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.