The Power of I AM
So Joel Osteen has a new book.
It is called The Power of I AM. There he is, just smiling away on the cover as only Joel can.
I get the whole thinking positively thing. I do. After struggling with depression, and negative patterns of thinking, I have learned to focus on the good things in life and I have learned to think “I can,” instead of, “I can’t.”
I have learned to say things like, “I get to,” in stead of, “I should.”
Hey, I get it.
I even track my gratitude.
Yep, Everyday I write down 5 things I am grateful for. Often in that list is my health, my abilities, the blessings in my life. Focusing on the positive changes the way you think. If you think you can succeed, you probably will. If you think you won’t, well then you probably won’t. It is nothing mind blowing. I also believe that God would have us focus on the good things in our lives, rather than on the bad things.
When I read these words, “The Power of I AM,” I am expecting a book on the attributes of God, of Yahweh, the great I AM. The power that created the universe, that breathed stars into existence. But that is not what this book is about.
Here is the info from Osteen’s page:
Can two words give you the power to change your life? Yes they can! In the pages of his new book, bestselling author Joel Osteen shares a profound principle based on a simple truth.
Whatever follows the words “I am” will always come looking for you.
So, when you go through the day saying:
“I am blessed”…blessings pursue you.
“I am talented”…talent follows you.
“I am healthy”…health heads your way.
“I am strong”…strength tracks you down.
Joel Osteen reveals how THE POWER OF I AM can help you discover your unique abilities and advantages to lead a more productive and happier life. His insights and encouragement are illustrated with many amazing stories of people who turned their lives around by focusing on the positive power of this principle. You can choose to rise to a new level and invite God’s goodness by focusing on these two words: I AM!
This makes me a bit queasy to be honest.
In Exodus 3, when God revealed himself to Moses in the Burning Bush, Moses asked what he should say His name is.
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.
God said, “This is my name forever.” ” I Am.“
Oh and there is great power in that name. In Exodus 20, when God gave Moses the 10 commandments he began with these words: “I am” And in the third commandment he states about his name (which is forever):
You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name
Note that the word “LORD,” is actually the tetragrammaton, “YHWH.” Which we pronounce as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.” The name Yahweh refers to God’s self-existence. Which is linked to how God described Himself in Exodus 3, posted above. God’s name is a reflection of His being. He is the only self-existent or self-sufficient Being. Only God has life in and of Himself. And yes, Joel is right that there is great power in the words, I AM.
But not for us to use.
Jesus claimed the name I AM for himself as the second person of the trinity. In the book of John, Jesus made 7 declarations with the words I AM, when he describes his saving relationship with the world.
I AM the Bread of Life
I AM the Light of the World
I AM the Door of the Sheep
I AM the Good Shepherd
I AM the Resurrection and the Life
I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life
I AM the True Vine
Jesus also taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer, and to start by addressing God with the phrase “hallowed be your name.”
We are to revere His name, and that reverence should mark our prayers and our entire lives. The Bible teaches us that we are to remember His holiness, His awesomeness, and the vast distance that separates our nature from His. The very fact that we can come before him in prayer, is only because of his love, grace and mercy for us in his Son Jesus Christ who mediates for us before His throne.
And that is something to be happy about.
That is something to be positive about!
Let us seek his name in reverence, and thankfulness!
So Joel, I agree there is power in I AM, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.