MARCH 14, 2023
I am so susceptible to following culture rather than trying to influence it.
More than I can say, I hate it, but it’s reality: I’m more easily influenced by people other than Jesus than I ever want to admit. And I’m a pastor. Shouldn’t I be an influencer rather than the influenced?
A few years ago, when everyone in our culture started saying, “That’s awesome!” about something good or exciting, I followed suit. Hey, I’m an outgoing and enthusiastic, and extroverted guy who tends to use hyperbole, so “Awesome!” was a natural expression for me to pick up. When people asked me how I was, my knee-jerk response was, “Great! Awesome!” Awesome became my go-to word.
Until one day, I was reading Scripture and studying how God reveals Himself to us in creation and the Bible, and I realized that one great word, maybe the best word, to describe God is “Awesome.” When I reflect deeply on Who God is, His perfections, His attributes, and His works, sometimes, sometimes, I am stunned into a state of wonder. Downright, “stop me in my tracks,” awe. I think that’s why there is so much material in the Bible, so many accounts of God interacting with so many people over so many hundreds of years in the Old Testament: so that we would see Him as He is and be shocked into awe of Him.
Awe was what Moses experienced when he witnessed a bush on fire that didn’t turn to ashes, and then a voice from nowhere broke the silence:
“‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God” (Ex. 3:6).
Job pops into my mind here, too:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” (Job 38:2-3).
About Jesus, his stunned enemies, after listening to Him preach, said:
“Never did a man speak the way this man speaks” (John 7:46).
One of my profs in Bible College used to often say to us: “How big is your God?” Well, in this Key Life series, we want to talk about how Big He is! We’ll look at God’s infinity, immensity, and omnipresence, and that will help us when life gets so confusing that we shout out: “Where are you, God?!!” Then we’ll delve into God’s immutability and unchanging nature that will pull us out of fear when we doubt Him and say, “Can I really trust you, God?” Finally, then we’ll land the plane by talking about God’s holiness, love, and goodness, which will firmly ground us in awe of the glory of God.
You know it’s so easy to try and hype a human, and I’m not trying to hype up this series of talks for Key Life this week. I’m really not. But I know what’s best for you and me. It’s if we all start getting a bigger view of God. This series could help jump-start you in that direction. That would be great. I’d like you to experience awesome! I’d love for you to experience God!
You take it to heart.