Prayerful RetreatHow often do you have a “prayerful retreat” with God?
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Hebrews 12:18 You have come to Jesus, the One who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness (v.24).
Several years ago, my family and I were able to travel to the sunny state of Arizona in the US. Unforgettable, the land revealed its varied wonders—from the intricate architecture of early Native Americans to the brilliance of the sun reflecting on the untainted snow lining a volcanic crater to the indescribable expanse of the Grand Canyon. Some experiences might be called great; others engage us beyond our sensory response.
Expressing both amazement and reverent fear, the words aweand wonder carry deep meaning. Because their definitions have become watered down by the ever so common expression of Awesome, however, we may find ourselves relatively unfamiliar with what it means to truly see God through eyes of wonder.
To be in awe of God does not mean we stand as if seeing something unbelievable; neither does it mean that we shudder in fear. Instead, as Psalms 22:23 tells us, “You who fear the Lord, praise Him; all you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him,all you descendants of Israel. For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard” (NASB, emphasis added).
His grace should cause us to be speechless before Him. The temptation comes, however, either to make God no more significant than the latest thrill or to view Him as noticeably distant and cruelly authoritative. “A devouring fire” (v.29), He does not desire our destruction but burns away anything that would destroy us.
His work in our lives reminds us that we are not God. Rather than quaking in fear, however, we bow with steady knees and reach with confident arms. May we live with a palpable sense of His incredible power, brilliant holiness, and genuine goodness.
Read Psalms 8:1 to see how both the ordinary and extraordinary move us to a place of wonder.
What’s different about the way God reveals Himself to us today as compared to how He revealed Himself to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai? What would a restored sense of wonder look like in our daily lives?
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