July 15, 2018 - Inscriptions From The Heart
July 15, 2018
Paul Douglas Bennyson
What is Reverence?
The dictionary defines reverence as a deep respect for someone or something. Another definition of reverence is the feeling or attitude of “deep” respect tinged with awe. What is awe? Awe is a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. When do we wonder? When something catches our attention that is beyond the ability of the workmanship of mere humans, things that our minds can never perceive or comprehend and no words can explain the string of emotions our hearts are feeling. Our eyes begin to light up! Sometimes it’s hair-raising.
We as humans are not weary or unfamiliar of this experience. Sometimes our awe is associated with size (big and small). Sometimes it’s with beauty (colors). Sometimes it’s to intricate details. Yes, I am talking of the times when our eyes widen and light up, where all we can do is stand and stare! Examples when this happen in my life are when I see stars, when I see mountains or when I see sunrises or sunsets, when I see life. These moments lead me to deep thoughts.
Why do these things amaze me? It’s because I know that it’s something my hands cannot fabricate. It had to be someone else who is beyond human understanding or skills to forge these things. It must be God! In the magnitudes of magnitudes and fabric of fabrics it always was, is and will be the fingerprints of God that is capable of such marvels that captivate our souls. It’s in those moments when we have a deep respect towards God. And what draws us away from God? The Bible says it is sin that draws us away from God. When I see the magnitude of my sin – how big it is and the judgment I deserve and yet I was pardoned through believing in His Son Jesus Christ, this is one other thing that leads me to stand in awe and respect.
The Book of Proverbs is famous as it talks and stresses the importance of fear. The Hebrew word that is used for this is “Yir’ah”. This is beyond mere simple fear. It’s a fear that makes you tremble and yet draws you closer to God. Tremble at how just and swift He is in his judgments and yet so merciful and slow He is to anger. How understanding and compassionate He is to love us. He can obliterate us if He wants to, but He still is patient enough to redeem and save us. This is mystery – the mystery that leads us to respect Him. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” Wisdom is something that is acquired through experience. Whether we are a new believer or a seasoned believer this is what keeps us rooted. Not our works or our devotion or our religion. It is the fear of the Lord that initiates it all. Fear not only makes us tremble and respect Him but also helps us submit to Him. Romans 12:1 says “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.”
I invite you to take a moment today to wonder, to awe and to understand with the help of the Holy Spirit to this beautiful and yet mysterious fear. For it is the beginning of an intimate relationship with the Father.