A tradition I have with my children before they go to bed is I share with them a Bible verse, and then we pray through it together. I usually select something from the Psalms, or any verse I read that day. One evening I shared with them this verse, and I was convicted after I read it. I asked myself the question, do I serve with “reverential awe?”
The phrase reverential awe caught my attention. Other versions use the word fear, but I prefer the phrase the HCSB uses. When most people equate the words fear and scared. I don’t think God wants us to be scared of Him while we serve Him. It’s not like if we serve incorrectly that a righteous bolt of holy lightening is going to descend from heaven, and destroy us on the spot. I don’t serve a God like that.
The idea of serving Him with reverential awe starts with thinking about how we do not deserve the opportunities God has set before us. This is something I personally have struggled with. I often with think about how I should be in charge, and I might even know better than those over me. Then I forget about the amazing opportunities God has given me to serve in my community and church.
I think about when God called me to be an elementary school teacher. Before I could even enter the lateral entry program I was in I had to pass the Praxis II exam. This is a test people typically spend years preparing for, and I passed after studying for it in only six weeks. With no background in education, I started my journey in becoming a teacher. I finished my program last year, and my test scores were on par with experienced teachers at my school.
I often get notes and letters from students and parents thanking for all I did for them, and I remember that I could not have done it without God’s strength and guidance. The background of the verse above is note a received from a student on her last day of summer school. I cannot count the moments when I would stand there, and be completely clueless on how to reach a particular student. Then after some prayer, reflection, and discussions with other teachers I was able to reach them.
Being in awe of His Word is something that tends to be lost in society that easy access to Scripture. I have been using the You Version Bible app since I discovered it on my first smart phone. It is often one of the first apps I install when I get a new phone. It is also easy to access sermons and writings about Scripture on the internet. While this is a great thing, it can also lead to complacency. There was time in history where the Bible was not accessible in the common language. There are countries today, where if you are caught with a Bible it means death. God’s Word is more than just something that is easy to quote with on Evernote, or copy and paste into a blog. It is the living words of a Creator desiring the worship of His creation.
My goal for next school year is to have an awe about the opportunities God has given to impact the students before me. I am blessed to have them in my life, and blessed to have the opportunity to teach them. I want to also extend this to other areas of my life. I should be in awe of the family God gave me to serve, the church God put in my life, and the opportunities to bless others.
Serve the Lord with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling. Psalm 2:11