and to reflect my limitless power and glory.
I AM the God that created the great whales (Genesis 1:21) that leave you in a state of awe as you ponder their size and beauty.
Their haunting wail is a whisper of Creation’s symphony that began when I spoke it into existence. The sorrow you hear in their cries is the very nature crying out for my Son’s return.
I AM the architect of the mountains of the world (Psalm 90:2) and I purposed them to please your eyes, test your will, give sanctuary to my creatures and they speak to the majesty of My being.
Mount Everest is but a foothill to the one who called it forth form the ground.
I AM the one who imagined the mighty dinosaurs and put them on the Earth (Job 40:15). Their power and strength reflect my Heavenly authority and unmatched creativity. There is no creature great or small the I AM did not create.
I AM the painter who uses the sky as His canvas to remind you of my covenant (Genesis 9:16). For as you see the brilliant colors of the rainbow you know it is evidence of divine purpose. These great arcs in the sky put smiles on the faces of children and remind adults how it feels to be a child again.
I AM that which upholds all things (Hebrews 1:3). From the force of gravity to the tiniest molecules, my power is at hand all around you. Feel it.
I AM the power to calm the raging seas (Mark 4:39). The mightiest of hurricanes are but a breath from my nostrils and tallest of waves a hint of a world raging for the return of its Messiah.
I AM the healer of all (Isaiah 53:5) who bore stripes to conquer all disease that plagues mankind. Rebellious cancer cells must align with my word as crooked feet straighten and blind eyes open.
I AM the Father that knew you before you were formed in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5) and set you apart. Every step of your growth has divine appointment from the planting of the seed to your birth. Your life is no accident.
Beyond all things, we must realize that God is and without that faith is impossibility. Challenge yourself to witness the incredible reminders available to you every day by simply stepping outside.