Today was another one of those mornings where our new puppy had me laughing so hard that I had to pause while helping my wife up for the day, as I couldn’t concentrate on what I was doing! The dog was playing with one of his many squeaker toys, rolling on his back, leaping across the room and then bounded over to us and proceeded to stick his head through my legs so he could lick my wife’s hands!
I was telling one of our kids last week, that I am so happy that we ended up getting a puppy instead of the older dog I was originally looking for. His zeal and excitement for life, his curiosity and boundless energy encourage me every single day! He is still pretty naïve when it comes to the noises coming from the TV and it is fun to sit back and observe his different reactions to people’s voices, cars, special effects and of course the sound of a dog barking. Besides his big ears perking up, he will many times jump up with a slight growl with the hair on the nap of his neck standing up straight and run over to the front window. At other times, he’ll simply look up, cock his head to the side and just stare at the TV.
You know… That is the same kind of reaction I want to have every time I read or hear God’s Word. I want my head to pop up with an ear cocked sideways so as to clearly get what Papa God is saying! One of the biggest perks of our new entertainment system is that we now have one smart remote controller that handles EVERYTHING! So I no longer have to fumble over two or three controllers when I watch TV, a DVD or VHS tape (Yes! I still have one of those players in case I want to watch one of the tapes that fill at least six boxes in the closet!) or stream online! Now I can control the system with one device from anywhere in the house… or yard!
That’s how I also want to be with the things of God! I want to be able to turn Him up when I hear or see anything that He has to do with… in one quick move… anywhere - anytime! I don’t ever want to come to the place where I am no longer AWED by Him and His Word!
Yesterday was Back to School Sunday at church and the Pastor taught from Psalm 91. In his opening statements he commented how Psalm 91 was heard very often in their household when their two kids were young. I was loading some things into the washing machine when he said that (obviously we were at home streaming the service online… With the new system I can blast the audio all through the house…) and I immediately turned and yelled to my wife in the other room: “The same goes for us!”
Then I recalled how she had taught the kids that Psalm at a very young age. I remember how she broke it down into sections that they would memorize over a period of time. She wanted to make sure that our kids had that amazing Psalm of promise and protection forever stored in their hearts, so they could speak it out at any time, in any place when negative situations arose around them. Piper always understood the power of fear and desired to make sure that our kids would know what to do whenever it infringed upon their lives. She had them memorize the Psalm from the King James Version (I think… although it might have been the NASB since that was the translation she liked the best), but I also like the way that the Message Bible puts Papa God’s promises of provision and protection into modern language.
Psalm 91:14-16 in The Message states:
“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
“I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
if you’ll only get to (intimately) know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!”
I can’t help but get excited when I read that section from my favorite Psalm! I believe that Papa God is encouraging us to stay in AWE of Him. To continue to live in a state of constant EXPECTATION of Him and His Word working in, for and through us.
As we have moved deeper and deeper into this journey with my wife’s health, His Word has become the POWER, the AWE and the EXPECTATION that we have come to TOTALLY depend on. It’s the reason I can get up each day with a vision of life in my heart and go to bed in the evening with a peace that surpasses all understanding. As far as Piper and I are concerned (and always have been) … it is the only way to live!
I’ve personally witnessed Christians who seem to have little hope left in the midst of the tough situations of life, and I have literally come to tears over them and the hopelessness that emanates from their faces, words and actions. The Jewish Publication Society Bible, which was the first Hebrew translation of the entire Bible completed in the early 1900’s, uses the word “behold” to describe the way that Papa God wants to demonstrate His salvation to us.
Daniel Webster in his 1828 dictionary gives the example of “behold” found in Revelation chapter three when Jesus told the Apostle John in his vision on the isle of Patmos: “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” He explained that “the word is much used in this manner for exciting attention or admiration. It is in the imperative mode, expressing command, or exhortation, and by no means a mere exclamation!”
That makes it pretty clear to me that God is commanding us to stop and give our attention to the power He wants to exert in His salvation in us, for us and through us unto others! (The Greek translation of the Hebrew word ‘salvation’ is defined as: to save, that is to deliver, preserve, heal, protect, to do well and to make whole –Strong’s) Now if that doesn’t encourage you to stand in AWE of Him… then maybe you need to add another couple of shots of caffeine to your coffee!
What do you think? What are your first thoughts and emotions when you hear God’s Word? Does it evoke AWE and EXPECTATION in you? I sure hope so! Have a GREAT week! Stay excited about and in tune to Papa God and His Word, and keep asking yourself… “Am I EXPECTING to stand in AWE of God and His Word today?”