Recovering Awe

Jerry has authority issues. I park outside the lines, drive a bit above the speed limit, and push the boundaries of social propriety. Strangely, though I resist rules, I am also a person who loves order, who keeps a calendar, shows up on time, and likes it when others do their job as expected. Complex, isn’t it?  There is One for Whom my respect is unquestioned, Whose will is my desire.

The words of Psalm 139 celebrate the majesty of our God, His ways and will, calling us to live with awe and worship. Read these words with prayerful faith.

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!

I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me! . . .

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139, NLT)

I invite us to reflect and ask – do I really believe that about my God, or are those words simply poetic expressions?  IF we really revere a God who is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and eternal  …  the implications touch every aspect of our lives.

Many of us, even Christians who claim to love Christ, are a lot like me – when it comes to God, we have authority issues.  We want His blessings, the comfort of knowing that we can pray, and the sense of having a caring Father – but we are less enthralled with a God Whose right is total devotion, absolute control. He demands (*yes, that is the right word) that we submit to Him, if we want to know the fullest, richest life of the Spirit. 

It is easy to read that word ‘submit’ as an ugly one if we think only of those who are cruel, who exploit others for their gain, or the powerful who oppress the weak. God is good. We can TRUST Him with our whole heart, soul, body, and mind.   Oh, He is not tame, nor predictable, nor is His way without rigor.  Jesus taught us this. “So why do you call me ‘Lord,’ when you won’t obey me? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then obeys me. It is like a person who builds a house on a strong foundation laid upon the underlying rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against the house, it stands firm because it is well built.

But anyone who listens and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will crumble into a heap of ruins.” (Luke 6:46-49, NLT)

My friend, a Christianity that is beautiful, life-giving, and God-honoring includes a recovered AWE of the Holy One, that humbles us, that keeps us from the arrogance of self-will. If you know me well, you know that I make no case for simplistic or mindless religious fundamentalism. Rather, my appeal today is that we come to the Father who knows us – inside out – and trust Him with the good, the bad, the hard, the ugly, life here and for eternity. If we claim He is Lord and reject His Word and ways, He will not be to us, all that He can be.

Take this word from the Word to heart. Savor it. “We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light.” (Colossians 1:9-12, NLT)

If He is not Lord of all, then He is not truly Lord at all.

(Video of this blog at this link)

_______________

King Of My Heart

Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run
The fountain I drink from
Oh He is my song

Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide
The ransom for my life
Oh He is my song

You are good good oh
You are good good oh

Let the King of my heart
Be the wind inside my sails
The anchor in the waves
Oh He is my song

Let the King of my heart
Be the fire inside my veins
The echo of my days
Oh He is my song

You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down

You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down

When the night is holding on to me
God is holding on
When the night is holding on to me
God is holding on

John Mark McMillan | Sarah McMillan

© Meaux Jeaux Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: