Current Read: Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do

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This book of Paul David Tripp’s came out last year, and a close [bookworm] friend highly recommended it, but I have only recently gotten around to reading it. And I finished it in days. 

One thing in nature that always causes me to awe in God is bright and long sun rays coming through the clouds or trees.

I’m pretty sure I highlighted or underlined or copied down on paper 80% of this book. The radiance of God, the challenge to live in awe of Him and Him alone… wowzers.

The goal is that you and I would no longer live for ourselves but live joyfully and willingly for God. We pursue and participate in the work of the Spirit as he works inside us to liberate us from our bondage to ourselves.

It was insightful, the idea that my idols and wrestling and weight I carry around can be boiled down to an “awe problem.”

From church to parenting to work to our minds and hearts, awe of God is where we should live.

Below are some of my favorite passages from the book. 

Familiarity tends to blind our eyes and dull our senses. What once produced awe in us now barely gets our attention. This is the great danger in gospel ministry. So you must commit yourself to being humbly vigilant. You must start every day focusing the eyes of your heart on the stunning glory of God and his amazing, life-transforming grace. You must resist allowing familiarity to replace divine glory with the ministry mundane. Yes, we all face a day-to-day battle for awe in ministry. But we are not alone. The God of awesome grace whom we serve is a God not only of past and future grace but of present grace as well. His present grace does for you what you cannot do for yourself; it rescues you from you. His grace protects you from the dullness and fickleness of your affections. His grace opens blind eyes and recaptures straying hearts. True hope for all our ministries is found in the unrelenting zeal of his right-here, right-now grace.

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When you are blind to the stunning, expansive glory of God, when you fail to remember his infinite greatness, you will live with an atrophied heart. Rather than your view of life continuing to expand to the size of God’s incomprehensible grandeur, your perspective on life will shrink to the size of personal hopes and dreams or to the size of what the surrounding physical world has to offer. You will eat little of the true and satisfying food of God’s glory, and you will try to feed yourself on the nonnutritive morsels of the temporary glories of creation. Because you won’t be getting proper spiritual nutrition, you will be constantly hungry, your spiritual muscles will shrink, and you will be unable to live as God intended…. We have lost our wonder and, in so doing, have shrunk our souls to the size of momentary, earthbound hopes and dreams. Because we have, we get disappointed, mad, and envious too quickly.

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Only when the grander fear of God rules your heart will you be free of all the little fears in life that chip away at your heart. When you live in a reverential awe of the magnitude of God’s power and authority and are stunned by the fact that he exercises his power for his glory and your good, then you can be free from all the anxieties that make you timid and rob you of joy.

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God’s grace aims for the rescue, transformation, and deliverance of your heart. God’s grace works to free you from bondage to your own desires. God’s grace battles for your thoughts and desires even when you don’t. God’s grace is powerful and unrelenting. You and I have no ability whatsoever to liberate ourselves from ourselves, but God’s grace does. And this grace— our only hope— is not something you earn by your prayers of guilt or by your material asceticism; you and I can never earn this grace by anything we do. It is God’s eternal gift to us. We will only find hope for our battle with material things in the forgiving, liberating, and transforming power of this grace.

 


Holy Spirit, sit and soak this truth with me, so that awe of God becomes my natural way of being.

Make us people in awe of God, every minute of every day. May we see ourselves and the world around us clearly, and discern in our hearts what or who we worship instead of God. You are holy, mighty, beautiful, powerful, love, mercy, strength, provision. Fill us with Your grace. Raise our gaze to You.

 


 

Also, Sharon Hodde Miller’s book Free of Me released this week. If you desire a one-two punch in redirecting your eyes, heart, mind, and soul toward our incredible God, these two are it!

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