Don’t Lose Your Awe!

In a world so saturated with fear we need a fresh encounter with the awe and wonder of God. I asked Mike Verkaik to share what the Holy Spirit has been teaching Him concerning this most needed topic.

I have been blessed to meet with a college student weekly for the last two years. Part of our weekly commitment is to faithfully read, pray and dwell over two chapters from the Bible and share what the Holy Spirit reveals to us. Currently we are in the book of Jeremiah.

As I read the first two chapters God began to restore amazement and awe for who He is, and for being in relationship with Him. Listen to what the Lord is saying to us through His call of Jeremiah:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

After I read those words, I wrote the following, “ Oh, Abba, to live into the understanding and knowledge that before I was formed you actually knew me, you set me apart and appointed me for the calling you have on my life. You are too wonderful for me! Help me to understand and know You more and more. Give me a holy, non-ceasing awe of You!”

This was only reaffirmed for me when I read the words of David in Psalm 139. For the first time as I read his words I realized how David was modeling for me what it is like to be in complete awe of God. It is such a disservice to not write it all, but be amazed at these excerpts.

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Where can I go from your Spirit? Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139: 1-2, 4, 7, 16

David is overwhelmed with God’s omnipotence, His sovereignty, and great love, and so am I. What an honor to be in relationship and dwell in the presence of God, to realize His holiness, His beauty. Daily, to delight in being alone with God, have a conversation with Him and be in His presence. Just us and Him. Yet, our tendency is for this holy, intimate relationship to become common, ordinary and lose its awe. Listen to what God says to Jeremiah as He begins to unpack His reasons for sending Israel into captivity;

“Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me.” Jeremiah 2:19

After this encounter in Jeremiah and Psalm 139, my heart has been grieving even more for the people I dwell with at the motel. Many of them have no awe of their creator. No time or interest to dwell with God or communicate with Him. But, before I throw the first stone, I’m convicted there are times I have the same struggles and temptations.

Living in awe of and in the presence of our triune God is something I need to daily fight for. It is a daily repentance. So many distractions lead me astray, as my mind can be so scattered with wandering thoughts, and lists of things I need to accomplish. I wander far away from praying without ceasing and can even have an inability to focus in my daily prayers.

What about you? I wonder if that is why David ends his words of awe in Psalm 139 with the following plea:

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

David is inspired to have nothing separate him from the awe of being in relationship with his Father. It is our daily battle as well, one of repentance, grace, and prayer. Join me in praying for a daily-renewed knowledge and understand of our awesome God.

Finding Your Mind in a World that’s losing it!


I was getting ready to upload my blog on Monday morning knowing I had a busy day ahead. “Where is it, I cannot believe it of all days…!” After several minutes of frantically searching for a blog I wrote ahead of time-I had to admit defeat-it had vanished in cyber space. Indeed,  I had “lost the plot” and any peace I had encountered from my morning quiet time.

For some reason God often speaks to me in the shower. And as I was cooling off He quietly reminded me about the source of my anger, control. I had my day all planned out and writing a blog was not on the rather long list.

The whisper of the Spirit reminded me of the bizarre story of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Who one day was looking over the roof of his palace and stated:

“Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor,” (Daniel 4:30).

As the prideful words poured out of his mouth, he literally lost his mind and was driven out of the kingdom to live like a wild beast in the field. He would be in this condition until he acknowledged he was not in control:

“Until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone He chooses…” (vs. 32).

God continues to give me lessons in Africa about who is really in control. And I can’t help but think He is doing this all over the world. For 2 years governments have tried to control a virus with little success and as a result anger abounds. We have had one natural disaster after another, which preaches loud and clear about how helpless we really are.

The longer we try to play god the crazier we are going to get. And as Paul said when we worship anyone or thing besides God eventually our minds will become “dark and confused,” (Romans 1:21). I think this verse speaks a powerful truth to what we are experiencing today.

Our minds were made to Worship only one King. Read Daniel 4, the moment Nebuchadnezzar looked up to heaven and began to worship the “Most High” his “sanity” returned and he was restored back to his kingdom (vs. 34ff.).

It was a longer shower than usual but I had to be reminded of the One in control. And just maybe I needed to write a new blog to redirect my mind to Worship Him even when things don’t go as I have planned.

“When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom…Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All His acts are just and true, and He is able to humble the proud.” (Daniel 4:36-37).






A Most Needed Prayer for Today!

“What will heaven be like the moment you arrive?” I asked that question this past Sunday at a church I was speaking at. Here are a few of the answers:

“Pure joy.” “I won’t want to go back.” “No home work.” “No demons.” “A big hug by Jesus that won’t let go.” “Joyful worship and celebration.” “ A radiant glowing city without sin.” “No more tears, no more sickness.” “Freedom.” “Pure light without any darkness.”

We summed it all up with one word, “LOVE!” Heaven is a world of pure love that goes beyond our wildest imagination.

I then asked them to describe hell. And most of their responses were the exact opposite of the list above. We summed it up in one word, “LOVELESS!” A world void of love which no one on earth has ever fully experienced. Even the worst sinner or the loneliest person on earth experiences the Father’s love through common means of grace such as creation.

My greatest need and I will be so bold and state that your greatest need today is Heaven’s Love . Our aching world striving to find healing for the emptiness in its soul through power, control, every form of sensual pleasure, and even striving religious activity will never be healed until Heaven’s Love is found.

For the church, the body of Christ to make its biggest impact in a lonely, loveless world we need to overflow with a supernatural love. The Apostle Paul knew this and right in the middle of his letter to the church in Ephesus he prays this most powerful prayer-for love to fill the children of the Father. I have felt called to pray this prayer over my heart, my family and His church every day in 2022. Perhaps the Spirit will lead you to join in praying this most needed prayer as well:

“So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. And I pray that He would unveil within you the unlimited riches of His glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with His divine might and explosive power.

Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life.

Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences – the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far – reaching is His love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding – this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and to accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes you. 

Now we offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ – and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen! (Ephesian 3:14-21 PT)

It’s All You!

On New Year’s morning Patty and I were celebrating by drinking our last “Ebb & Flow” coffee roasted by our kids in the US, (sorry a little advertising ). As we savored the last drops we were discussing Deuteronomy 6-8, a section Patty had just read.

What a fitting text for the New Year. Moses was preparing a new generation to enter into the Promised Land. He reminded this group of wandering people of God’s past faithfulness. How Yahweh brought them out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt. How He had sustained them for 40 years in the most inhabitable desert with water from a Rock and food from Heaven. How He protected and led them with the Glory Cloud of His fiery presence.

Now He was leading them into a land full of abundance with cattle, crops, and constructed homes waiting for them which they did not build. All because He is a promise keeping God who loves them:

“The LORD did not set His heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the LORD loves you and was keeping the oath He had sworn to your ancestors,” (7:7-8).

As we discussed these passages I picked up my journal and wrote these words, “It’s all You!” Looking back on 2021 we can testify both in the valleys of pain and the mountains of joy that the unexplainable love of God carried us along. He is a faithful! He is a promise keeping God.

It’s all about the Father’s love to us in Jesus. He chose us as the least in the world and saved us from the slavery of our sin. He sustains us in the wilderness and through His Spirit leads us into His Kingdom promises as His beloved children.

I began to fill up my journal with praise and overwhelming gratitude. Looking back to all that He did for Oceans both in Africa and the US we have seen miracle after miracle of provision where the Father has moved on hearts of His children to give sacrificially from enormous hearts of love. We have had divine appointments and movements of the Holy Spirit in ministry that can only be the hand of God moving in His sons and daughters.

It is hard to put words to it-but the Father’s love humbles the heart in such a way words are inadequate all I can do is shake my head in awe. All glory goes to God alone it is all Him!

Moses wrote Deuteronomy to remind a new generation that it is all about His unexplainable sovereign love. We have no idea what 2022 holds but we can look up with a blessed hope trusting in His love and shout out in our spirits “It’ All You!”

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

(Vs. 3 of “Rock of Ages”)

*the meaning of foul is wicked or immoral