In Awe! – pt 2

Directing The Current

Awe.  It is an incredible feeling that seems to take your breath away.  And there are a lot of things in ourawe world today, from the simplest of things, like taking that first bite of an amazing new flavour of ice cream, to some incredibly complex and beautiful sights that people from around the world flock to go see.

Awe, as we looked at in my last post, is something that is within all of us.  We were created with the capacity and the need to express awe.

Where we choose to express that awe is something that creates a current for the rest of our lives to follow.  It will direct our lives even if it is unseen and unnoticed.  You don’t have to see a current for there to be a powerful one just below the surface.  But it definitely has an immediate effect if you step into the current.  strong current sign.jpg

Awe is a directing and motivating force in our lives.  It can move us to excellence and greatness or as we have seen all to often it can move us to horrible acts of violence and everything in between.

“Where you look for awe will shape the direction of your life. It just makes sense that your source of awe will control you, your decisions, and the course your story takes.” David Tripp

Whatever has captured the awe of my heart will also set the agenda for the things that we desire, think, choose, say, and do. The moral life of every human being is driven and shaped by awe, either awe of God or awe of something in God’s creation.  What you choose to be in awe of is very important and only we can only decide for ourselves where that awe will be placed.  Wherever we choose to place in will affect every other aspect of our lives


In Awe!

moher cliffs irelandAwe.  It is a powerful emotion that is within all of us.   What inspires the feelings within us is as diverse and the people on the earth today.  For some it is standing on a cliff staring at the beauty of a sunset on the ocean.  For others it is sitting in a temperature controlled gallery viewing a masterpiece painted my one of the many great artists of our time.  Or maybe it is standing in the Sistine Chapel and viewing the masterpiece which took Michelangelo many years to finish and still people flock to see.

For others it is a moving piece of music which captures their heart and soul.  And still others are inspired and awe-struck by the stars which thehubble stars Hubble telescope has been capturing amazing shots of for many years.  There is a lot in our world that grips our hearts and leaves us standing breathless.  Some people have that same awe when it comes to God.  The belief that someone spoke all of this wonder into being with a word and sustains it all with the word of His power is an awesome thought.   A God who knows the stars by name, which scientists estimate there being 10,000 million million million stars in the known universe, and calls them out each night.  And add to that the belief that the God who spoke all this into being is deeply acquainted with you personally.  He even knows how many hairs you have on your head, and He desires to know you personally and intimately and loves with a love that exceeds the expanse of the universe.   Awe is within all of us.

Taj MahalWe seek after places to put that awe on.  It is hard-wired within all of us.  And we will use it somewhere, because like breathing it needs to happen.  Where we choose to put that awe actually defines our lives.  We can choose to be in awe of material things and our lives will be consumed with having the latest, greatest and grandest things, usually before anyone else so we can have bragging rights.  If you are in awe of a particular person everything in your life will revolve around that person and what they are doing.  If you are in awe of experience you will pattern your life around the experience you are seeking, often to the detriment of other things.

Awe is something we all  get up every morning, and without ever being aware of it, search constantly for.  We are attracted to awesome things because it is a physical need within all of us to experience.  Awe is defined as “A feeling of reverential sistine chapelrespect mixed with fear or wonder.”  That feeling we get when we cannot explain what we are seeing and simply stand in wonder and amazement.  We all need to experience awe.  The question is what creates that feeling within you and what will you be in awe of?

What does it take to follow Jesus?

The call to follow Christ is not one that needs a lot of preparation and thought.  It doesn’t require hours and hours of study for someone to be used powerfully by God.  And one doesn’t need to spend thousands of dollars on an education to make sure your know enough to be useful to God.  We live in a society that has pushed you to learn and prepare so that you are useful.  And while education and study are definitely imporant and have their place, they are not what is needed for one to be used by God.  To often we allow ourselves to think that we are not ready, or we don’t know enough, or we are not prepared to say yes when God calls.  I have been guilty of this same thought myself over the years.  

When I was first asked to teach sunday school years ago my first thought was ‘what do I know?’  I felt unqualified, and ill prepared to stand before a group of kids and teach them.  Thankfully I didn’t allow the feelings to hold me back and at the encouragment of those leading me I stepped into the role.  The problem is many Christians today in North America hold back in so many ways because they feel the same.  I was truly humbled by the young men and women I met while traveling overseas who were simply doing what was in front of them every day to the best they knew how and they were leading people to Christ and leading churches, and many were fresh off the streets themselves.  All they knew was God was able, Jesus saves and what God had done for them He wanted to do for others.  And as they were the oldest Christian they were in charge.

When I talk with people here about leading small groups, or house churches I usually get the same response I had when asked to teach sunday school.  People say ‘I’m not ready’, or ‘I don’t know enough’ or ‘What if I get asked something I can’t answer?’.  And all of the responses usually revolve around knowing and preparing enough to perform.  And as a result we miss out completely on seeing God do something in our lives and moving on the people we encounter each day.

Wolfgang Samson wrote “The core followers of Christ have found that following Him is not about having sufficient academic and statistical proof before they act; rather, it is about having the faithful and obedient desire to follow God’s Word and do what He said, no matter what, when, where, or who has gone before.”

Everyone who has ever been used of God has had to come to the place where they realized the fact that ‘God is able, and God is faithful, and Jesus wants to be known’.  

Everything God calls us to do and to be stems from His ability and not ours. We will never know enough or be prepared enough to be used by God. In fact most of the people God used were the unlearned and ill prepared. Just look at the original twelve disciples. Not one of them was considered to be the cream of society and not one was educated in any way. What set them apart was the willingness to follow and the relationship they had with God. They knew God was able to do all things, that God was wanting to use them, and He would be faithful to stand behind everything He called them to do. And so they went trusting in God’s ability instead of their own. 

For us to be used by God we have to come to the same place. The place where saying yes to what God wants doesn’t hinge on our ability but on His. Once we do we can truly see mountains move.  Everything is dependent on Him and on our willingness to simply follow where He leads.