Amos 4: 12 b,13 ~
Prepare to meet your God. For behold, He who forms the mountains and creates the wind and declares to man what is his thought. Who makes the morning darkness and treads on the heights of the earth – The Lord, the God of Hosts, is His Name!
I spent time reading through the Book of Amos this morning during my devotion time. It struck me as I read through the words of this prophet who spent his time as a herder of sheep, the seriousness with which He was speaking to Israel. He was warning them of their calloused hearts reminding them of the Holy God who could have no part of sin. Yet, historically during this time ( approx 760 BC) there was prosperity abounding and the ears of the people had turned deaf. I am not a Bible scholar, but I love to study the Word of God and it was easy to draw the parallel to current times.
It is so easy to get lost in the here and now; in the dreams of tomorrow; in my wants and desires. As I read through the book of Amos I was burdened with the reality that I live in a time which mirrors that generation.
It shouldn’t surprise us, really. History repeats itself. ( Ecclesiastes 3:15) but why?
Why don’t we learn?
Would I recognize the Savior if he was walking beside me on the street?
I can hear a wise friend who reminds me that the depravity of man keeps us from knowing truth till our hearts are changed by the filling of God’s spirit within. I think of this and I wonder at the magnificence of this.
Can we read Amos’ prophecy and apply it to our lives today? Of course, all of His Word is for our profit, meant to instruct and direct us in all our ways.
Look at Amos 5:4 ( amplified version) ~ ” For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek me( inquire for and of me and require me as you require food) and you shall live.
Matthew 6:33 tells us to Seek First God and His Kingdom.
Psalm 37:3-5 remind us to Trust Him, Desire Him and Lean on Him. When we do.. our desires, our wants, our hopes and dreams become fashioned by His creative hands and our hearts are full.
Isn’t that was most of the material pursuit in this life is about? ~ Filling our hearts to the overflow with those ‘things’ that make us happy? But does it work? Are we ever truly full and at peace with the material? Does it make us whole?
How about the immaterial? What about what He thinks of Me vs what my neighbor thinks? Can I be real with the One who has the power to either condemn me or raise me up?
Psalm 139:17-18 again from the amplified version,shares this insight about what He thinks about us. ” How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand: when I awake ( could I count to the end) I would still be with you.”
He even collects our tears in a bottle ( go to Psalm 56:8) recording them in His book.
We have such value to God. We are important, so much so that if we tried to count to the end of the grains of sand on a seashore, he would still be thinking of us. Our tears, our hopes and dreams have value to him, but he asks us to surrender all to him in hopes of filling us with the more of who He is rather than the emptiness that this world creates to substitute for His glory.
He is Good! He works out all things for good to those who love him and are called according to His good purpose. ( Romans 8:28)
And if we know that He is good, it is not a sacrifice to surrender all and to stand in awe of the One who gave all for me.
Recently, though I found that there are times I am not so willing to surrender. There times when I am more interested in getting my way. There is more of “me” in my heart than room for Him to come in and live. Yet, his grace is so magnificent and mercy so complete that in the only way He can, he gently directs us to Truth and shines His light on what has taken His place in our lives.. ultimately our hearts.
Isaiah 30:15 says ~ ” In returning and resting you shall be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”
We have never been asked to walk alone, hope with out reason, believe without faith, or trust without confidence. We take that on all our own. We have been told to come like little children (Matt 18:3) and to have faith like a child (Luke 18:17), but the older I get the less I find the sense of Awe and Wonder are a part of my day.
A philosopher has been defined as someone who has a sense of wonder; one who asks questions …. who has not lost their ability to be awed.
As children even the most ostentatious things do not surprise us, but merely cause us to stop and look. We are trained to lose that sense of wonder. We have been taught to look at things with cynicism and a critical eye, but again I ask why?
We lose our sense of awe when we become accustomed to blessings or beauty or gifts. Simple does not impress, yet, simplicity begins with reality. To be appreciative, truly appreciative, begs the real nature of love and acceptance of true beauty….true gifts… true sacrifice…true blessings.
The wonder we need to hold onto is found in the truth that we are loved with a fierce love, which won’t let us go. We can be Simply Awed at the enormous mercy which is extended to us. We don’t deserve it, but it radiates from the Throne of Grace. Psalm 85:10 remind us that Mercy and loving-kindness and truth have met, righteousness and peace have kissed. It is through the work on the cross we can find redemption, hope, and fullness…even when all around may seem bleak.
In Christ we forget what is past and look forward. To follow Christ’s pursuit… His example, we must do the same. We must look up with simple awe at the amazing gift being offered and run our race with faith.
Simply Awed at the way He loves. Simply Awed at the way He saves. Simply Awed at they way He leads us to the Truth.
Simply Awed ~