Child of God

The Amazing Privilege of Being a Child of God

Our faith was also prefigured in Abraham. . . . Know ye therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. faith and ours are one and the same. –Irenaeus, second-century church father

Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘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, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.” Exodus 3:13-15 (NASB)

For God to describe Himself as “I AM WHO I AM” makes perfect sense to me, even if I don’t comprehend the full ramifications of such a statement. God always was. God is. God always will be. God is always present. The Creator of our universe is the very essence of being, as well He should be. It is from God that all of creation flows; He needs or relies upon nothing for the sake of His existence. God is who He is regardless of who we are, or what we do.

And yet, the eternal God identified Himself to Moses as, “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” This was to be His “memorial-name to all generations”—that is the name by which all Israelites throughout the ages were to remember their God. I understand that down through history most of the emphasis from this passage has been placed upon Yahweh (translated as Lord) as the primary name that God was communicating. Still, I can’t help but think that the ancient Israelites missed an integral aspect of what God was communicating to Moses.

Is God Distant?

The ancient Jewish perspective saw God as transcendent—being so far removed from sinful humans (and so revered) that the name Yahweh was never spoken. But from the context of this passage, we see that God chose to link His self-existence to His covenant relationship with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants.

This wasn’t just the name of a distant, self-existing God, but of one who chose to identify Himself by His connection with sinful humans. Jesus, God in human form, further addressed this issue by introducing the Lord as our heavenly Father—a covenantal title.

The Apostle Paul went on to teach that all who embrace the New Covenant in Christ become the spiritual descendants of Abraham (Galatians 3:6-9). In other words, the memorial-name, “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” applies not only to the physical descendants of Abraham but to all who are truly Christian. We are included in the generations referred to in Exodus 3:15, as evidenced by the “spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Romans 8:15).

Every true Christian is a deeply-loved child of the eternal God!

It Matters to Know You Are a Child of God

When I consider the immensity of our eternal God, that He created the universe with billions of galaxies containing billions of stars in each, my brain begins to overheat. Further still, the very thought that our all-powerful Creator would choose to identify Himself by His relationship with humans stretches the boundaries of my comprehension. This speaks not of distance and supremacy, but of love and intimacy, of an ever faithful friendship.

What will you do when you get beyond the confines of what you consider to be civilization? How will you react when you find yourself beyond necessary comforts, beyond visible provision, beyond the use of a cell phone? How will you respond in the midst of a spiritual wasteland where God appears to have abandoned you?

As we journey through dry and bitter wastelands, we would be foolish not to lay hold of the extreme level of devotion our heavenly Father feels toward His children. Only from such a rock-solid sense of identity can faith freely flow.

The Great I AM Is for Us!

How my soul stirs when I think that the King of kings and Lord of lords chooses to identify Himself by His relationship with me as a child of God!

As the great “I AM,” He is self-existent and able to do anything He pleases. But as the God of our Fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, we know that we are always on His mind and in His heart.

As the Creator of the grand cosmos, He has every right to be distant from broken humanity, but as our heavenly Abba (an intimate term similar to Daddy), He instead chooses to draw us securely into His ever faithful arms.



This post is drawn from Chapter Thirty-Nine of Bob’s devotional: Champions in the Wilderness—Fifty-Two Devotions to Guide and Strengthen Emerging Overcomers