Hearts turned in awe

Today a friend in the blogosphere writes of our hearts being turned toward God. Turning our hearts to look for His hand in our lives. Turning to Him for everything we need today so that our lives become a beacon and a signpost pointing others toward the hope of God’s promises. This expanded my prayer of the last few days: I’ve been asking to be filled with awe.

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing meals (including the Lord’s Supper) and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-43, 47).

I had never before noticed or thought about one clause in these verses; most of the time when we read through this account of the early church, we’re focusing on their fellowship, the many people being saved, and the apostles’ miracles.

But there it is, and it struck a longing in me this week: A deep sense of awe came over them all.

I want to be filled with awe.

I think they were filled with awe at what God was doing daily. Not just the miraculous signs and wonders, but the amazing things the Holy Spirit was doing in each of their lives. I think they looked forward every day to getting together with other believers and to recalling Jesus’ words that might not have made sense just a few months before; now they understand! I think they looked back even further, to the prophecies of the Scriptures that they might have studied since they were children; now God is keeping His promises! Let me tell you what happened today…  I’ll bet there were no quiet meals, and I’ll bet that many of them talked about these things all day, too, whenever they got a chance.

They were filled with a deep sense of awe at what God was doing. The Almighty’s presence in their days was as real and unmistakable as the pillar of fire and the cloud that led the Israelites in the wilderness.

We look back at the history of the children of Israel. God chose them, He chose them out of all other nations, to be His special people. He promised blessings and special favor; He promised to provide and care for them. We read their stories and think, “How could they have missed so much of this? How could they blow it like they did time and again?”

Wake up, chosen people of God! Those who come to Christ to be rescued are now the new people of God! (See Galatians 6:15-16). We are His new creation. We are right in the middle of the new thing He is doing on this earth. He keeps His promises. Everything He says He will do, He will do. He lives on this earth through us. He has a special mission for us here. Our lives are His life, pointing the way for people to come back to God. And His presence with His people is just as sure as the pillar of fire.

That may sound like boasting, but it’s really awe and amazement, bursting out… I have nothing to give Him — in all honesty, I have to admit that too often I am instead a hindrance to His work in my corner of the world. I drag my feet and mumble excuses or I do it all wrong because I like to do things my own way. Even so, He has adopted me and calls me His child and says I am His ambassador in this world. He’s changing me into His own likeness (He created once in His likeness, now He is doing it anew!) I can depend on Him to keep all His promises.

And yet I feel as though I’ve only just begun to glimpse it all…the length and breadth and depth of this relationship the Almighty God has with the people He loves. I’ve only had a sip of that deep awe.

I’d like more, please, Lord. Turn my heart in awe.

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