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Influential Books: AWE: Why It Matters!

Here it is: awe is a longing.

The capacity for awe that God has given us fundamentally explains the endless variety of human dissatisfactions. Between the “already” of our conversion and the “not yet” of eternity, we are granted greater satisfaction, but our hearts are not at rest; the war still goes on, and we crave more. (p. 182)

Paul David Tripp, in his book, Awe: Why It Matters For Everything We Think, Say and Do, says we were created with the capacity for awe, and when it is misplaced, it keeps us dissatisfied!

Creation is awesome. God designed it to be awesome. And God designed you to take in creation’s awesome display. You are meant to be inspired and to celebrate the awesome things that come from the Creator’s hand. But as you participate and rejoice in the awesome display of creation, you must understand that these awesome things were not intended to be ultimate. … Every awesome thing in creation is designed to point you to the One who alone is worthy of capturing and controlling the awe of your searching and hungry heart. (p. 20)

What My Complaint Reveals About Awe!

Tripp’s book is convicting. He says if we are experiencing dissatisfaction, complaining, or lack of joy, we have an AWE problem!

If you listen, you will discover that the universal language of sinners in this broken world is complaint. When you’re at the center, when you feel entitled, when your desires dominate your heart, and when it really is all about you, you will have much to complain about. It is amazing how much more natural complaint is for us than thanks or how much more we tend to grumble than we tend to praise. We talk much more about what we want than about what we have been given. (p. 56)

The cover of the book, awe: why it matters for everything we think, say & do.

Dad dropped us off at the airport after our brief vacation. We boarded the plane, started to taxi away from the terminal, and then pulled back up. We were all invited to de-plane since stormy weather had just closed the airport in our destination city.

While waiting to hear if our plane would leave that night, a friend texted me to say she was living vicariously through my vacation pictures. Instead of saying “thank you” or sending an encouraging text in return, I whined about our flight being canceled. Here’s the thing – my friend is unable to travel right now. She has multiple problems that are challenging. Immediately the Spirit convicted me of my lack of gratitude and awe. Here I was experiencing the freedom to move about the country, financially and physically, only inconvenienced by the weather while my friend was trapped in difficult circumstances. Clear evidence of my AWE problem!

In Awe, We Commend His Work to Others

God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.
    There are no boundaries to his greatness.
Generation after generation stands in awe of your work;
    each one tells stories of your mighty acts.

Psalm 145:3-4 MSG

Tripp speaks to our ministry as Christians. He points to Psalm 145 for a key phrase, “One generation shall commend your work to another!” This is an alternative way to describe our ministry of reconciliation — as we bear testimony of trusting God, finding Him to be our all in all, we point others to our God!

[We] have been called to the high position of making the invisible glory of God visible to people who quickly lose sight of God’s glory and begin to look for glories elsewhere. [We] could not wish to be part of something more important than this. A vision of God’s glory must fuel and protect all our strategic planning. (p. 50)

Yawning in the Face of Glory

Are we yawning in the face of glory? Have we lost our awe of the Creator? All creation magnifies the glories of our Creator. Imagine how different our world might be if our attitudes and actions reflected that magnification!

No created beauty is an end in itself. No physical wonder exists in isolation. Nothing that is, just is. Everything exists for a grand, vertical purpose. (p. 73)

Awe of God and Our Identity

When I don’t let the awe of God give my heart rest and define me as his child, I will seek identity in things like success and achievement, power and control, and possessions and affluence, and I will work like crazy to get them, leaving a trail of relational and spiritual destruction behind me. (p. 178)

Our prayer

Father, May your name be honored as holy. We thank you for your kindness, forbearance, and patience. May all the earth fear the Lord; all the world’s people revere him. Amen.

Reference: Tripp, P. D. (2015, October 31). Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do. Crossway.

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