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Thursday, January 14, 2010

In Awe

"Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for You, Jesus, or in awe of You be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing 'Hallelu Yah'—will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine."
~ Mercy Me*

In Awe

Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, and those who pierced Him... "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "He who is and He who was and He who is to come, The Almighty." ... And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead. But He put His right hand on me, saying, "Do not fear ..."
~ Revelation 1:7-8,17 (EMTV)

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
~ 1 Peter 2:17 (NKJV)

awe: noun> a feeling of great respect mixed with fear; fearful veneration or respect
awesome: adj> inspiring awe; slang remarkable, outstanding

We picture Jesus as the Baby in the manger. The beloved Rabbi healing the sick and raising the dead. The gentle Shepherd welcoming children. The loving Savior pierced on the cross.

Jesus Christ is foremost the divine Son of God.

Lest we think "fear of the Lord" is only an Old Testament concept for those not yet cleansed by the blood of Christ or filled with His Spirit, consider the example of two prominent apostles.

Here is Peter, the foremost apostle of the early church, who once beheld with fear the transfigured Jesus. He writes to followers and instructs us to "fear God."

Here is John, the apostle whom Jesus loved, beholding his Lord. He is in awe, fallen on his face in abject fear of Lord God Almighty in all His glory.

The slang exclamation of "awesome" has come to mean "cool," "outstanding," or perhaps "wow!" Our awesome God is all these lesser things. But if Jesus Christ inspired terror in Peter and John, His closest earthly friends, might we consider that our own response to Him would include being in awe—fearful, righteous awe?

Might we consider the privilege of entering His presence at all?

Lord Jesus, how is it that You, our awesome and almighty God, should love us so powerfully and show us such immense grace? Please increase our fear that we might heed You. Please perfect our love in anticipation of the day when perfect love drives out all fear.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Image from album "Face Down" by Matt Redman,
*Lyrics of "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me © 1999 Simpleville Music


  1. Something powerful in me is evoked when I hear or say 'Hallelu Yah" (like your spelling). It really does feel supernatural. Perhaps the rawest awakening of the Holy Spirit inside me.

  2. I couldn't find your post so I looked up Building His Body and it showed that you posted one second ago. One second. :)

    One of our pastors challenged us to think about what it might have been like for Jesus, the divine son, to come down to earth. He said his best picture (forgive the gross analogy) was that we were sick children throwing up all over the place and God came down into that because he loves us so much. The image stuck b/c I've cared for sick children.

    Hope you get a chunk of time in your prayer closet today.
    ~ Wendy

  3. On Monday a lady came to my office. The Holy Spirit's presence in her life is so obvious. I could feel His presence in the room . . . what a gift. We truly have an awe inspiring Father and Lord.

    Thanks for your prayers yesterday, Anne. I'm definitely a the-cup-is-half-full kind of guy. When I am down it is short lived ... :-)

  4. I'm often thinking how I will react when I see Jesus face to face. Will I react as Isaiah or as John? I want to see Him but in the same time I am afraid.

  5. It is so hard for the finite human mind to understand the span between God and man. The created verses the Creator. Yes, He is deserving of our awe and what a privilege we have been afforded.

  6. Taking Him for granted- all that He is and does- I believe that's the first step toward many snares. Thanks for this post, Anne.

  7. T. Anne, Yah is my favorite name of God. It pains me to see Alleluia or Hallelujah obscure the Yah. When I sing it, you can be sure that I say 'Yah.' Other than YHWH (which cannot be pronounced), I believe Yah is the most powerful name of God.

    Wendy, I understand the 'gross' you used here. I often think of sancitification in terms of diapers. (Can you tell I'm the mother of five?) I didn't love my children any less in a soiled diaper, but they sure were less pleasanat to be around. Once they understand that they have the power of self-control, why wouldn't they want to exercise it? Same with us.

    Russell, ditto to every word. And you're welcome.

    Natasa, the nice thing is, both men responded first with utter fear, and then with the eagerness to serve. Isaiah's sin was taken away by the coal. Ours has been covered in blood. Once we're fully sanctified, free of sin's power and presence, I can't imagine having fear.

    Patty, can you imagine the day when we see that span in its entirety, and comprehend God's nearness? Our minds are indeed finite.

    Denise, our God is an awesome God.

    Jason, why do we 'take for granted' those we love most? It's one of the most crushing curses of being mortal.


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