Who am I?
Romans 8:37 (NRSV)
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
James 4:10 (NRSV)
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
John 1:12-13 (NRSV)
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
I have always been amazed with the popular worship song by Casting Crowns – “Who Am I”. Either it is the melody of the song, or the quality of the lead singer’s voice, or simply the lyrics that make it amazing. It would not be awarded Song of the Year and certified Gold, if it were not that good.
At any rate, like what I usually do when something tickles my curiosity, I consulted my very good friend Mr. Wiki of the internet to know the story behind the song and especially why the song was written; and so far this is what I found — According to Casting Crown’s lead singer Mark Hall, the idea for “Who Am I” came while he was driving home with his wife and children one night. Hall, who was having personal worship-time during the drive, recounts that he wondered “Who am I to think I can just call up to God whenever I want, from the middle of nowhere, and expect Him to hear me?” Hall says “immediately I started thinking I’m a new creation, I’m more than a conqueror… I’m also grass that rises up and is gone in a day”. In an interview, he commented that “me being a conqueror is true, but at the same time I need to understand that my life is a vapor, and me being able to even pray to [God] is because of what he’s done for me.”
After reading what Mark Hall had to say and knowing the story behind his song, I was surprised.I never expected that the reason for Mark Hall to write the song was in fact because of a question he asked himself – who was he to just call upon the Lord whenever he wants and wherever he was anytime, any day, anywhere? Is it really that simple?
Admittedly, this has also been my perception for quite some time. I remember in Sunday school we were taught to pray to the Lord for anything we wanted. As I grew up the same was taught in school and in spiritual gatherings that I attended; in fact I’ve listened to many preachers talk about it in church. Prayer is supposed to be our direct line of communication to the Father, and prayer is in fact very powerful.
I have said a lot of prayers in my time. Probably not as much as many of you have; but I do have my shares of answered prayers and of course many unanswered ones. The bottom line is, I know prayer works, and I believe in the wonders that it brings. But coming across this revelation by Mark Hall; and after reflecting on what I have come to discover and remember, I realized that I had to read more. I needed to understand why, and ask myself the very same question – Who am I?
I was expecting to get an outright answer from my readings, which I often do, but unfortunately this time, I expected wrong. Maybe it is because I am searching for the wrong articles to read; or perhaps it is God’s way of telling me to understand first a different message, and only thereafter, grasp the answer to the question as to who I am?
Perhaps, the second justification would be the suitable one because in all honesty, I had a hard time drafting this message. It took me awhile to decide how to put it together, and come up with a somewhat convincing thought that would be shared with you all.
So, to begin with, what did Mark Hall mean when he said “he was more than a conqueror”? And why did he have to mention that he is also like grass which withers within the day; like a flower that quickly fades; a wave tossed in the ocean; and a mere vapor in the wind. If you come to think about it, it is such an interesting contrast. One day he considers himself as a conqueror – so powerful, so colossal; and the next day he considers himself as a mere vapor – so delicate, so gentle.
What then does it mean to be more than a conqueror? Firstly, conqueror is defined as someone who is victorious, a combatant who is able to defeat rivals and enemies. It is worth noting, that the same definition holds true to us Christians, and perhaps so much more when we become more than conquerors.
One Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer, writes – To be more than a conqueror means that before you ever get a problem, you already know that whatever problem comes your way, you can overcome it through Christ. You live with confidence that God loves you no matter what and He will never leave you nor forsake you. And when you have this kind of relationship with Christ, you aren’t constantly afraid of bad news or of things that may happen that aren’t in your plan. When the unexpected happens or you’re disappointed, you won’t be devastated by it.
Another writer, Ptr. Tony Evans, says –To be more than a conqueror means we not only achieve victory, but we are overwhelminglyvictorious. To be more than conquerors means we face the trials of life with the certainty that we are not alone. We have a mighty Father who fights for us. We approach the darkest valleys with confidence, knowing that nothing can happen to us that is not permitted by our loving Father for our good (Romans 8:28). We have His promise of eternal life (John 3:16) and the presence of Almighty God every moment of every day until we see Him face to face. No sin of ours and no attempt of the enemy can steal the loving care of God from our lives, and that makes us more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.
Well, the message is very clear. We become more than conquerors when we accept Christ into our lives. And once we do become more than conquerors, then there is nothing for us to fear for the Almighty is with us. God the Father will have taken over our lives and everything that shall transpire after that will now be according to God’s will. All we need to do is to trust and obey.
Next, what was Mark Hall referring to when he mentioned about the delicateness of the flower and the fragility of the vapor?The very first thing that came to my mind was his vulnerability as a person – our vulnerability as human beings. It reminds us of how frail we are as compared to God in all His glory – we are reminded of how we can be here today, and just like that, we can also disappear, the next. And this is very reassuring because we are reminded that even in our weakness, God in all His glory and magnificence, does not fail to care for us.
That was perhaps the literal interpretation of Mark Hall’s symbolism of the flower and the vapor. But I believe there is a deeper message that we can get from it; and that brothers and sisters in Christ is – that we are to humble ourselves before the Lord.
And how does this happen? When we, from the candor of our hearts and in the sincerity of our souls, acknowledge our unworthiness, our sinfulness and our weakness; implore the grace and mercy of God the father, by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal savior – acknowledging that without Him we can do nothing.
We must put away pride. Because when we exalt ourselves, we place ourselves in opposition of God. If we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will lift us up. God will not only supply that wonderful, amazing grace, but will do so abundantly. Because Just as God is able to resist the proud, He’s so abundantly compassionate to the humble, the broken and contrite heart that comes desperate before Him.
AND SO, does all these answer the question “who Am I”? In my perspective, I believe it has.
By humbling myself before God, acknowledging my emptiness without Him, and accepting His only son Jesus Christ into my life as my personal savior. By surrendering all that I am to His mercy and grace; I become more than a conqueror.
By receiving and believing in His name, I am empowered to become His child, born not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
So who am I? I am a child of God, who can call upon His name anytime, of any day, anywhere. Because of His love for me, He sent His only Son to die on the cross to save me from my sins. My life belongs to Him, I belong to Him. I am assured with the promise that He will never forsake me – Who am I? I am His.
(Article was first published online on 17 October 2015.)