Faith

The God who says “I am with you, always”

Pastor Kevin Koh, Cornerstone Community Church // October 26, 2019, 6:22 pm

I am with you always 02

This is written especially to all students who are taking their year-end exams, and to those going through a stressful and challenging season in their lives. It’s an excerpt from a short study I did on the names of God. I trust that it’ll encourage you.

There’s power in a name. It’s what we’re known by (identification) and it says who we are (identity). Just think of all the names of those influential and powerful world leaders.

God Himself is known by many names in the Bible. Learning to know each of His names opens up the door to a deeper relationship with Him – to understand His nature and character.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” In a world that’s getting more chaotic and filled with uncertainty, God’s name is the only anchor we can put our trust in.

In Genesis 17:1, God appeared to Abraham as “El Shaddai” – “The Lord God Almighty”. He later revealed Himself to him as “Jehovah Jireh” – “The Lord Who Provides”, when He provided a ram caught in the bushes as Abraham’s faith was tested, in which he was asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:14).

Why do we call God “El Shaddai”?

God revealed Himself to the Children of Israel in Exodus 15:26 as “Jehovah Rapha” – “The Lord That Heals”. And to Gideon, God revealed Himself as “Jehovah Shalom” – “The Lord Is My Peace”, after he had a terrifying encounter with an angel of the Lord (Judges 6:24).

Yet, there is a name of God that we say all the time without even realising it. In fact, many in the world, regardless of their faith, mention this name of God all the time, no matter who they are. This name is found in Exodus 3.

God had chosen Moses to deliver the people of Israel out of Egypt. But Moses was reluctant to do it and was deliberating with God over why he was not qualified for this great assignment.

You find your life when you put the “I AM” first, not yourself.

In one of their exchanges, Moses asked God how he should reply to the people of Israel if they asked him for the name of the God who sent him. God told Moses to tell them that “I AM” had sent him to them (Exodus 3:13-14).

Some Jewish rabbis explain it this way: Whenever you introduce yourself, you have to say “I am” first, followed by your name. For example, I am Kevin. God has woven this into the fabric of our society and system.

So, before you speak about yourself, you have to speak about God. You exist because of God’s existence. That’s the reason you can never find the purpose of your life apart from God. You have to find it in God.

You find your life when you put the “I AM” first, not yourself.

How do I find my calling in life?

And here’s the beautiful part. When you say “I am alone”, you’re not really alone because the “I AM” – God – is with you.

When you say “I am sad”, the “I AM” is there to comfort you. When you say “I am discouraged”, the “I AM” is there to lift you up. When you say “I am weak”, the “I AM” reminds you in His Word: “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

There’s a part in Matthew 28:19-20 that used to baffle me. As we go forth and do God’s work, Jesus promises us “I am with you always”. Have you ever wondered how this promise can be true, especially when you don’t feel God’s presence sometimes?

Psalm 32:8 gives us the key. God said: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” The revelation of this verse came through my six-year-old boy, David. He wanted to go to the playground to play with his friends, so he took his mini scooter and left the house.

I tried to follow behind him, just to ensure he made it there safely. But as David scooted to the lift lobby, he turned back and asked me to go back home. He insisted on going on his own as he was a “big boy” now.

Seeing God as a loving Father

So I sent him off at the lift lobby and watched the lift doors close as he waved happily at me. Then I did what all good fathers do – I raced all the way down the staircase to the ground floor and found creative ways to hide from being seen by him.

From where I was hiding, I could see him playing happily with his friends at the playground. To David, I was still at home and “out of his sight” as I wasn’t visible to him. But he was never out of my sight – I was at the playground, watching out for him.

Here’s my point. Sometimes, when we’re unable to feel the tangible presence of God around us, it doesn’t mean He’s not there. His eyes are constantly watching over us. And the Lord will say unto you this day: “Peace, be still. I AM with you, always!”

This article was first published on the Cornerstone Community Church website and is republished with permission. 

THINK + TALK

  1. Who is God to you?
  2. Which are the names of God that you relate best to?
  3. What are some names of God that you would like to discover more about?
  4. Do you believe that God is with you always?