In AWE of God’s Illuminating Word

AWE: An overwhelming feeling of reverential respect or admiration mixed with fear or wonder.

Apologetics: a defense of our true faith; our giving answers for why we have true hope in Jesus Christ.

Psalm 119:130 & 161b ESV -The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…161… My heart stands in awe of your words.

Luke 24:27 & 32 ESV - And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself… 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Jesus taught that nobody comes to God unless the Spirit draws them. Paul wrote that blindness in part had come upon his countrymen who rejected their Messiah. In the Parable of the Four Soils, Christ also taught that the same seed (word of God) produces according to the condition of the soil (human minds and hearts). So it is only by the Spirit of grace that any of us can find the truth of Scripture to be something stirring. Yet, once God’s Spirit has opened our eyes and made us alive to Him, the word of God takes on new importance and meaning. Though much of Bible study is a valuable discipline (both personally and in church gatherings), there are times in which the Spirit of God illuminates His word in a way that leaves us in awe of such eternal truth. This should be our continual prayer - that God would unfold His word in an awe-inducing manner that deepens our dedication to Jesus Christ, teaching others His word, sharing the awe.

2 Timothy 2:15 ESV - Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Proverbs 25:2 ESV - It is the glory [privilege] of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.

It was by Scripture that I would learn my Father’s voice and direction most clearly. At appropriate times, there would be theme verses with which He would direct my decisions or ease my anxiety. Proverbs 3:-5-7, Matthew 6:33, Matthew 16:25, Ecclesiastes 7:10, and 1 Peter 4 were brought to my attention at key moments, leaving me in awe of how real God was - and directly involved in my life. From the amazing way the (Christ-centered) Bible fits together to the historically fulfilled prophecies that verify the miraculous element of Scripture, God’s illuminating word isn’t just something to study academically but to encounter Him in a way that stirs the soul.

1 Corinthians 14:24-25 NET - But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or uninformed person enters, he will be convicted by all, he will be called to account by all. 25 The secrets of his heart are disclosed, and in this way he will fall down with his face to the ground and worship God, declaring, “God is really among you.”

This awe-inducing prophetic ministry through preaching and teaching is yet another way God illuminates His word in a very real and life-changing way. The countless times in which God has overwhelmed people with a sense of holy awe as His prophetic word exposed their thoughts and life circumstances is always a sacred experience to witness. There is a miraculous component to it that people cannot ignore, assuming we do not take it for granted or become hardened in out hearts by some deceit of sin.

How hungry for the word of God are you - both personally and in church gatherings? How deeply and patiently do you study the Scriptures as part of your disciple-Master relationship with Jesus Christ? Can you recall times in which God’s word exposed the secrets of your heart in a way that reassured you that “God is in this place”? How about when God used you to share something prophetic or awe-inspiring to someone else?

Psalm 138:2 ESV - I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.