Hi and welcome back to another week on the Chrissie Murphy Designs blog. I’m running late with posting this week. It’s Christmas time and I’ve had so much happening this last week. It’s been full on, but it hasn’t stopped me reflecting on the word Awe. I’ve just had some more time to do so, which has been fantastic.
I tend to think that awe is a word that we’ve become complacent with. I know I have anyway… If you know me, you’d know I use “awesome” like you wouldn’t believe…. but here’s the thing…. I don’t really stop to think about the awe part! Real true awe is something incredibly powerful and life-changing and scripture encourages us to pursue a life of living in it. Let’s have a look at how it might look if we did.
What is awe?
The dictionary.com app defines awe as;
“an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.”Dictionary.com
The Free Dictionary by Farlex App defines it as;
“A feeling of respect or reverence mixed with dread and wonder, often inspired by something majestic or powerful”.Free Dictionary by Farlex
When I read these definitions my mind was drawn to two words…. fear and dread. How could the awe I believed, the one that causes me to use the word “awesome” all the time have anything to do with fear and dread? Maybe my awesome was too rose coloured…
The shepherds experienced awe
On the night Jesus was born we read of Shepherds out watching their sheep at night. An angel appeared to them, and later a “vast host of others – the armies of heaven” who were singing and praising the Lord, declaring the birth of the Messiah. What a sight! How incredible that must have been! It also says that the shepherds were terrified – maybe that’s some of that fear and dread the definition talks about.
I believe this was a moment of awe. A moment of reverence mixed with dread and wonder, inspired by something majestic and powerful. The shepherd’s lives and belief systems would have been changed forever by this encounter.
You can’t stay in these moments forever though…. as incredible as they are, you can’t remain fixed to the grassy field watching an angelic heavenly display forever, life must go on…. In fact the Lord encourages that it does because in it, our purpose is being fulfilled. (Just a quick heads up, if you missed my post about purpose, you can read it here).
For the Shepherd’s it meant moving on (in awe) to Bethlehem to share what they had just encountered and had been told. It says that when they did people were astonished and amazed.
Experience awe and then live in it
We had our annual Christmas Pool Party for church this week. I was talking to my friend and we were looking back at how much that’s happened with the Lord this last year. My friend said, “I’m amazed, and when I think I can’t be amazed any more, I’m amazed again.”
I agree, and it got me thinking about how the Lord actually creates an environment of amazement and awe for us to live in. We can have moments of awe, just like the Shepherd’s did, and then we’re called to move on in it.
A few days later we talked about her moment of awe. It happened earlier in the year when she had been struggling in a particular area of her life. Through a situation she found herself in, the Lord used other people to bring great revelation to her. In that moment of revelation, when He revealed himself and His desire for her, she knew she was in the presence of an almighty God. She knew He saw all, and nothing about her could deny what was being revealed. It was incredible what was being spoken to her heart. The emotions she felt were intense, foreign, fearful and beautiful all at the same time. That one moment of awe was life-changing for her and she has moved on to live in awe ever since.
It’s what we’re called to do
In 1 Peter Chapter 2, it says we’re called to live in awe.
“Recognize the value of every person and continually show love to every believer. Live your lives with great reverence and in holy awe of God. Honor your rulers.”
There’s another verse in 2 Peter that says we have everything we need for living a godly life. I love this because I believe it confirms that the Lord provides the awe for us to live in. He calls us to live in awe of Him, and promises to provide all we need to do so.
He meets the shepherd’s and my friend and they have an encounter of absolute awe, He provides it. A moment of reverence mixed with dread and wonder, inspired by something majestic and powerful. His provision is the reason they are able to move on in awe and live in it.
What does it look like to live in awe?
The definitions earlier gives us a clue. It’s living with a feeling of reverence, respect, admiration, wonder, dread and fear, that you know is produced by that which is grand, majestic sublime and extremely powerful (aka the Lord!).
Living a life like this produces fruit, just like any action does. My friends comment earlier is a great example of this. She’s living in awe and the fruit of it is abundance – for her, an abundance of amazement. The Passion Translation says that
“When you live a life of abandoned love, surrendered before the awe of God, here’s what you’ll experience: Abundant life. Continual protection. And complete satisfaction!”
That’s some good fruit right there! One of the reasons I believe the Lord calls us to live in awe, is because He knows how good it is for us. Abundant life, continual protection and complete satisfaction.
But what if I feel like I’ve lost my sense of awe?
If you’ve had an encounter like the ones I’ve described above and you feel like you’ve lost your sense of awe, I’d love to encourage you. The Lord is known for his power to restore and I believe restoring that sense of awe you’re missing is something He can do. Psalm 126 contains a beautiful verse about restoration.
“Now, Lord, do it again! Restore us to our former glory! May streams of your refreshing flow over us until our dry hearts are drenched again.”
This is a prayer to someone who can bring back what’s been lost. A prayer from a heart that knows the Lord CAN restore. The Lord can do it again, he has done it again and he will do it again. All things are possible for those who believe.
Will you let me join you in prayer for this? I’d love to pray for your sense of awe to be restored so you can move on in it. Leave me a comment or privately message me here, fill me in on your journey so far and I will pray for you.
It’s my hearts desire to see you living in awe in 2020. May abundant life, continual protection and complete satisfaction be the fruit that grows for you next year.
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Until next time, listen to your heart and sharpen your coloured pencils. A masterpiece awaits!
Bless you my friend