I recently had to go to a training day for all classified employee’s of the school district I work for. The keynote speaker’s address was something between a liberal church service and a political rally. 4 times we had to stand up and either recite something or clap for something, or even dance (luckily I didn’t have too). One of the things we were asked to recite is what he tells himself everyday when he wakes up in the morning. He called it his “I am something prayer”. I didn’t write down the whole thing but it went something like this,
“I am Something, I am Something, I AM SOMETHING, I am a success, I am persuasive, I am knowledgeable, I am creative, I am useful… about 10 more positive “I am” statements later and then… I am something, I am SOMETHING, I AM SOMETHING.”
I couldn’t help but feel awkward in this situation. There I was standing in a room full of people who are shouting this and in my head all I can think is, “No I am nothing”. “I am nothing without Christ”.
Part of me can see Satan reciting this to himself every morning. With all the vehemence he has in his body, shouting, “I AM SOMETHING”. What a trick it is of the devil for us to believe we are anything worthwhile. I know I sound like a major downer, but really? All I do is sin. Therefore, all I deserve is death. Every good thing I have done apart from Christ hasn’t been good because it is tainted with sin. I am nothing. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”. The poor in spirit are those who really see their wickedness and know that they are “Nothing”.
Charles Wesley penned a beautiful hymn that sums it up. It’s call “Wherewith, O Lord, Shall I Draw Near?”
Wherewith, O Lord, shall I draw near,
And bow myself before Thy face?
How in Thy purer eyes appear?
What shall I bring to gain Thy grace?
Whoe’er to Thee themselves approve
Must take the path Thyself has showed;
Justice pursue, and mercy love,
And humbly walk by faith with God.
But though my life henceforth be Thine,
Present for past can ne’er atone;
Though I to Thee the whole resign,
I only give Thee back Thine own.
What have I then wherein to trust?
I nothing have, I nothing am;
Excluded is my every boast;
My glory swallowed up in shame.
Guilty I stand before Thy face;
On me I feel Thy wrath abide:
’Tis just the sentence should take place,
’Tis just—but O, Thy Son hath died!
Jesus, the Lamb of God, hath bled,
He bore our sins upon the tree,
Beneath our curse He bowed His head,
’Tis finished! He hath died for me!
For me I now believe He died!
He made my every crime His own,
Fully for me He satisfied:
Father, well pleased behold Thy Son.
He ever lives for me to pray;
He prays that I with Him may reign;
Amen to what my Lord doth say!
Jesu, Thou canst not pray in vain.
“I am nothing, I am NOTHING, I AM NOTHING, I am a sinner, I am a failure, I am no good, I can do no good, I am worthless, I am vile, I am rotten, I am a murderer, I am a thief, I am a liar, I am helpless… I am Forgiven… I am nothing without Christ, I am NOTHING WITHOUT CHRIST, I AM NOTHING WITHOUT CHRIST”