I Am Not but I Know I AM: Welcome to the Story of God
Available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Available from ChristianBook.com in paperback and ePub. I read the hardback edition (out of print).
This book changed me. I needed to hear the core message of the book, which is that God is I AM and I am not God. It’s about making ourselves small and making God big. We can either be the star of our small story or be a small part of God’s big story. This simple change in perspective helps us to die to ourselves—our desire for self-promotion, self-determination, self, self, self. When we die to ourselves on a daily basis, we enter into what God’s doing and become players in God’s story. In light of eternity, our lives are a mere blip. But we have the privilege, if we are willing to set aside our self-interests, of being a part of God’s eternal story. That’s more gratifying than being our own stage manager for our tiny story.
Just because we agree that God is bigger than our ability to comprehend doesn’t mean that we will automatically love and trust Him. And many, even among Christ’s followers, don’t. Not really. They don’t trust His intentions, His reliability, His sensitivity to their needs, His timing. As you’d expect, then, they’re reluctant to let go of their own story—no matter how small, self-focused, or unrewarding—to be a part of His.
–Louie Giglio, I Am Not But I Know I Am, page 139.
While the overall message of the book is needed and refreshing, I took exception Louie Giglio’s recurring attempt to twist the words of the Bible in awkward and unnatural ways. In his “One-Word Bible Study Method” he takes a verse one word at a time and searches for meaning in the word. While word study is a valuable part of Bible study, he took English words like “behold” and interpreted it to mean “Be (as in “I AM” or God)—hold (meaning “hug”). So to him, the word “behold” meant “to be held by God.” Similarly, “became” meant “God came.” It is not only a mishandling of Scripture, but it is a mishandling of the English language. No one would ever define “behold” or “become” to be a reference to God’s nearness or presence.
It’s unfortunate that some major mishandling of Scripture blemished an otherwise wonderful and helpful book that most Christians really need to read. The positive message outweighs the flaws and I can tell the author’s heart is in the right place so I encourage you to read the book as long as you remain aware of the faulty Bible study methods.
I’ve made a big deal of this because accurately handling Scripture is important (see 2 Timothy 2:15), but I don’t want to leave you with a negative impression of the book because the message is important and it really touched my heart. Here is a sample of some of the valuable teaching:
When you get right down to it, trading in the little story of me is not really all that big of a sacrifice after all. Who wouldn’t want to abandon a script you could fit on the pointed end of a pin for a chance to get in on the glorious epic that is so enduring that its screening will require all of eternity. Glimpsing His glory makes me want to say, “Your name and renown are the desire of [my soul].” Seeing His true fame makes me want to live for a bigger purpose, doing everything I do in such a way as to shine the spotlight on Him.
But how do I do that on a daily basis? How do I live for His name in the daily grind?
Well, the answer is not easy, but it is simple—you do whatever it is you do in such a way as to reflect His character to the world around you. . . . Everyone expects pastors and ministry-types to live for a bigger story, but how cool is it when people in every walk of life do what they do with a greater purpose in mind?
–Louie Giglio, I Am Not But I Know I Am, page 132.
How cool is it when people in every walk of life do what they do with a greater purpose in mind? It’s very cool. That’s what it means to be a positive Christian.
You can find Louie Giglio on Twitter (@LouieGiglio) and at his website: http://louiegiglio.com/.
I give I Am Not but I Know I AM by Louie Giglio three cups of love.
(Minus two for the mishandling of Scripture.)
||I Am Not, But I Know I Am: Welcome to the Story of God
By Louie Giglio / Multnomah Books
In this super-sized era where bigger is better and fast is too slow, it’s time to become small and let God be great! Redefining success, Giglio shows you how to obtain the astonishing freedom and incredible rest that come from believing, like John the Baptist and Moses, that you must decrease while Jesus increases. 176 pages, softcover from Multnomah.