The ‘I am’ in me
By QuaWanna Bannarbie
I am here again, mentioning those two mighty powerful, modest, yet substantial words. After the article titled “Work yourself up” was published last week, I kept thinking about those two words, “I am.” Since then, I cannot say these words without being mindful of them. When we affirm ourselves with truths that begin with these words, we assert our authority.
As I studied the scriptures this week, I was reminded of the passage in Matthew 16 when Jesus was having a conversation with His 12 disciples about the murmurings among the people about who He was. “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked.
I used to think that Jesus wanted to know whether they believed the same as the others who were looking for signs that He was who He said He was. But Jesus already knew what they believed. Jesus was not asking them to define Him. He was concerned whether the disciples got the revelation of who was with them.
When Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ,” Jesus responded saying that only God could have revealed this and not man (Matthew 16:17). At that moment, Peter had the faith of Jesus. His confident declaration demonstrated that He knew Jesus was God’s authority present with them. Peter was given the same keys as Jesus, which was to have authority to carry out the will of our Heavenly Father in the earth (Matthew 16:19). That is the nugget in this scripture text. Only God can define who you are because the one who sent you anoints you to do His will. Without that confidence, you will not fulfill your purpose. Our purpose is directly tied to “I Am” and not to what we are or are trying to become.
We think confidence is a feeling. It is even described as such. But I think confidence is better described as a firm trust. When we speak these personal affirmations over ourselves beginning with “I am” we are speaking a firm trust in the truth of God’s presence with us. People are looking for others to affirm them. Sadly, our human existence is marred with history of oppression and repeated incidents of demeaning a person’s worth. We hunger for acceptance and a place to belong. As a result, suicides and abusive relationships senselessly rob us of beautiful lives every day. The integrity of our personal and emotional relationships is thwarted because we allow others to manage a position that only belongs to God. The desired affirmation from a loved one should never mean that they have any right to define you or what is the will of God concerning you. The word of God affirms us. Study, read and meditate on God’s word and you will become confident in who He has called you to be.
I intentionally began this article stating “I am here.” Let us begin our days with that simple declaration. We are here because the I Am sent us, and the same authority that He gave to Peter lives in each of us.
QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.