Reverence and Awe

Water is something we take for granted every day isn’t it? We are thirsty, so we open the fridge. If our hands get dirty, we wash them. For many of us, the warmth in our home comes by means of water rushing through pipes, creating the most annoying bits of racket, which of course causes us to wonder if someone is walking around our homes in the middle of the night.

Somewhere along the line, we’ve bought into the fable that we are in control over water. Simply because, if we need more, we twist the nozzle in our showers, or move a lever in our kitchens. But we really aren’t in control of it, are we? The water authority can turn it off. A line could become contaminated, and then we are out of luck. In those quick moments, we are reminded very simply: we are not in control.

For all of our domestication of this most basic compound, it is to the snow that we look to find the simplest and most beautiful demonstration of God’s artistry, which will never be matched nor dominated by the likes of Michelangelo or others. We are reminded in those serene bursts of snow, that our God is awesome. This word “awesome” has been robbed of its proper weightiness, but it properly means “to inspire awe”. But then again what is “awe”? It is the perfect mosaic of reverence, fear, and wonder. Our God is awesome.

People like to think of God in many ways: God is love; God is kind; God is this, that, and the other. But when was the last time you thought of God as awesome? Not cool. Not chummy. But at the very thought of God you were led to hold a sense of silent reverence, fear, and wonder. You may hear much talk about God today in our world. But how much of it is meant to remind us of the greatness of our Holy and Triune God?

The prophet Isaiah writes these words of God, as He begins to speak words of comfort to His faithless people, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40:12 ESV) Further on the prophet writes, “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, He takes up the coastlands like find dust … All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are accounted by Him as less than nothing and emptiness.” (Isaiah 40:15, 17 ESV) These words are meant to emote the proper sense of awe that our God deserves.

Far too often, our prayers are weak because our hearts have built an altar to our own rendition of God, which has as much to do with the true God of the Scriptures as a crispy piece of bacon does with a Vegan stir fry. Likewise, our worship is cold and lifeless because we do not grasp the proper privilege we have in approaching the thrice Holy God of all the Earth. We do not comprehend what it means to enter into the presence of royalty. And so, it naturally follows, that every aspect of our world is tarnished when we fail to see God rightly. But how do we come to see God rightly? To build a God in our image is idolatry. Instead, we must see Him as He has revealed Himself, from the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.

I pray that you would know this God intimately through the Lord Jesus Christ, who is Himself “begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made” (Nicene Creed) I pray that such knowledge would lead you to relinquish any false sense of control in your world, and that, instead, joy would abound in your hearts. Joy in knowing Christ as your Savior, and the Lord of all creation. We are not in control my friends, and that is better than alright, it is good. For the God to whom we belong in Christ is guiding all things together for His eternal glory and our good. Believe in Him beloved, trust in the Lord, approach Him with reverence and awe.

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