One of the goals of the Carlson Report is to get the Lord's people to do a little more thoughtful and critical thinking about the Lord and our lives in Him. It is easy to get lost in our sound-bite, shallow culture and miss the richness of life and the Lord. After all, aren't we all a bit tired of the mindlessness going on in our world today and sadly, sometimes even in the Church? A more thoughtful Church is a more powerful Church. That is true because we rarely act outside of our deepest thoughts and understandings of things. The truth is, we don't know what we don't know and we don't do what we don't think or know about. So, let's do some deeper thinking today about the Lord and allow Him to change our lives. A renewed mind is at the heart of every growing Christian disciple according to the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:2.
The great philosopher and mathematician Renee Descartes once said, "I think therefore I am." Descartes was looking for a way to validate and better understand his existence. His ability to think led him to understand that the very nature of thought itself was the way to establish his being. In other words, when we think or perceive things we validate them and help to establish their real meaning and existence. So, this ability to think about anything, including ourselves, is a doorway into the meaning of our lives and a preeminent witness to the Lord.
Now if you went to God and asked Him what was His greatest thought, the answer would be easy. God's greatest thought is God. There couldn't be any thought greater than God or God wouldn't be God. Are you with me? So, God would say, "I AM the Great I AM." God's existence is established by God's own being as the Great I AM of the universe. There is nothing greater that can be believed or perceived by anyone, including God. All our thoughts points to God as the true reality behind everything. All thought must lead to the Lord as the Source of it all.
This thought is at the heart of how the Lord reveals Himself to us. In Exodus 3:13-14, Moses asked the Lord to tell him about His Name. The Lord revealed Himself by simply saying, "I am who I am." In other words, like Descartes, the Lord exists. His ability to think about and talk with Moses establishes and reflects the true nature His being.
The Lord's revelation to Moses regarding His being and existence was given fresh meaning when the Lord Jesus Christ told people in John 8:58 that He was the God that Moses met at Sinai in the Burning Bush. Jesus told everyone that He always existed, even before Abraham. Our Lord told the people that He was the Great I AM, the God of the Bible. As a matter of fact, the entire Gospel of John is just the Lord Jesus Christ teaching us about His being, divinity and that He was the God of the Old Testament. Our Lord is the Great I AM that is the bread, the light, the good shepherd, the door, the resurrection, the way, truth and life, and the vine for His people.
When someone asks us what we think about ourselves, most of us realize that we could be better or even greater than we often are in life. And while some people think very highly of themselves, most of us do not. Multitudes of people suffer from low self-esteem and self-alienation because they have lost their God-given esteem. Some people think so little of themselves that they even take their own life through suicide. All of this happens because we all have sinned and fall short of the Lord and His greatness. We are a fallen creation. As a result, our thinking becomes small and distorted about ourselves. We have lost our focus on the Great Thinker, the Great I AM. The moment we start thinking about the Lord instead of ourselves everything changes. So when the Bible tells us that Jesus is the image of God in this world (Colossians 1:15), we need to see that the Lord is telling us that He wants to restore our broken image to reflect His own again. Our Lord's greatest joy and delight is thinking about His Father. There is no greater thought. In a similar way , the Father's greatest joy and delight is thinking about His Son. Our Lord wants to share this glorious relationship with us according to I John 1:3-4. This glorious mystery of God thinking about, loving and delighting in Himself reveals that God's being is seen in three distinct Persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All of our thinking then is trinitarian, as we reflect the Lord's greatness in all we do as His triune image-bearers.
So finally, when God becomes the focus and greatest thought of our lives, we become great again. We begin to think correctly and Biblically about ourselves. Our fallen self-esteem is changed back to God-esteem, a gift of love given to us by His amazing grace on the Cross. We come to discover that we have been given a new, restored identity in the Lord. We come to realize that our lives have meaning and purpose because we reflect God's greatness. After all, how could thinking about God's greatness not restore us to greatness because of our relationship to Him? Ultimately then, the Great I AM reveals to each of us that we are the little I ams--not gods, but God's beloved people, chosen to share and enjoy His greatness forever.
As we look at our lives this week, may our thoughts leave the world's small thinking behind. Life is so much greater and glorious than politics, entertainment and the human drama that often brings us down to smallness. We need to realize that every thought points to the certain reality that the Lord is the Great I AM of life, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Every thought becomes an invitation and opportunity to think about the greatness of the Lord. Every thought is a joyous witness that we are created in the Image of God and destined for true greatness in Christ our Lord. May the Lord keep our hearts and minds rooted in that incredible thought today and forever.